Building Value For Members

There are over 8000 membership organisations and associations in the UK with over 1,000 members.

But many organisations need to retain members. The challenge has become: what is the value you can offer to your members?

Ideally, your membership association will provide exceptional rational benefits or emotional value. Emotional value creates a genuine connection between members and the organisation. With emotional value, you generate sustained engagement and loyalty.

Some membership organisations exist because of members’ emotional connection to the subject. For example, the Harley Owners Group H.O.G brings together owners and enthusiasts of Harley motorbikes. The emotional connection is so strong that over 1,000,000 members are excited to share their Harley stories, experiences and bikes.

For Harley, the value is clear. They provide regular meet-ups and experiences for Harley enthusiasts to meet with like-minded people.

But what value can you provide to members if your connection is more practical than emotional?

The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) lost 16% of its members between 2022 and 2023, and the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) lost nearly 40% over the same period.

Both of these membership groups have served as valuable support to their members. The FMB was established in 1941 and has a history of supporting small and medium-sized building companies. Members must undergo a strict vetting process, including an independent inspection of their work. Not all builders will pass the test. But how do you entice members to join when websites like and offer more web traffic and potential business leads?

Create actual value for your members.

Unlike an organisation like H.O.G., a more traditional business-led organisation is more challenging to entice and keep members. What is important to remember is that value isn’t just about how many customers an organisation helps a member to get. Value comes from conversation. Members can learn best practices from one another, sharing tips and tricks that only they would know from years of experience.

The first place to begin creating additional or new value for your members is with your members. Ask your members what they need, what would make the membership association more beneficial, and how they would like to interact with you and others within the association. These are the people that your membership group serves.

The next challenge is to attract newer members. This will be drawn from the motivations, needs, desires and aspirations that you see from your existing members. For a membership community based on professional services with standards for entry, there is an excellent opportunity to utilise the knowledge of your current members.

Having a community is a great start, but utilising the right technology to expand this community to a mobile app can drastically improve your offering for your members. Creating a bespoke app that works for the needs of your members should be the goal. For example, if you offer certificates for members to provide to their customers, allowing them to access this through an app can increase their engagement and benefit them.

Connect your members wherever they are

Your members’ knowledge is a vital component of your association. Harnessing the right technology to share with your community can elevate your appeal. For a group like the FMB – an app that harnesses video technology, like Huddles, allows members to post a challenging job that others can comment on and talk about how to solve based on their own experience and expertise.

This digital connection between your members becomes a unique value proposition from which all members benefit.

Is technology always the answer?

For some membership groups, adding an app or other technology stack might not help. A group like the British Legion thrives on a traditional approach to its members – events coordinated through a simple website, with members gathering to meet and converse. The key to enhancing your membership organisation is understanding who your members are and what they need. Pushing technology for the sake of it will never yield the correct result, but balancing a future-led approach with the needs of your members will help shape your organisation for the future.

Whatever your membership organisation brings to its members, remember that with emotional value and rational value your membership will thrive.

Transform Your Membership Experience with Intelligent Self-Service Solutions!

At 4 Roads, we understand the critical challenge of retaining and engaging members in today’s dynamic environment. To truly add value, your membership organisation needs to offer both rational benefits and emotional connections.

Don’t let your membership organisation fall behind. Let’s collaborate to create a tailored strategy that not only retains your current members but also attracts new ones.

Contact us today for a free consultation and discover how 4 Roads can help your membership organisation thrive with intelligent self-service solutions.