You know that younger members are the future of your association and they’re vital to your success. Yet, your methods to recruit them don’t seem to be working.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Successfully recruiting millennials and GenZ members requires a fresh approach. If you keep using the same strategies and tactics you’ve been using for decades, don’t expect to win over younger members.
We asked association management experts Baron Christopher Hanson of RedBaron USA, Timothy Christ of LeadFire Business Consulting LLC, and Elisa Pratt of Brewer Pratt Solutions, LLC to weigh in on recruiting millennials and GenZ members.
Here are some of their tips for attracting younger members.
Offer a Modern Website and Authentic Social Media Experience
On the surface, having both a modern website and being active on popular social media platforms –– with exceptional content consistently updated and posted throughout –– is an essential first step. Your website and social media are often the first impressions, make them count. If younger prospects don’t “see” themselves within your association, they will likely lose interest.
Host Modern and Virtual Events
When the Coronavirus outbreak is behind us, we recommending hosting events or lectures on their turf or in a hip space, perhaps one that allows them to post their efforts for you onto social media. Don’t expect young people to attend boring, outdated events or to gather only in the places the old guard prefers like country clubs or hotels.
Try renting out a hip fish taco joint or upscale coffee shop with speedy WiFi for your next annual meeting or young membership event –– not the Elks Lodge or country club function room, where cell phones and WiFi are not allowed. Think outside the box, and millennials and GenZers will embrace your association more easily and freely.
Stand for a Cause
Most people want to do their part to make the world a better place. If your association stands for a cause, show the impact you’ve made and what you’ve been doing to make a difference. Create volunteer opportunities that members and prospective members can be involved with. This will not only create positive change in the world, but it will also provide a meaningful way for young people to learn about your association.
Offer a Path Towards Leadership
Millennial and GenZ generations these days typically want to associate, share, and align themselves with organizations and leaders who make room for their views at the head table. Encourage them with meaningful events.
Some of the experts we asked even went so far as to create a fully funded “NextGen” group offering free happy hours for “NextGen” members and prospective members.
Create Partnerships to Assist with Recruiting
One expert said that they’ve had success creating a partnership with the local graduate program business school and a “business frat” where seniors can attend meetings with the idea of networking to get their first full-time opportunity upon graduating. Then we have those new graduates mentor the next year of seniors in graduate school. By implementing this program, they’ve developed a perpetual system for younger membership involvement, value for everyone, and a thriving organization.