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3 Ways to Attract More Young Members to Your Association


It’s always important to recruit new members for your association. After all, a steady stream of new members helps grow your organization and backfill the members who leave due to job/career change, retirement, etc.

As you might expect, most members join an organization as a student or early in their career. In fact, according to the Community Brands Member Engagement and Loyalty Study report, about one-third of members join a professional organization before employment, and more than 41 percent join in the first five years of employment.

Steps for young member's career journey

The same report shows that job opportunities are the number one reason those early in their careers join an association. Once they join, job opportunities, career advancement, and mentoring are in the top 10 of benefits they value most from their association.

How to attract more young members to your association

With all of this in mind, here are three practical ways to attract young members – those earliest in their careers – to join your association:

1. Offer an online intern board.

Offer members an intern board that allows members who are students and new grads to easily search and apply for relevant internships online. Using YM Careers InternBoard, you can set up an intern board that allows internship seekers to easily create their own accounts and profiles, and add resumes and cover letters. They can search internship postings and apply directly within the job board or externally by following employers’ instructions. They can even set up alerts to be notified when a new well-matched position is posted.

2. Provide an online career center.

A career center is critically important for recruiting and retaining members – especially those in the first five years of their careers. A robust career center offers a huge member benefit by connecting members with career opportunities. Your organization can use this appealing member benefit to attract new members and improve member retention.

It’s important to optimize your job board for visibility and access to non-members – in effect, using the job board to drive membership and increase revenue. One highly effective way to achieve this is by integrating your job board with your association management software (AMS). For example, YM Careers online job board software integrates with Your Membership AMS by Community Brands. With this integration, non-members who visit your job board and sign up as job seekers via job alerts or account registration can be automatically delivered to your AMS as a list of new member prospects for your use in new member marketing and acquisition efforts.

Another approach: Connect your career center with your learning management system (LMS). For example, YM Careers integrates with YourMembership Learning and Crowd Wisdom, the award-winning LMSs from Community Brands. With these integrations, non-members visiting your job board can receive recommendations for courses and continuing education tied directly to your association learning offerings, providing additional opportunity for new learner and member acquisition.

3. Offer a mentor board.

Offer those members moving into their early careers a mentor board. It’s a way for them to connect with a mentor to help them grow professionally.

Using YM Careers MentorBoard, you can give them the ability to set up their own accounts and profiles with all information needed to qualify them as a “mentee”. They can then search user profiles and initiate contact with a potential mentor. Both mentor and mentee email addresses are kept confidential until a contact request has been accepted.

Take the next step

Find out more about how YM Careers can help you attract new members. Explore YM Careers.

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