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Tips on Attracting Millennials to Your Professional Association

Millennials are the most abundant generation in today’s workforce yet represent the smallest percentage in most professional associations. As I was conducting my research as to why this was the case, I noticed several glaring statistics that should be taken into account when developing and executing a membership development program.

  1. Social Responsibility: 80% of millennials will more likely use products/services from a company that supports a cause they care about, but 75% of millennials will do the same just as long as the company supports any social cause.
  2. Loyalty Programs: 86% of millennials join loyalty programs. 66.3% of millennials are more likely to shop from stores with loyalty programs compared to 33.3% of baby boomers.
  3. Online Presence: 90% of millennials will share their preferences on products, services, and organizations online.

You can see many more stats on millennials here.

Millennials care. We support organizations that support the greater good and well-being of others. We don’t even need to care about the causes you support, we just want to see organizations making a conscious effort towards the betterment of society. Every professional association I’ve seen represents life-long learning and offers professional development opportunities. These are great traits that millennials want, but I recommend going one step further. Look for partnership and teaming opportunities with charities and other non-profits. Combining forces with a charity to host an event or conference will likely lead to bigger turnouts, which means your message will get heard by more people.


This may come as a surprise to some, but millennials are very practical when it comes to spending money. We are always trying to be sold and have become numb to the constant advertisements and flashy headlines like “HALF OFF ENTIRE STORE!!!” Most of us know that if we spend 10 minutes researching products online we can find price comparisons, customer reviews, and all available coupons and discounts. Since we have all this information at our fingertips, we are good at figuring out what gives us the most value for our dollar. This is why loyalty programs are so popular among my generation. I highly recommend associations start utilizing aspects of loyalty programs such as; earning reward points for taking classes, earning certifications, purchasing webinars, etc. and EVERY association should have a “refer a friend” bonus program. The easiest way to get new members is by getting your current members to do the recruiting for you.

Millennials like to share, contribute, and brag. As previously mentioned, we are always trying to be sold and if we don’t do our homework we could end up purchasing something that turns out to be complete garbage. We want other buyers to be better informed because we want to be better informed when making buying decisions. I also believe many millennials feel proud when they make a smart or valuable purchase. We all know millennials like to show off and look good to their friends, i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat. With all of the garbage out there in the world, it is an achievement of sorts, when you don’t get hustled or duped. I think this contributes to why 90% of millennials share feedback on brands that they prefer and purchases they’ve enjoyed.

In short, if your association stands up for a good cause and incentivizes membership with a loyalty rewards program, you will be able to attract more millennials. Once you have a few millennials, make sure they have the best experience possible and really show them every ounce of value your membership offers. If they believe they are getting a good value, they will happily advocate your association to the world. As a result, getting new millennials to join will be that much easier.

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