What do associations need to do to inspire members?

What do associations need to do to inspire members?

“People don’t do anything unless they’re inspired. But once they are inspired there is almost nothing they will not do.”

Are you struggling to attract millennials? Are you stuck on the membership acquisition and retention roller coaster? Are you unable to get out of “reaction” mode when the latest marketing tool or social media platform comes along?

If you answered yes to any of these questions it comes from the failure to spark inspiration in your members. Inspiration is what helps associations grow, thrive, and changes lives.

From the very beginning we have said that people need to be inspired to act. Surely though, there was more to this than a gut feeling. Could there be a science behind inspiration? Data? A meaningful and agreed-upon way to define this seemingly unknowable abstraction? We took a step back and realized that we needed a deeper understanding of what moves people. We set out to understand it—not just at the level of the heart, but scientifically.

Inspiration is a concept that floats around in space, finds its way into lines of poetry, buddies around with muses and supernatural beings, and is plastered all over social media. But what does it truly mean to inspire, or to be inspired? What do associations need to do to inspire members? And what do inspired members do that non-inspired members don’t do?

We took on these questions with purpose and focus. And we found answers.

Inspiration is not unknowable. It is quite knowable. It’s replicable. It’s scalable. And it is science. In our findings, we discovered that there are certain things that MUST be in place for inspiration to occur, and there are certain ways that inspiration actually moves people toward things. We understand why those millennials aren’t interested, why associations can’t get themselves off the rollercoaster, and why they spin their wheels with their marketing efforts.

When people are inspired, they take action, they get things done, they connect and come together—not because you convince them or push them or pull them, but because they just can’t help themselves. They’re internally compelled to make things happen. This is the “almost nothing they will not do” stage. And it’s far more powerful than any ho hum marketing piece or sales pitch can achieve for your organization. Inspired members are unstoppable. They go out of their way to help your organization achieve goals and pursue new horizons. They spread the word about the great work you do. They feel fulfilled while they actively work to fulfill your mission. Spark the fires of inspiration and the possibilities are endless. Fail to inspire your base, and your organization can not thrive.

We realize these things, and this is the crux of what you need to understand: Your marketing has a big job to do. It must harness the specific things research shows are needed for inspiration to happen. It must rally your base and connect people—to make a greater impact for long-term sustainability. INSPIRATION is how you get off the roller coaster. INSPIRATION is how you bring in the next generation and continue to change lives.

If we were fierce in our pursuit of inspiration before, now we are positively ferocious. Our rallying cry is, “Hell Yeah!” Let’s go find out what your members and your organization are capable of.

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