Association Value-in 25 words or less

 by Andrea Pellegrino 

iStock_000010380018_SmallEvery association is a community. This is one of the things that makes an association an association. To understand your association community’s value proposition, first ask and answer this basic question: What is the worldview your members share and talk about? (Hint: It’s not “to advance the profession.”)

What are the common outcomes and solutions they hope to get by engaging with your association? What is the one thing every member, customer and stakeholder has in common that s/he believes the association can provide that no other organization can? (Hint: It’s not the opportunity to “save” money by spending even more money through your fabulous discounts…unless your organization is The Price Club.)

If your association wants more members and stakeholders and wants more members and other stakeholders to be engaged, start by identifying and understanding the common worldview among them and how your association fits into it. Your entire association staff and leadership should be able to do this, in 25 words or less, and at the drop of a hat. (Okay…they can have 50 words…it is an association, after all!)


If your leadership and staff can’t immediately articulate a single, overarching reason why all of your members and stakeholders do engage with your association, you’ll never be able to tell prospective stakeholders why they should engage. And, that makes it extremely unlikely that your organization will ever develop a truly compelling—and sustainable—value proposition.

So, what is your stakeholders’ common worldview? What’s your association’s meme? Poll your staff. Poll your leadership. Give them 25 words or less. You’ll be amazed at how difficult–and how valuable–this exercise is for articulating your association’s value proposition

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