July 7, 2014
Many professional societies have members at every stage of their careers. You may have students who are considering your industry, young professionals who are looking for their first job, or mid-career professionals who are seeking continuing education or networking. One member group that you may be overlooking is retirees – but they can be a great resource for your organization. If you think that retirees are past their prime or can’t offer anything to your group, remember that AARP is one of the most powerful organizations in the country!
Here are some tips for leveraging this group:
- Offer a retiree membership rate. Since the member is no longer backed by their employer, they may need to pay their membership dues out of pocket. Consider a discounted rate. Plus, having a separate category for retirees will make them feel that they have a special place in your organization.
- Tap into their expertise and network. The individual has probably had a long career in your industry, so they will know most of the players and can give a great sense of history. If you need an introduction or to understand something industry-specific, turn to your retired members for advice.
- Put them to “work.” A great thing about retired members is that they have so much more free time than your fully-employed members! They are great candidates for serving on a committee, making calls at a phone-athon, or submitting pieces of writing for your publications.
- Offer relevant programming. You could plan an event focused on dealing with transitioning to retirement, or a panel discussion with tips on becoming a consultant. Think about the types of issues that retirees in your industry might be thinking about, and turn them into a program.
- Have them serve as ambassadors for your organization. Since retirees have more flexible schedules, they are more likely to be able to attend that trade show or career fair on your organization’s behalf. Any time you think, “I’d love to do that but we don’t have the manpower to make it happen,” remember that your retired members can help!
How do you make your retired members feel welcome in your organization? What else can you do to help them make the most of their membership?