Member handbooks can range from the indispensable to the forgettable. The best serve as a key element of individuals membership experience. The worst are not only a waste of time and resources, they can actually drive potential members away.
Below are online handbooks from three sharply contrasting membership organizations. Comparing and contrasting the approaches used in each might well spark new ideas or valuable directions for your own handbook.
A more in-depth consideration of member handbooks can be found in the April issue of the Membership Management Report. For this and other valuable content, subscribe today.
- The Snyder Chamber of Commerce (Snyder, TX) uses an eight-page PDF-based member handbook that features a message from the Chamber president, a list chamber events in the upcoming year, an introduction to the Chamber, a “top ten reasons to join” list, an introduction to the Chamber’s ambassador group, a list of Chamber committees, a list of membership benefits, and an application form.
- Americorps’ VISTA program (Washington, DC) offers a website-based (instead of PDF-based) online handbook that has links to chapters ranging from training and financial support to leave benefits and administrative policies. Also included are a number of appendices and an image gallery.
- The National Automobile Dealers Association (McLean, VA) uses a 55-page handbook that is updated annually to reflect statistics, accomplishments and leadership changes in the past year. The publication covers more traditional membership issues, but focuses primarily on news and developments in areas like industry affairs, legislative affairs, public affairs and legal and regulatory affairs.