Strategies for Collecting Feedback from Association Members


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Feedback is a valuable source of information for associations to know how your members and target audience perceive your brand, value, and services. It can also help them to define or re-strategize their operations and approach.

Feedback is Important

Collecting feedback from association members at regular intervals throughout the year can complement your engagement and marketing strategy. These wise words of advice and suggestions from the members can push you to reassess your processes and sometimes actually change how you do things.

Remember that your members know what works best for them. Take advantage of this great pool of knowledge and use it to redefine your marketing campaigns. Members love to play an active role in their associations, and feedback gives them a chance to share their critiques and new ideas.

Asking for feedback from association members ignites a collaboration culture that translates into a relationship of trust with your association.

How to Solicit Feedback

One of the most effective ways to gather feedback from association members is through surveys. They are the simplest and easiest to configure. However, surveys can be quite boring. If you are finding a lack of engagement with your surveys, try incentivizing them by offering something in return.

You can add a reward for completing a survey such as a gift voucher, an e-book download, free or discounted event admission, etc. These incentives will undoubtedly motivate more and more members to take the survey.

That said, the key is to ensure that you do this with consistency. For example, you can send out a survey on a quarterly basis, but don’t overdo it as asking for feedback too often. Over asking may be irritating and lose you future feedback.

What Questions Should I Ask in a Survey

Now you may wonder what questions you can ask in feedback from association members. Here are some examples.

  • Are you a participant in any of our task forces, committees, or sub-committees?
  • Have you ever volunteered with our association? If not, then what can we do to encourage you or change your mind?
  • Have you subscribed to our weekly/monthly newsletter?
  • What type of content would you prefer to see more in our newsletter?
  • Have you ever attended one of our webinars and events? If yes, how can we make them better?
  • Is there a particular topic you would like us to cover in our upcoming events?
  • Which of our events is your favorite and why?
  • Is there a particular type of event you would like our association to host or organize in the future?
  • Do you currently follow us on social media? If yes, then which platforms?
  • What type of posts would you like our association to post more on our social media pages? Such as Events, member spotlights, upcoming volunteering opportunities, industry-related news, etc.
  • How would you prefer to hear from us? Such as via email, newsletter or social media post, etc.
  • What do you like the most about our association?
  • What do you like the least about our association?
  • How likely are you going to renew your association membership?
  • How likely are you going to refer us to other colleagues and friends?
  • Are there any ways we can improve your experience that we haven’t thought of?
  • What is the most valuable thing you get from our association?
  • Is there anything additional you would like us to know?

Now instead of sending a mass survey to all association members, focus on targeting specific individuals. You can handpick people you think may be able to provide the most meaningful feedback. Draft a list of survey questions and combine the responses received from all the members.

Once you have compiled this data, it is time for a de-brief with the association management and marketers. Go through each response while highlighting the unique perspectives, and use this information to reassess your future strategies and operations. Look for patterns and repeatedly mentioned themes.

Other Ways to Solicit Feedback

Apart from surveys, you can also use other conventional and digital platforms to collect feedback from association members. These include the following.

Regular Meet-ups

You can organize regular meet-ups with exclusive small groups of members to discuss the previous quarter or events. Or, engage in one-to-one conversations with association members for more direct feedback.

Using Forums for Discussion Groups

You can now use social media platforms such as Facebook to start a free discussion forum and engage in a dialogue with your association members. This will allow you to gather feedback from association members and answer their questions and concerns in real-time. Similarly, you can use discussion forums on the association’s portal or website if you have one.

Solicit Feedback through Personalized Emails

Another very laidback and cost-effective means to gather feedback from association members is via sending out personalized emails to a specific group of individuals.

Instead of sending out a bulk message to all, it is wise to handpick members who you believe can give really constructive critique and input into improving how your association operates. Moreover, a personalized email makes the member feel special and cherish how much value their input.


Now that you know how to use feedback or survey to your advantage, it is time to put on your thinking hat and create one for yourself. Ask short questions to keep it simple for the association members. Start out by sending a survey just to those who can provide valuable input. Look for common themes in the responses and start improving the association experience for your members!

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