Affnetz™ and Affinity Networking: Taking Membership Organizations to the Next Level
Membership Organizations exist to bring members together to promote a mission.
Clubs (athletic, hobby, etc.)
Service (Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.)
Political (political parties or lobbying groups)
Non-profits (JCC, churches, charities, etc.)
Professional and labor (American Medical Association, Teamsters, etc.)
Industry (pharmaceutical, energy, etc.)
These groups typically have two main goals:
Promote the main purpose of the organization
Provide networking and collaboration opportunities between members
Run their organization (e.g. – QuickBooks® integration)
Creation and ongoing administration of membership organizations require efforts in several categories:
Mission and organization promotion
Member acquisition and onboarding
Event creation and administration
Digital asset creation and administration
Administration and finance for the overall organization
Sponsorship – sponsor exposure and visibility to the membership and in the community
Executing these efforts efficiently and effectively stretches membership organization leaders who are in many cases volunteers and have day jobs. Time and money are scarce commodities for any organization but for Membership Organizations, they are particularly sparse. Membership organization leaders need tools to help them manage their responsibilities.
Member Engagement: The Lifeblood
Supporting member engagement is among the most critical responsibilities of the membership organization. Engaged members are the lifeblood of the organization. Success in achieving the membership organization’s mission is entirely dependent on members’ efforts and money. The more engaged the member is, the more a member will contribute effort and money.
A top member engagement priority is networking and collaboration opportunities enabled by the membership organization. Unfortunately, this is an area where membership organizations often neglect to leverage current technology. Most networking among members is face-to-face at membership organization events like scheduled meetings or special events like conferences, tournaments, seminars or service projects. Such in-person interaction is invaluable. It’s been effective for all of human history. Yet, in our growing digital world, there are new tools that can supercharge networking.
The Social Media Effect
Social media has added an entirely new layer of interaction to human relationships and networking. Connecting digitally with others has changed the world in less than twenty years. Social media deepens existing relationships and enables countless opportunities to create new connections.
The motivating force behind all this is a human need to connect with others with whom we have something in common. Of course, this very force has always been a primary motivator for people to join membership organizations. So, why haven’t membership organizations made better use of social media technology to increase their impact?
One big reason is existing social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn are already used by members to connect with other members. This happens organically simply because members already know each other from face-to-face encounters related to membership organization activities. The problem is the organization has no influence over how these interactions go forward.
A membership organization could set up and moderate a LinkedIn group, for example. However, there are limitations in the software that don’t allow membership organizations the flexibility to provide the optimal networking and collaboration opportunities to members. The day to day business of the membership organization can’t be run with a LinkedIn group.
What is needed is association management software to handle these tasks. Affnetz™ is best-of-breed product that provides integration to all the other parts of the membership organization. Also, a significant missing link is an inability for the members to cultivate their Affinity Networks.
The Affinity Network
An Affinity Network is your network within a network. These are your closest allies and collaborators. They may comprise only 20% or less of your total network but it could account for 80% or more of network value.
Affnetz™ helps to build and strengthen this segment of a member’s network by allowing deeper connections via a robust network database with detailed notes capability, member-to-member messaging and Affinity Matching ® in which affnetz™ suggests affinity connections between members based on profile characteristics.
Connected members serve as a fundamental strength for your organization. Members who view the organization as a nexus of their professional and social network value their membership Membership Organizations. This leads to increased membership renewals and optimal revenue flows. The affnetz™ Member Portal is the hub where your members can interact and build their Affinity Network.
If you want to drive member recruitment, retention and engage your membership to drive loyalty and generate revenue for your organization through sponsorships and increased renewals, contact affnetz™.
To learn more, check out the affnetz™ website at https://affnetz.com/ or feel free to connect with @Benjamin Kelton or [email protected]