What can crowd power do for your association?

Crowd-sourcing offers a smart way for associations to engage members AND put their talents to work for your organization.

How does it work? Create a portal on your website where you can post tasks. These can be simple quick tasks or new programs that reward members for helping each other online. (You could also allow your volunteer leaders to post tasks they need help with.) Here are just a few tasks your members could do:

  • Call a new member and welcome them to the association
  • Post a challenge competition and invite members to submit plans for a new benefit or program
  • Screen content for your Twitter, Facebook, and other social streams (perhaps a post needs 5 OKs before it goes live?)
  • Review content provided by exhibitors or speakers before it is posted online to ensure it is informational and not too salesy
  • Answer questions from students or student chapters
  • Scout for content you can use for blog posts or daily enewsletters (submitting links from topical blog posts, for example)
  • Upload short videos answering a question of the day (you can also get ideas for questions of the day!)
  • Screen conference session applications (hide presenter info if you’re concerned about bias
  • Review restaurants and attractions in the host city of your next event (perfect for members of that local chapter)

Task can be short and sweet, or they can be more involved. Consider the talents of your membership and draft tasks and projects that make good use of their skills.

Why would members do all this? Rewards. Recognition. Professional affiliation. Use reward points, virtual badges, and online recognition to motivate members. You’ll be amazed by the number of members who honestly want to help — even if that means a tedious task like typing up meeting notes.

Virtually every association is short-staffed. There are never enough hours in the day to get all the work done, much less implement all the new programs and techniques you need to keep up with changing

Take a look at this crowd-sourcing infographic from Winfographics to see how businesses are using the power of crowds.

Lynn O’Connell is the Creative Director of O’Connell Meier, a digital + direct marketing firm serving national trade and professional associations. O’Connell Meier has extensive experience building online communities and organizing crowd-sourced campaigns for national organizations.

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