Why People Don't Join Your Association

Jan 23, 2024

As much as we’d like to believe that our association is the perfect fit for everyone in our sector, the reality is more like a jigsaw puzzle where not every piece fits.

Understanding why some individuals might be hesitant to join your association is crucial. It’s like being a chef who knows not everyone will love their signature dish – but wants to understand why to make it more universally appealing.

Knowing the reasons behind reluctance to join your association offers invaluable insights. It’s an opportunity to reflect, reassess, and revamp your strategies to be more inclusive, relevant, and appealing. By addressing these concerns, you can turn hesitations into motivations, transforming non-members into members. 

Following are some of the reasons why people might hold back from joining your association - and how this insight can be a golden opportunity for growth and improvement.

Lack of Awareness or Understanding

Sometimes, it's not about disinterest but simply a lack of awareness. Potential members might not fully understand what your association does or the benefits of joining. It’s like having a treasure chest but no map showing where it is. Increasing visibility and clarity about your association's role and offerings is key.

Perceived Lack of Value

For some, the value proposition of your association might not be clear or compelling enough. They might perceive membership as an unnecessary expense rather than an investment. It’s about demonstrating the tangible benefits and ROI of joining – showing the value, not just telling it.

Economic Barriers

Membership fees can be a hurdle. Especially for students, early-career professionals, or those from smaller organisations, the cost of joining might be prohibitive. Consider flexible pricing models or discounted rates for these groups.

Bad Past Experiences

If someone had a negative experience with your association or another similar organisation, it could deter them from joining. It’s like trying a food once and not liking it – it might take some convincing to try it again. Addressing past issues and showcasing improvements can help.

Lack of Relevance

People might feel that your association’s activities, resources, or network don’t align with their professional needs or interests. Ensuring that your association stays up-to-date and relevant to current industry trends is crucial.

Overwhelming Competition

In today’s world, potential members have a plethora of choices, including other associations, online communities, and informal networks. Standing out in this crowded space means continuously innovating and offering something uniquely valuable.

Poor Communication or Marketing

Sometimes, it's not what you offer but how you communicate it. Ineffective marketing or communication strategies can fail to capture the attention of potential members. Tailoring your message and channels to your target audience is essential.

Time Constraints

Many professionals juggle multiple responsibilities and might feel they don't have the time to engage in an association. Offering flexible, time-efficient ways to participate and benefit from membership can address this concern.

If you are looking for assistance on maximising your member recruitment and retention efforts, contact us for a chat on how we can help.