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Membership Management

Member Recognition: Why, When, and How

MemberClicks Avatar MemberClicks August 28, 2017
Table of Contents
3 min read

Do you recognize members at your association? Do you do it on a pretty regular basis?

Let me ask you this: Do you have a process in place to ensure you’re recognizing hard-working, engaged members? In other words, do you have a way to ensure you’re doing it on a regular basis, rather than once or twice a year (when it’s expected)?

If not, you may want to! Here’s the why, when, and how, as it relates to member recognition:


When someone tells you you’ve done a good job – and publicly recognizes you – how do you react? Chances are, you get a little motivational boost! You feel valuable, accomplished, and proud.

Your members are no different. And if you can go out of your way (even just a little bit) to acknowledge their hard work and effort, you know what they’ll do? Work harder. Because they know you’re paying attention, and they know their hard work is appreciated. (Appreciation makes all the difference!)


Every time a member goes above and beyond! Seriously. Now if you have a pretty large membership, in order to make this feasible, you may have to set the bar for “above and beyond” pretty high. But make it reasonable.

Note: Even if you work for a pretty small organization, chances are, you alone can’t know every time a member goes above and beyond. That said, open it up to your other staff members. Create a process where people can submit nominations, so to speak. Or, reserve five or 10 minutes at your weekly or monthly staff meeting where people can throw out the names of members they think should be recognized. You can then discuss/filter from there.

The point here, though, is you don’t want people to get overlooked. So the more formalized you can make this process, the better.


Ok, now the question is, how do you recognize your members? Well there are a multitude of options! And the good news is, it doesn’t have to cost much (if any) money. Here are a few ideas:

  • Recognize them in your newsletter. Write a little blurb about what they did and why it was so beneficial to your organization.
  • Recognize them on your website. You could even have a “Star Member” or “Member of the Month” section, if you think there’d be enough content/people to highlight.
  • Give them a shoutout on social media. Again, any type of public recognition is MOST appreciated.
  • Feature them on your blog. Maybe you can’t create a “Star Member” or “Member of the Month” section on your website, but you can write a quick blog post (featuring the same information).
  • Recognize them at your next meeting or event. This may be a little embarrassing to some of your shy members, but they’ll still appreciate it. (And if you can print off a little certificate or get a small gift and present it to them at the meeting or event, that would make this moment even MORE special.)

Now let’s say you’re struggling to even get your members to go above and beyond. You have a select few that engage/volunteer consistently, but you need more.

Allow us to help! Check out our free guide to volunteer management below. In it, we cover best practices for volunteer recruitment, onboarding, AND retention!

Free Member Retention Guide

Ready to retain members and keep them coming back forever and ever? This guide will teach you everything you need to know about member retention. We cover all the basics, like the first steps to member retention and how to map out your member journey. From there, we dive a bit deeper into retention tips.