7 Tips to Onboard New Members on Your Association


A guide to quickly assimilate members into your association and help them develop a strong sense of connection.

Did you know that new members who are engaged in the first 90 days are more likely to renew their membership?

I will let that sink in!

Member onboarding is a significant investment that can provide huge returns. Through an effective onboarding program, new members can quickly assimilate into the organization and develop a strong sense of connection to its culture, values, and goals. You can set your organization up for long-term success by welcoming new members and guiding them with their transition.

Member Onboarding Strategy

There are several things that associations can do to successfully onboard new members. Here’s what you need:

1. A committed onboarding committee

A staff person is needed to ensure that someone is on top of the onboarding process to follows all necessary procedures. It does not have to be a full-time role, but someone has to be responsible and lead the onboarding experience to grow your membership site. 

2. Make a detailed onboarding plan for your member needs 

It should detail all the activities that must be followed, from distributing informational materials to appointing mentors. It will ensure that nothing is left behind and that the process works as smoothly as possible.

3. Ensure new members receive all the knowledge they require to be successful

It includes details about the organization’s history, principles, culture, and objectives. Members will have a clear explanation of the benefits of membership and the expectations of involvement. Your goal here is to help members easily find what they need.

4. Establish mentor assignments to grow membership engagement

Involve current members because it can be a valuable resource for new members. They can provide insights into the organization and its culture. In addition, they can help to answer questions and provide support.

5. Create a system a system tracking progress

To support membership strategy create a system for tracking progress to ensure that new members are making the most of their membership and that the onboarding process is running smoothly. This will really help you to onboard new members seamlessly.

6. Create opportunities for new members 

Create opportunities for new members to become involved to establish a sense of connection and ownership in the organization. Allow new members to join committees, task forces, and other groupings. Encourage them to attend events and make use of other membership advantages.

7. Flexible onboarding process

Change is inevitable, and there will always be a need to make changes and adjustments as the organization and its members change. By being flexible, you can ensure that the process is always up-to-date and meets the needs of all involved.

A streamlined onboarding process can save time and money for both the association and its members. Our membership site expert can guide you in streamlining your onboarding process, enabling you to reduce the time and resources required to bring new members up to speed.

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[1] Research by Kaiser Institute https://www.smooththepath.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/New-Member-Engagement-Study.pdf


Farhad Khan, CEO

A tech entrepreneur specialized in creating membership websites for professional associations to increase member engagement. My background is as an engineer for Nortel and Ericsson. I started my own tech company in 2009 to help associations and nonprofits solve their challenges with my digital technology skills.