What Affinity Programs Can Do for Associations

Jannan Poppen

July 19, 2022

Affinity programs help create value for associations through unique member benefits, such as offering discounts, but there is so much more potential when it comes to what affinity programs can do for associations. When done right, affinity programs can benefit associations through building partnerships and support, emphasizing value propositions and so much more. 

 Create Value for Members

Let’s not forget the obvious. Discounts and unique benefits still provide one of the greatest impacts for associations who utilize affinity programs. Creating value for members not only impacts member engagement, but it also impacts member attraction and retention. Offering a valuable membership should be a top priority of any association, and affinity programs undoubtedly create value. 

 

Create Connections and Opportunities

Although strategic discounts are never a bad idea, even more value can be gained from unique benefits or programs that are only available through the affinity partnerships. The opportunity to access specialized training or certification programs, member-only events, or one-of-a-kind networking connections catapults the value of your association membership, which is often the ultimate goal. 

 

When the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP) realized that they needed to better equip their members to navigate a changing industry, they partnered with Selling Energy, an educational platform that teaches sales tactics. Because they had asked their members, AESP knew that selling was a pain point for them, so they were able to address this by creating a unique benefit to their members.

 

affinity programs for associations

 

Build Partnerships and Support

Successful affinity programs start with successful and strategic partners that possess similar values as your association. Although those partnerships enhance the affinity program outcomes, it’s important to remember that the relationships themselves are a benefit as well. No association can exist in a silo, so building connections with the right people and organizations pays off tremendously. 

 

One example of a successful affinity partnership with an association is between the American Public Gardens Association (APGA) and Better Homes & Garden magazine. When joining the APGA, all members receive a free one-year subscription to Better Homes & Garden. This partnership works well because they have similar missions, and members of the AGPA would inherently be interested in the information that Better Homes & Garden presents in their magazine. AGPA members receive a relevant benefit, and Better Homes & Garden has direct access to their target demographic. Everyone wins!

 

Emphasize Value Proposition

By partnering with organizations that align with your associations’ values, you are not only creating valuable relationships, you also further emphasize your association’s value proposition, or the reason why members choose your particular organization. If your association is known for its efforts in advocacy, a deal on insurance might not only be irrelevant, but it could be seen as disingenuous or “off brand” to your members. Alternatively, partnering with organizations that share similar values builds further trust for the association members.

 

Of course, these are just a few of the ways affinity programs can benefit associations. With affinity programs offering so much potential benefit for your association, what are you waiting for? Schedule a call with us to learn how our affinity programs can deliver value to your association.