The joint membership model, also known as unified membership, packages national and chapter memberships together. Members pay for both in one dues payment either to the national association or the chapter. In 67 percent of associations, national collects the dues, according to the 2016 Chapter Benchmarking Report published by Mariner Management & Marketing.
The unified model is required for membership at 31 percent of the associations that participated in the Mariner survey. Peggy Hoffman, Mariner’s president, sees a growing number of associations adopting the joint membership model despite the recent interest in an “a la carte” menu membership model.
Whether your association requires joint membership or offers it as one of your membership options, you’ll discover the many benefits it has for your association, chapters, and, most importantly, your members.
Benefits of the Joint Membership Model
However, joint membership is only of value to members if the national association and its chapters offer different but complementary member benefits. Joint membership must offer more value, not the same value as a national or chapter membership alone. Members should not only get access to a wider network of peers but also access to a wider and more diverse selection of resources and benefits.
Cue the beginning of a beautiful chapter-National relationship
By tying themselves more closely to national, chapters serve as national’s pipeline for leaders, attendees, customers, and online community participants. Instead of developing separate marketing and recruitment materials, you can now share this responsibility. Or, more likely, national can take on the heavy-lifting of marketing, allowing chapters to focus their limited resources elsewhere.
Relieve chapters’ administrative burden.
Do what you can to make it easier for chapters to focus more on value delivery and less on administrative tasks. Technology that increases the transparency, speed, and accuracy of the dues collection, disbursement, and reporting processes will benefit both chapters and national.
Joint membership gives members an opportunity to broaden their association experience with just one click. But is it right for your members? Our next post will explain how to decide if joint membership is a good option for your association and chapters.
On-Demand: Want more joint membership resources?
Check out the on-demand recording of our joint membership webinar hosted by Kyle Bazzy.