Jamie opines on this topic over at AssociationSuccess.org:
“One client we’re working with created an “Affiliation and Engagement” task force. Their engagement conversation wasn’t particularly focused on Membership. It started looking within membership at how members lined themselves up for participation in the association. As the conversation expanded, however, we realized that creating a model for Affiliation could extend both within and outside of membership. So we came up with a generic definition of affiliation:
- A set of organizational pathways, structures, policies, and resource allocation patterns…
- Based on a discrete set of labels/categories/groups (a taxonomy) that represent authentic, identity-based connections for stakeholders that also have relevance to the organization…
- That will define, shape, and limit the experience of stakeholders as they engage with the organization.
Okay, I know that’s wordy and somewhat complicated, but it’s not a marketing piece. I wanted to clarify what’s going on here. Organizations make decisions that shape how people can affiliate with them. They draw lines, put people in buckets, make distinctions. Member/non-member is a distinction, but there are more than that obviously. Then the organization spends resources and develops policies that further Define the relationship with those people/buckets. And those decisions will then shape how those people and groups engage.”
Read more here.