BMJ Stone
EZG Manufacturing
Federated Insurance
Fraco USA, Inc.
Hohmann and Barnard, Inc.
Hydro Mobile, Inc.
iQ Power Tools
Kennison Forest Products, Inc.
Mortar Net Solutions
Non-Stop Scaffolding
Pullman Ermator
Tradesmen's Software, Inc.
September 22, 2003 9:10 AM CDT

Fifty Great Tips for Association Members


When you avidly support your association, great things happen. You grow professionally. You advance the well-being of your industry. And you generate renewed enthusiasm for your own job or profession.

The best news is this: you can support the work of your association almost any time, with modest effort on your part. Here are fifty ways you can do just that:

  1. Display your association seal, plaque or decal at your place of business, along with any association awards you've received.
  2. Drop a note to your association's program chair offering ideas for the next conference.
  3. When colleagues make the news, drop them congratulatory notes (if the news is good) or notes of encouragement (if the news is bad).
  4. Pass along copies of relevant newspaper or periodical articles to other members.
  5. Schedule lunch with a nearby member every once in a while.
  6. Call your colleagues to discuss mutual problems.
  7. Invite other local members to accompany you to association events.
  8. Call your association when you need information on a topic of interest, and say "thanks" after you receive it.
  9. Volunteer to serve on one committee.
  10. Mention your association's work in conversations with colleagues or business people outside your industry.
  11. Renew your annual membership promptly.
  12. When criticizing association practices or activities, do so on a one-to-one basis.
  13. Keep the names of association officers and staffers handy. When you meet someone who might be a prospective member, pass the names along.
  14. Host an open house for local or regional members.
  15. Leave your association periodical in your lobby or waiting area for others to read.
  16. Keep in touch with colleagues who have left the association. Be sure to spread the good word about the association's work.
  17. Let your association's leaders know how you've applied the hints you've picked up at conferences and meetings.
  18. Write a "letter to the editor" of your association publication on a topic near and dear to your heart.
  19. Ask colleagues outside of your industry about their association activities and pass what you learn along to friends in your association.
  20. Display photographs of association activities in your office or home.
  21. Encourage employees or acquaintances in your field to become members.
  22. Offer to serve as a mentor to an association newcomer.
  23. Send news releases and other positive information about yourself or your business to your association's communications director.
  24. Keep in touch with industry retirees who used to be active in the association. Pick their brains for ideas every once in a while.
  25. Mention your association's needs and principles whenever you speak in front of civic or business groups.
  26. When hiring employees, keep other association members in mind.
  27. Present a program about your industry (and the work of your association) to area school children.
  28. When customers ask, always speak fairly about your competitors.
  29. Check your association's Web site periodically for current information.
  30. Include your association's name and logo on stationery products.
  31. Let members who live at a distance know they have a standing invitation to visit you when they're in town.
  32. Keep tabs on what's happening by listening carefully to rumors and gossip from other members. But don't spread gossip.
  33. Publicize your association and industry in the local media through media-covered events, opinion pieces, and news releases.
  34. Observe industry holidays or commemorative dates with special sales or "thank you" promotions.
  35. When you have occasion to meet legislators, speak about the needs of your industry.
  36. Schedule upcoming dates for association activities -- chapter meetings, national convention, committee business meetings, even blocked-out time for professional reading and study.
  37. When you're starting a new project or happen upon a new idea, run it by an out-of-area member and get some objective advice.
  38. Let your customers or clients know why your association helps you help them.
  39. Keep your code of ethics in mind always.
  40. Pass association news along to your staff and employees.
  41. Evaluate your participation in association activities from time to time. What have you done well? Where can you improve?
  42. Let other association members know about continuing education opportunities available in your field.
  43. Let your family know why your commitment to association business is important. Include family members in association activities when possible.
  44. Include your association logo or decal on your car or truck window.
  45. Suggest activities or initiatives to your officers.
  46. Add your association membership to your biography or resume.
  47. Ask your local mayor or chief municipal executive to issue a proclamation in honor of your association's work.
  48. Make a contribution to your association's educational or scholarship fund.
  49. Use promotional products, such as pens, pencils, golf balls and magnets, bearing your association's name. Better yet, distribute them to customers.
  50. Enjoy yourself ... and spread your enthusiasm about your membership to friends within and outside of your industry!

About the Author

Richard G. Ensman Jr. is a free-lance writer based in Rochester, N.Y.


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