Posted By Leah Baker


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


Why do they join? What makes them tick? How should you communicate with them effectively? What will they do for the association? Need some members to serve on committees or start a chapter? Just ask Shapers!


Shapers join because they do, or want to, serve on the board or committees to shape policy. This can include serving as a volunteer leader, serving as a chapter leader, or recruiting new members. Shapers work very hard and will make contributions greater than their numbers suggest. If you would like some help at a convention be sure to contact the Shapers in that city. The Executive Director of one assn contacts Shapers in the various cities that she visits during the year.


Letters or appeals to Shapers should acknowledge their extra efforts or interest, and always include an opportunity to participate in the assn. It also helps to keep them informed of policy decisions.


Boards like to complete the tagging form so consider distributing it at the next board meeting and then summarize the results in a Board Pie Chart. The board is likely dominated by Shapers and when comparing their pie chart to the pie chart for members, they will see real differences. Boards tend to think that all members are like them but the pie charts show the differences.


The Pie Chart for members may show an assn dominated by Relevant Participants and Altruistics, or by Cognoscenti and Mailboxers, or other combinations. Every assn has a unique profile. The pie chart for members will help the board set priorities, allocate resources, and drive strategic planning. In a nutshell, they will see the assn in a new light.


For more info go to or call 703-772-5263 in the U.S.

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Leah Baker
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