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To ensure your members remain involved and that you remain relevant, engaging them early and often is critical. But your goal shouldn't just be membership maintenance.

Developing members over time is as important as retaining them—especially when future super members (the ones who are dying to take your association to the next level) walk through your doors daily.

Seek out highly engaged members.

Think of those members you see nearly every day: in a program, on the exercise floor, or just across the parking lot. Because of their level of involvement, they know your staff well, and vice versa. Already highly engaged, these members are likely willing to take a next step with your association. And if you're regularly surveying members for feedback and gauging their status as promoters, you won't have to guess which members want to go beyond pure membership.

Valuable data can drive your decision to seek out volunteer time or donation dollars from certain members.Focusing on the member lifecycle is an important initiative.

Deepening connections and cultivating relationships with members over their membership lifecycles is well worth your time. Super members are valuable to your association because they are more likely to volunteer and become involved in outreach. They'll donate and get donations, too. Plus, they'll be the biggest recruiters for your association within their communities.

Empower members and provide unique opportunities for involvement.

Super members don't just manifest on their own. You have to purposefully develop them over time. After you've identified members who are candidates for a deeper commitment, plug them in where you know they're needed and where you know they'll flourish. Considering asking them to be a campaigner as your first item of business? Instead, try first involving them in association happenings at high, compelling levels, so that they'll get to know your association even more intimately.

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