Increase Member Engagement with Webinars
Associations are often expected to provide educational opportunities for its members, often through in-person meetings. As these typically occur only once or twice a year, other learning options should be considered to continue member engagement throughout the year.

Webinars are a cost-effective way to provide educational content to your members. A monthly or bi-weekly webinar series can not only keep your current membership involved in your association in between in-person meetings, but also attract potential new members. The only costs to consider are typically incurred by the webinar platform itself.

Content can be developed by experts already within the association, or by vendor partners. Partnering companies are often eager to engage with your members, but it is important to prevent the webinar content from straying too far from educational territory and into self-promotion. You may also have the option to provide continuing education credit for your webinars. And, at the completion of the webinar, recordings can be archived on your association's website, providing valuable content to offer your members.
Public Policy: How To Choose a Lobbying Partner
There may come a time when you will need to consider partnering with a lobbying firm to advance your professional agenda. While a great deal of progress can be made with an active and vocal membership, it is often most effective to employ an expert in the field of Government Affairs to help navigate and target your efforts. They can act as a force multiplier, leveraging an already active membership base to achieve policy goals. These professionals often possess a great deal of behind the scenes experience on both sides of public policy, both advocating for and helping to enact it. Their experience in tracking a developing legislative issue can be invaluable in determining where to focus the efforts of an association’s grassroots activism.

When it comes time to do the research and make your decision, an AMC can be invaluable in helping narrow down the pool of eligible lobbying firms as well as crafting an RFP that distinctly outlines the expectations for both parties. Many AMCs, such as Agentis Management, have their own Government Affairs staff that have experience with lobbyists at both the state and federal level, and can help in the selection process. Having specialized staff working directly for your AMC allows for a more efficient distribution of the workload and allows the association's Board of Directors to focus on strategic objectives. Meanwhile, the lobbying team can perform at the tactical level.

Why is Membership Data Maintenance Important?
It is important to ensure that member information is correct and updated for many reasons.

For the overall goals of the association, accurate membership numbers and demographics are needed to determine the scope of opportunities that can be offered to members. Event registration numbers are needed to provide all attendees with food, beverage and hotel needs for each conference. Registration details are also needed in order to determine revenue for current and past events, while budgeting for the future.

To benefit each association member, the correct data is needed in order to maintain open communication so that the member is regularly informed regarding upcoming events, newsletters, and continuing education. In order to receive the full scope of membership benefits, a member’s updated information must be on file.

At Agentis, we value our clients' members and want them to find equal fulfillment in their association memberships!

How Do Associations Engage Their Membership on a Grassroots Level?
When considering your association’s public policy strategy, the very first step should be the identification and mobilization of your grassroots members. In this endeavor it is never too early to start.

Before you even have an issue on the agenda, it is important to engage your membership to identify leaders and activists. Not all of your members will be of the same skill set. Some may be natural born leaders ready to rally the troops at a moment’s notice, with a passionate appeal to their fellow members for action. Others could be more suited to the in-depth research and position development that it takes to make valuable evidence to present to policy makers in meetings. The key here is to keep members of all different persuasions engaged and informed through out the process. If you’re able to make members feel like they have a stake in the association’s future, than you stand a better chance of developing real public policy champions.

At Agentis Management, we work together with the Boards of Directors at our various client organizations and develop committees and special interest groups to help craft public policy to advance each association's agenda and professional stature. When your members see their AMC and their Boards of Directors fighting for their profession on a day-to-day basis, it becomes much easier to tap into their enthusiasm on an as-needed basis instead of having to rally members for each and every issue.