In a world of Facebook groups, professional development podcasts, and virtual networking, it can be hard to stay relevant as a professional development group. Especially for non-profit organizations like ours. In fact, research showed that starting in 2017, an estimated 62 percent of associations in the United States are experiencing flat or declining membership. SIXTY TWO PERCENT!
And we felt it.
The Back Story
It’s not easy or fun to share that over the past five years I’ve been a part of the American Advertising Federation of Central MN (AAFCM), we’ve seen our membership number slowly follow declining trends. Blegh. It was no one’s fault – but it was real, and it was happening.
At the beginning of our 2018-19 season our then-President, Sarah Forystek, started the conversation about our club’s Membership mode. We talked about what we’re going to do to stay relevant in the landscape of “my only memberships deliver a box of goodies and gifts to my door once a month” and “I’d rather do something free.” Not a simple task, my friends.
We knew if we were going to make changes, we needed to take our time and do it right. We needed to survey, ask questions, dig deeper, pull numbers, and have long (sometimes exhausting, sometimes exhilarating) meetings as a group. We knew we needed to do our due diligence – not only to historical club models that have (and haven’t) worked but also to the community (aka YOU) we’re asking to participate in and engage with us.
So, that’s what we did. Drumroll, please.
Our New + Improved AAFCM Membership
Without further adieu …
- Student = $65/yr
- Freelancers + First Year College Grads = $135/yr
- Professionals = $185/yr
- Corporate Memberships = $650/yr for 4 membership seats
- Additional memberships for your company are $150
- Members – $10
- Non-Members – $20
You’ll notice we created clear, singular membership tiers and greatly reduced the cost of membership. Another aspect changed is that all of our events are now the same price; we have a set ticket cost for members and a set ticket cost for non-members. Some aspects stayed the same; for example, all our memberships are still rolling memberships – meaning that it’s good for 365 days from the time you purchase it. We also worked our butts off to expand + identify true values and benefits of an AAFCM membership.
- 50% off all Events (They will only ever cost $10, even with provided meals… sweat deal, right?)
- 50% off your ADDY Ticket (This is new!)
- Exclusive access to our new monthly Coffee with Creatives morning networking group
- Please note, each AAFCM Member is allowed (encouraged!) to bring 1 guest per month
- Newsletter + Social Media Features for you and/or your company
- Access to Job Boards
- Get your creative job openings in front of the people that matter. Considering the U.S. jobless rate is the lowest in history, we know this is important!
- Official Member of the American Advertising Federation – which means you get all the perks that go along with a national membership
- Eligibility to serve on our awesome Board of Directors
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is there a Deadline to Sign Up for Membership?
- Not at all! HOWEVER, we are offering a promotion right now. If you sign up for membership by October 10th, you’ll save $10. 10/10, $10. See what we did there?
- Are There Any Discounts?
- Yes and no. As noted under our membership levels, we do offer a discount for companies purchasing 4+ memberships. Also, refer to question #1 (you can save $10 from now until 10/10!) So mostly yes, but “no” if you’re looking for a different kind of discount.
- How Long is my Membership Good For?
- Our club offers a rolling membership. That means that from the day you sign up and (virtually) swipe your card, you are a Member for 365 days. And don’t worry, we’ll send you emails warning you when your membership is getting close to expiring.
- How do I know If I Should Become a Member?
- Our organization is a group of people from all walks of life including age, industry, and experience, with one thing in common: creativity. Our mission is to educate, foster, and encourage learning + growth for all creatives. We are the hustlers, do-ers, movers, shakers, and dreamers.
If you consider yourself creative, love learning, are looking to network with other area creatives, and are seeking some kick-ass (we’re biased) personal growth, then we think our club is for you! The good news is, you can come to an event for just $20 (and food is usually included), or try our Coffee with Creatives networking group as a guest.
If you have questions about membership or want more information about who we are and if it’s a fit, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Or show up at an event, I’m betting you really won’t regret it.