Young members are the future of your organization. Here are three powerful ways to retain them.

Young members represent a huge pool of potential new members for your association. With Millennials as the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, and Gen Z coming up quickly behind, young members are, essentially, the future of your organization. 

But retaining young members is just as important to your association’s future as attracting them. After all, it doesn’t help your association to grow and thrive if young members join, only to fail to renew a year later. 

So, let’s look at three effective ways to retain young members for your association:

1. Make young members feel welcome right away.

The first interaction with your organization makes a lasting impression on new members. Be sure to welcome new young members with emails that speak to their specific needs. 

TIP: Using email campaign functionality inYourMembership association management software, you can quickly and easily create email lists based on a variety of member information, including membership level, event registration types, and more.

For example, your onboarding emails will likely include some standard information for all members, such as a thank you for joining, a list of what communications they can expect to receive from you, and information about how to access key resources. But the emails you send to young members should also highlight resources and benefits that will be most valuable to them.

The 2022 Association Trends Study by Community Brands shows that members who are early in their career are more focused on benefits such as job opportunities, help advancing their careers, training and certification. So, in onboarding emails to young members, consider spotlighting resources that appeal to what young members want, such as your association’s online career center and continuing education opportunities.

2. Engage young members.

Getting young members involved with your association as soon as possible will help to increase their loyalty to your organization. Invite them to do things like:

  • Become involved as a committee member, committee chair, or board member. Getting young members involved as leaders will strengthen their bond with your organization. It also will signal to other young members that your association values them, and might encourage other young members to get more involved.  
  • Volunteer for your online member community. Ask young members to get conversations started by posting in the community a few times each week. If you have a group in your online community for young members, ask your young member volunteers to actively participate in this group to keep it lively and relevant. 

TIP: YourMembership AMS includes online member community technology that can help you build a thriving online community. If you don’t have an online member community, learn how to get started: ReadThe Small Association’s Guide to Getting Started with an Online Community.  

  • Participate in key events and resources. Offer a special session or event for new young members at your annual conference, and encourage new members to attend. Promote the young member group in your online community, and urge young members to join in the discussions. Remind young members to use the resources that are typically most important to them, such as your association’s online job board and continuing education opportunities.
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3. Ask young members for feedback.

One of the best ways to offer continuing value to young members is to truly understand what they need. And one of the best ways to understand their needs is to get feedback.

Ask young members for input – not just one time, but also throughout their member journey. Send them a periodic survey to find out how their member experience is going and what would make it even better. Also, if you conduct focus groups or have a member advisory group, be sure to include young members.  

TIP:YourMembership AMS has built-in survey functionality, making it easy to create and send targeted surveys and get feedback.

Using feedback from young members, you can continue to provide a relevant experience for this member group and even identify members who are at risk of non-renewal so that you have a chance to get them more involved before they lapse. 

Learn more
Young members represent the potential for stability and growth for your association. Discover more ways to attract and retain them for your association: Request a demo today!

By Kyela Bishop, YourMembership Marketing Coordinator, Community Brands


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