Posted By Leah Baker

YTheyJoin identifies nine types of association members based on their motivations for joining and this article discusses one of them, Altruistics™.


Why do they join? What makes them tick? How do you communicate with them effectively? What will they do for the assn? Need some members to contact legislators or volunteer in the community? Just ask the Altruistic members!


Altruistics join because they believe in your mission and values. This could include: having a voice in Washington or locally that speaks for your profession; standing up for those you serve; or if multi-disciplinary, bringing together diverse groups of people. 


Letters or appeals to Altruistics should emphasize good works, serving the public interest, and how your assn provides members with a legislative voice. If your assn has a Foundation, Altruistics want to know how you “made a difference.”


Altruistics are a critical part of your assn and it is vitally important that proposed legislation be watched because one new law or regulation can have severe consequences for your members’ profession or trade and their constituents.


Altruism itself conveys a deep level of commitment to the profession or trade. The challenge lies in transferring some of this commitment to the organization. Altruistics would be very interested in a Code of Ethics. At renewal time, tell Altruistics about different ways they can get involved. For example, your annual conference may include a food or book drive. Perhaps you have a mentoring or tutoring program. Write a renewal letter just for Altruistics showing how you met their needs in the past year and how you will continue doing so. These are called resonant statements.


People are complimented when you ask for their opinions and if you don't, someone else will! For more info about the YTheyJoin program, go to or call 703-772-5263 in the U.S. The program also includes a Workbook with marketing ideas for each category.

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Leah Baker
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