When evaluating benefits to members, it makes sense to look carefully at career stages. Early-career members value training, networking, career advancement opportunities, and certifications more than mid-career and late-career members, however, 2020 has created an uncertain employment environment for all career levels.
One way to help members is to recognize that those who lose their jobs during the pandemic may also lose access to the association if membership is corporate-based, or if the company has been paying for the membership.
Although associations are facing revenue decreases from conference registrations and event sponsorships, one of the first steps to take to help members in transition is to waive or reduce annual registration fees. This strategy along with other tactics will demonstrate the association’s loyalty to members and strengthen member loyalty to the association.
Other tactics include:
- Offer video sponsorships to major supporters to replace reduce membership fees.
- Create a job board.
- Offer training sessions that help members while looking for the next job, such as resume writing, signing up for unemployment, building a LinkedIn profile, or buying health insurance.
- Increase offerings of skill-building educational sessions.
- Update your members on industry- or community-specific rules related to unemployment benefits, job fairs, or issues of interest to members in transition.
- Sponsor online events featuring members who have or are in the midst of a transition who want to share their experience.
One association for municipal managers offers a wide range of services in a Manager-in-Transition Program that includes waiving fees, access to legal assistance, if needed, and ancillary services that include:
- Employment for special projects.
- Provision of clerical services and office space while conducting the job search.
- Contact with universities, professional training programs, and non-profit organizations concerning temporary assignments or full-time employment.
- Contact with national headquarters to initiate national assistance for members in transition.
- Advice on financial matters as they relate to loss of employment.