Member, Member at Large, Board, Staff, Leader, Director, and Council. Associations are a soup of titles and labels. But they exist for a reason, and nobody can deny that they’re important.
What the specific titles mean varies from association to association, but let’s examine the reasons behind titles and why they’re so important to you, your members, and the rest of the world.
You can’t deny that “I’m the Director of Membership for WXYZ” sounds a bit more dignified than “I handle membership for WXYZ.” Not that, of course, the title means much. Any leadership position in an association title or no, paid or volunteer, busts his or her butt. But a title has a bit of pull for the member/volunteer/staffer and stands his or her apart for their hard work.
2) Someone to turn to
When potential members, or donors are looking for someone to connect with in your association, titles can clear the way. For example, if a local business is looking for a worthy nonprofit to connect with for charitable giving purposes, a treasurer would be the right person to reach out to. If a new restaurant just opened up with a great meeting space and they want to offer some discounts, an events chair is a great start. Clear up your association to the rest of the world with titles!
3) Give you association some faces
Along that same vein, members need an actual person to connect with. Questions pop up, and as the tides of participation ebb and flow volunteers may want to step up. Not only is it important for the community to know whom to reach, but your members need to know too!
4) Resume building and networking
Nobody can deny that association leadership titles look great on a LinkedIn profile or a resume. Plus those distinctions make your members more likely to mention your association on their personal social media, share updates and details among their private circle, and become personal association advocates. A win-win for everyone!
5) Easier for future delegation
As your association grows and changes, jobs become consolidated or expand, new duties popup, and without question things change. Sooner or later the question will come up: “Who is going to handle that job?” Now, titles won’t answer that question entirely, but it’ll at least create some buckets where new tasks may fall.
The bottom line? Find what works for your association. (Isn’t that always the bottom line?) Stumped at what your association’s titles should be? Ask!
Are you a membership coordinator looking for an easier way to handle your changing membership base?