The newsLINK Group - Reasons to Join An Association
Editorial Library Category: Associations & Membership Topics: Joining Associations Title: Reasons to Join an Association Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” He was right, especially when it comes to practical knowledge. Gaining knowledge — useful knowledge — is a clear strategy for learning how to add value. Editorial: Reasons to Join an Association 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” He was right, especially when it comes to practical knowledge. Gaining knowledge — useful knowledge — is a clear strategy for learning how to add value. That’s one of the main reasons why joining an association is a good idea. Done right, it is an investment in yourself and your future. You can find trade and professional associations with a local, state, or national presence. You might even want to consider belonging to more than one; for example, you could consider a general association, such as the Chamber of Commerce, but you can also look for something specific to your industry. The federal government lists national and state associations; you can find them online. Enter “associations” or “consumer trade organizations” a t www.usa.gov ; one of the resources on this website is the Consumer Action Handbook – Trade Associations . Another option is talking with colleagues or other people in your industry, and asking them what they would recommend. Put some effort into evaluating any associations you think you might like to join. Check the event calendar and see what’s offered. Find some members, then contact them and ask them about their experiences. Yes, it costs money to join. Sometimes people think that’s a reason not to join. If you join an association and you don’t take advantage of the many benefits that are offered in exchange for that membership fee, maybe they are right. Membership by itself does not justify the expense. Fortunately, however, there is more to joining an association than a membership card. After you join an association, what are the main benefits you can expect? Read on. Educational Opportunities As mentioned above, an association’s educational opportunities are probably the most compelling reason to join. If you want to know what the best practices in your industry are, or the developing trends, membership in an association can give you a place to find out. You can learn new techniques, participate in training programs and conferences, and get written materials for yourself and (if people work for you) your employees. If attending national or international conferences is out of reach, you can still participate in webinars. Don’t forget the newsletters, either, which are a valuable resource that can give you timely information that has been written with your specific interests and needs in mind. It is wise to stay current in your field, whether you are involved in formal training or not. An association can help you keep your competitive edge sharp. Pooled Resources Many associations want to make sure they understand their specific industries. As a result, they research and analyze subjects and create white papers and reports to tell association members what they found out. By yourself, it’s unlikely you have the resources to commission the kind and quality of research that most associations can commission. As part of an association, however, you do have the combined resources to make research possible. That’s a large benefit. When the people in an association decide they need information on a particular subject and use their combined resources to get and share that information with everyone in the group, everyone benefits. Pooled resources can also mean access to enhanced benefits programs, certification and licensing programs, and discounts.
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