The Secret Ingredient to Meaningful Membership for Industry Associations

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Today more so than ever, employees are looking for more meaning in their jobs. While they value salary, benefits and company leadership, meaningful work drives job satisfaction more than ever.

And this search for meaning applies to things other than our work lives. When it comes to our communities of friends, families, colleagues, and associates too, people want the things they do to mean something.

Thankfully, when it comes to imbuing your membership association with meaning, there are a few great ways you can make being a member more meaningful.

5 Ways to Make Membership More Meaningful

In addition to knowledge sharing, here are some other ways in which you can make membership to your association more meaningful.


Leverage your membership association to elevate important issues, advocate for better conditions in your industry, and influence discussions that lead to positive change.

After all, advocacy is a key benefit for your members; the 2021 Association Trends Study found that members of professional membership organisations ranked advocating for their industry among the top three most important benefits of membership.

Standard Setting

Whether your membership association is a standard-setting organisation (SSO) or not, you can work to create or raise industry standards, providing an array of valuable benefits not only to associations and association members, but also to industry, government, and the general public.

Ethical Discussions

According to Associations Now, the premier media brand covering all aspects of association leadership and operations, giving members opportunities to discuss ethical issues in their industry:

  • Increases engagement,
  • Enriches the member experience,
  • Expands their networking opportunities, and…
  • Enhances their professional credibility.

That’s because giving members a space to discuss real-life ethical dilemmas provides room for conversational debate and contemplation.


One great way to increase association membership is by creating a culture of innovation. In fact, the 2020 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report from Marketing General Inc. (MGI) found a correlation between innovation and membership growth.

They also found that innovative associations drive membership value, as they provide their members with things like:

  • Early career webinars
  • Virtual happy hours
  • Leadership training for aspiring CEOs

As well as new digital products and services like:

  • Virtual events
  • Online education
  • Virtual networking meetups
  • Enhanced website resources


Another way you can make your membership association more meaningful is by encouraging the passion your members have through a mentoring program.

That’s because mentoring relationships can not only stimulate conversations around all of the advocacies listed above, but can also improve and enhance knowledge sharing. In fact, mentoring can be used as a way to transfer:

  • Discipline- or job-specific expertise
  • Industry-specific knowledge
  • Hard and soft skills amongst team members

It can also help with knowledge sharing when it comes to organisational succession planning, onboarding, and training. When knowledge is shared, the best steps forward can surface, and you as an industry are able to make more informed decisions on how to best proceed.

At Mentorloop, we make implementing a mentoring program for your membership association easy. Our programs can connect valued members into highly beneficial mentorships, allowing them to share and leverage their extraordinary array of talent and domain expertise. This can not only help you engage and satisfy members but create continuous value for them in a way that’s measurable, at scale. 

How the Australian Institute of Architects Makes Membership Meaningful

AIA is building a community of architects committed to the significant role of the profession in creating better communities.

They support the professional growth of their members by providing them access to a wide range of practical resources, a voice in local and national policy setting, and opportunities for continuous learning.

They initiated their mentoring program in March 2020 and it has been incredibly successful in helping their members connect and network. It has even helped emerging graduates seeking employment opportunities.

Learn more about how AIA uses their mentoring program to raise the bar of architectural standards.

To learn more about how mentoring can help you engage your members year-round, download our free webinar kit: Engaging Industry Association Members Through Mentoring. Join our Head of Sales for EMEA, Jess Benham, as she covers how industry associations can use mentoring to address member engagement and retention issues as well as the cost that comes with both.

PLUS: The kit also includes some resources picked by Jess to help you start building your best mentoring program yet.

Watch the preview:

Are you ready to learn how mentoring programs can help you achieve this? Speak to our mentoring experts.

Book a Demo

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Grace Winstanely
Grace Winstanely
Grace is the Senior Marketing Manager at Mentorloop. She is dedicated to making content that helps make mentoring more accessible to all and helping Program Coordinators deliver the best mentoring experience for their participants. She's also a keen cook, amateur wine connoisseur, sports fanatic, and lover of all things tropical.

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