Good Friday Prayer

Last week, I came across this old prayer and I thought it would be appropriate to share for Good Friday.  It is titled, The Valley of Vision.

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,

Thou has brought me to the valley of vision,

where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;

   hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold

   Thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox

   that the way down is the way up,

   that to be low is to be high,

   that the broken heart is the healed heart,

   that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,

   that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,

   that to have nothing is to possess all,

   that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,

   that to give is to receive,

   that the valley is the place of vision.


Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,

   and the deeper the wells the brighter

   Thy stars shine;

Let me find Thy light in my darkness,

   Thy life in my death,

   Thy joy in my sorrow,

   Thy grace in my sin,

   Thy riches in my poverty

   Thy glory in my valley.


Association Membership Growth by Industry Served

The economy impacts industries differently. These impacts also translate into the associations that serve each sector.

In our 2013 benchmarking research, we asked respondents to tell us the industry that their association serves. Then we cross tabulated the industry from the largest responding sectors with the percentage of the associations reporting increases in membership over the past year.

The chart below shows the industry served and the percentage of associations in that sector reporting an increase in membership.

Percentage of Associations Reporting Membership Growth by Industry

Not surprisingly, associations serving the healthcare industry had the highest likelihood to have seen membership growth over the past year. Healthcare groups, along with Science and Engineering societies, also topped the list of associations experiencing membership growth over the past five years.

Associations in Education, Professional Services (blue collar), and the Building and Construction industries were much less likely to have seen an increase in membership.

The final benchmarking report will be released in several months and participating associations will receive a printed edition of the complete report.

Early Benchmarking Results Confirm Continued Growth in Association Membership Counts

As we begin to analyze the survey returns for the 2013 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, results show that there continues to be growth in the membership counts for participating associations.

Over 690 associations participated in the research and of those 361 (52 percent) reported that they have an increase in their membership over the past year. This is the second year in a row that the majority of participants reported membership growth and continues the positive trend from the low point of only 36 percent of associations reporting membership growth in 2010.

Interestingly, organizations with larger memberships reported higher growth for the past year. In fact, 60 percent of associations with memberships greater than 20,000 said that they saw growth this past year. While only 50 percent of associations with less than 1,000 members saw growth.

The final report will be released in several months and participating associations will receive a printed edition of the complete report.

Using Online Lead Generation to Drive Membership Recruitment

Whether you recruit new members using direct mail, email, or telemarketing, your efforts are empowered by identifying the very best prospects for membership and then promoting to them.

But where do you find the names and contact information for top prospects that have an immediate need for the information and content that your organization specializes in producing?

For an increasing number of membership organizations one source is using your website, search engine marketing (SEM), targeted social media ads, ad networks, and other online tools to offer free information that invites prospects to raise their hand and request your content in exchange for their name, address, email and an opt-in for you to continue interacting with them.

When a prospect searches for your information, finds material provided by you, and requests follow up, they identify themselves as excellent candidates to join.

Here are some examples of effective free information offers that encourage the exchange of contact information for content:

1. A free whitepaper with a compelling title and useful information
2. A free webinar offering continuing education
3. A registration for a private social network
4. A free organizational or industry e-newsletter

Respondents to the ad are directed to a microsite that is designed to reinforce the value of the free content and collect the prospects information. Once the form is submitted, a follow up email fulfills the offer and the membership cultivation process can proceed.

Sample Lead Capture Microsite
One of the additional advantages of online lead generation is how measurable it can be. From the initial click to the final join each step the prospect takes can be tracked through the process. Effectively the fingerprints of the prospect are left each step along the way from the ad that was initially clicked, to the follow up emails, to the submission of a member application.
How active is your organization in trading content for contact? Please feel free to comment on your experiences.