Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Obstacles or Qualifiers

When it comes to joining your association, do you have obstacles or qualifiers? Here is what I mean. Anyone can join my association. They can join via the web, print application mailed in, or by calling. I would say we have no obstacles or qualifiers. Anyone can join, so there are no qualifiers (must be in this age bracket, this profession, etc.) We have no obstacles either, you can join however you want. However, I think there are times when associations confuse the two and one becomes the other. When you put in qualifiers, they can become obstacles.

Think about job postings. Many places have their own job banks where candidates must register, re-type their resume, etc. But, doesn't that cut down your potential applicant pool? I am sure there are people who don't bother applying because it is that much harder/time consuming. Is that happening with your members?

On the other hand, there are associations who limit how people can join. I know that many chapters of the Jaycees only let you join by print application and check. So I am guessing that one extra obstacle prevents some people from joining.

So, please think about your obstacles and qualifiers.

1 comment:

Vinay said...

Matt,

There is a 3 scenario here? If you must have qualifiers, then state the qualifications in the applications but go back to verify those details later.

Simplify the application process, have the potential member send in the basic application along with payment - but state someplace that the application is subject to approval by the association before they will be considered a member in good standing.

Once the candidate has sent in the check and application, they are then more likely to spend the necessary time working with the ass'n to make sure they meet those qualifiers.

An added benefit of this might also be that by having them jump through couple of hoops, at the later stage, the membership is likely to become that much more "special" which can then later contribute to ensuring renewal? Cause when something is hard to get initially, one doesn't want to loose it that easily.