The way we are, we are members of each other. All of us. Everything. The difference ain't in who is a member and who is not, but in who knows it and who don't.
~Burley Coulter, from Wendell Berry's "The Wild Birds"
I work with a lot of not-for-profit organizations that are struggling with how to get more people to "join them." They come to my courses because they are interested in either expanding membership, expanding their volunteer base, or sustaining volunteer levels. Their struggles usually are traced back to a traditional approach of marketing their cause and organization and assuming that anyone who cares about that cause will join them.
The organization's that turn this around by beginningto show interest in the individuals and groups in their community often find that the interest is returned. The interest is not based on a new found support for affordable housing or youth development orthe local school-- it is based on the potential of a new found relationship. A mutual membership.
In otherwords, not-for-profit organizations expand their membership by recognizing the mutual nature of real membership and investing/joining in the lives of their members through interest. The interest is often expressed in conversations, invitations, and personal contact.
What ways have you found to explore and develop mutual membership in your community?
updated by @ron-dwyer-voss: 10/24/16 04:45:35PM