Ways for associations to deliver more value to members through integrated solutions.

Here’s how technology can close the gaps between the services members value and the experience you’re delivering around these services – with the bonus of driving non-dues revenue for your association.

The 2019 Community Brands Digital Evolution Study suggests that organizations have work to do around value propositions and technology.  

In the study, there are a few benefits members cite as reasons they joined their professional membership organization where they also give their organization’s technology experience a positive rating. But there are some important benefits that get lower scores, including online trainings and job boards – both key areas for generating non-dues revenue.   

In fact, the study shows less than half (47 percent) of members rate their organization’s online training as very good or excellent.  
Only 38 percent rate their organization’s job board as very good or excellent. 

The good news: Your association can close the gaps between the services members value and the online experience you’re delivering around these services. Leveling up your technology around online training and job boards will increase member satisfaction and offer the added benefit of driving non-dues revenue for your organization.  

Less than half (47 percent) of members rate their organization’s online training as very good or excellent.  

Let’s start with your members’ learning needs. 

Leverage a learning management system to support your members’ needs 

It’s important to have a learning management system (LMS) in place to support your members’ professional development needs. An LMS delivers online educational content and courses to your members. It typically handles course registrations, tracking, and reporting. It also has a content library to house your course components. 

Here are three things to look for in LMS software: 

Flexibility – Look for a system that allows you to grow your online learning program over time to meet your members’ needs. Some capabilities you may need now and later: 

  • Live and on-demand delivery
  • Personalized learning paths 
  • Assessment and testing
  • Continuing education tracking and certifications
  • Social learning community
  • Mobile-friendly interfaces
  • Ecommerce
  • Configurable reporting
  • Integration with other systems, such as online job boards and association management software (AMS) 

Interactivity – Talking with other attendees, asking questions, and making comments aren’t just for on-site events. Interactivity can be brought to virtual experiences as well. Look for a system that supports networking and interaction opportunities in your online learning experience. 

Ease of use – The system you select should streamline manual tasks to free your learning staff’s time so they can focus on delivering the right content to your members when they need it. At the same time, it’s important to allow your members to easily find the content they need. Your LMS should allow your staff to easily tag and categorize content so your members can quickly find the content they’re seeking. It should also allow members to easily access content via their mobile devices.  

Now let’s consider your job board.  

Use an online career center solution to meet your members’ needs 

Transforming your association into “the” career resource for your industry or profession is invaluable for your members and prospects. Plus, your membership represents a wellspring of valuable candidates for recruiters.  

Employers will pay to advertise job openings on your association’s job board. And, your career center can help your association make connections with companies that might be good prospects for sponsorships and advertising packages. 

Here are some things your online career center technology should do to deliver value for your members and prospective members while driving revenue for your organization: 

Email job matching – Automatically send jobs to interested, relevant job seekers via email when they are posted. 

Mobile responsiveness – Allow your members to quickly apply to jobs from their mobile devices. 

Personalized search and recommendations – Increase engagement and job views by recommending opportunities to job seekers based on their prior searches. 

High ROI employer products – Offer hiring managers options that maximize exposure of their job postings to improve their return on investment 

SEO and job distribution – Optimize every job for search engines, and reach candidates through social media, email, mobile channels, and sophisticated programmatic advertising. 

Candidate screening and management – Provide employers with functionality to attract, screen, and manage applicants, including an anonymous resume bank that safeguards job seekers’ identities. 

Advanced data, reporting, and analytics – Empower your staff with deep knowledge of job board sales, performance, and user behavior to grow membership and revenue. 

Provide a connected experience  

To create an easy, seamless, and complete experience for your members, your LMS should integrate with your career center. Here are some example scenarios of what this integration can do:

  • Your job board visitors see relevant jobs and popular, relevant, or recommended courses offered by your association that will help them become qualified for those jobs.
  • Non-members visiting your job board receive recommendations for courses tied to your association learning offerings, providing additional opportunity for new learner and member acquisition.
  • Members and non-members browsing your LMS course menu are presented with actual and relevant job opportunities they would be qualified for if they took suggested courses through your organization.
  • Upon exiting courses or receiving certifications, learners are presented with job opportunities they are now qualified for based on their new competencies or credentials.

To go a step further, connect your online career center and your LMS with your AMS. Consider these example scenarios: 

  • Learners seamlessly navigate from your website to your e-learning catalog to your member page. Any updates to user data automatically sync across your systems. 
  • Create a shopping experience through e-commerce integration that allows members to purchase your association’s learning products from your association’s e-commerce store or LMS storefront. A full view of your members’ purchase history lives in your AMS. 
  • Send automated emails that acknowledge what steps learners have completed, and then recommend next steps toward certification or credentialing.
  • Non-members who visit your job board and sign up as job seekers via job alerts or account registration are automatically delivered to your AMS as a list of new member prospects.
  • Members and non-members can opt in to receive intelligent job recommendations based on their AMS member profile data, such as job title and location, so they can passively search for new career opportunities. 

Take the next step 

NetForum by Community Brands is a configurable membership management solution with credentialing and fundraising capabilities for mid-to-large sized organizations. It’s part of the integrated software suite for associations by Community Brands that includes solutions for membership management, learning management, and career center.  They work better together to help you support the complete member journey.

CAE Webinar October 3

Get an inside look at the Community Brands Digital Evolution Study during this live webinar.