Author: Richard Gott, MemberWise Network Founder & Chair


In 2017, the UK membership and association sector rated member engagement as more of a priority than new member acquisition for the first time in recent years. At the same time, however, the topic area was seen as a big challenge.

In response, MemberWise delivered the Member Engagement Hub and Toolkit – a dedicated and free-to-access resource advocating a more structured approach to the review, planning, delivery, evaluation and measurement of member engagement.

Find out more on the Value and Engagement Hub…

The toolkit (downloaded more than 5,000 times) advocates a more structured (evidence-based and thus quality-assured) approach that now enables membership organisations and associations to deliver significant improvements in member engagement.

In tandem, the membership and association sector employed a growing movement of member engagement professionals (working at all levels to champion robust member engagement) and organisations are now regularly featuring the topic of member engagement and participation in key strategic and operational reviews, plans and proposals. In the light of these seismic improvements, the MemberWise Network has, however, observed a mismatch with member value. This mismatch needs to be addressed now.

Although the majority of membership organisations and associations report improvements in member engagement, only 40% are reporting similar improvements in perceived member value*.

In real terms, the sum of member value needs to exceed the cost for an individual or organisation in order to become engaged and at present there is a mismatch. This is compounded by many membership organisations and associations finding member value difficult to articulate.

This is a serious issue for membership organisations and associations because member engagement relies on the effective delivery of perceived and actual member value.

If this doesn’t improve, or does not occur at all, this will have a knock-on effect to member retention, recruitment, participation and growth.

If it is improved it will have a positive impact on return on investment (ROI) and the above.

You can find out how to generate and improve member value via the Member Value 2025 (#MV2025) Project Guide (delivered in partnership with Silverbear and Cantarus).