Membership is Good for You!


One of the questions that we ask around the topic of membership marketing is: “Why do people join?”

I believe that there are practical reasons members will join – information, discounts, and advocacy. But I also think we all realize that there are deeper “soul” issues of why we come together. What does membership and community offer at a deeper level than material benefits?

A colleague and I are beginning to look at this issue more systematically.

Today, I came across a scholarly article entitled: Continuous Participation in Voluntary Groups as a Protective Factor for the Psychological Well-Being of Adults Who Develop Functional Limitations. The authors determined that continuous participation in certain types of voluntary groups can help ease the negative psychological effects of the onset of functional limitations.

The study looked at participation in three types of voluntary organizations (recreational, religious, and civic) and how each helped with well-being.

The study specifically noted that men who were engaged in recreational groups and both men and women who were engage in religious groups showed less symptoms of depression and better levels of feelings of personal growth, respectively.

What are your thoughts on the concept of membership and well-being?

Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences
2007, Vol. 62B, No. 1 S60-S68
Emily A. Greenfield and Nadine F. Marks

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