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For member-based nonprofits and in so many other industries, "engagement" is popping up everywhere. In a world increasingly fraught with distractions and multitasking, real interactions are more rare than ever, but engagement is the key to having those real interactions.

Here at Daxko, we are trying to make sense of all the "engagement" hype and create easy, unique, and meaningful ways to interact with your membership not only to increase family engagement and word-of-mouth but also to make our services more meaningful to your organization; after all, we provide more than just membership software. So, in this blog, you will hear frequent stories on engagement, how to define it, and, how to achieve it at your organization.

The Many Meanings of Engagement

Her: "If we get engaged, will you give me a ring?"

Him: "Of course. What's your phone number again?"

Obviously "engaged" can mean different things to different people.

For the purposes of the Daxko Nation, engagement is an interaction that results in an exchange of value.

Engagement, or the exchange of value, can be small: I take the time to visit your website, you reward me with information I was looking for. Or it can be big: Your health screening and wellness program helped me turn around a life-threatening health problem, now I volunteer twice a week promote health screenings in the community. It can be emotional: You greet me by name when I walk in the door, I reward you with a smile. Or it can be financial: You offer a camp I think my child will enjoy, I pay $800 for her to participate.

There are so many kinds of engagement on so many levels, it's hard to break it down into a plan of action. Who is going to decide which engagement activities matter most? Who is going to design them, train staff, monitor execution, and measure results?If we take the average staff to member ratio of customers within the Daxko Nation, your members outnumber your staff 60 to 1. Who is responsible for the engagement activities you identify? Do your staff have the capacity and know how to follow through? How will they keep track ?One way to break it down is to think of Engagement as a path. It has a starting point and an end goal. The path will be different for different groups. It usually starts out light and ends up strong.

I think we all know what happens when there is no intentional path and no guide —people end up lost. In order to have an impact on outcomes, we need to actually design these paths and commit to every step along the way.

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