Reinforcing Membership Value: Building Powerful Websites for Member Associations

In an era where digital presence is more important than ever, member associations, such as local chambers of commerce or realtor organizations, need to harness the power of their websites. A well-crafted website and digital product ecosystem doesn’t just serve as a digital brochure; it can be a critical tool for reinforcing the value of membership, offering resources, providing assistance, and fostering growth for the association and its members. 

We deeply understand this and are committed to helping member associations unlock the potential of their websites. Of course any membership association’s online presence should reinforce their mission and commitment to their members, clearly communicate their brand, and encourage non-members to dig deeper into the benefits of membership. But it also ideally should be the primary source for member resources which requires a delicate balance of member and non-member user experiences.

Creating Resources

One of the key ways a website can reinforce the value of membership is by offering resources that cater to the specific needs of its members. These resources could range from industry reports and educational content to custom interactive tools and templates. Member association resources can include:

Educational Content

in the form of blog posts, interactive training modules, videos, and even continuing education courses specific to the industry.

Educational Legislative and Advocacy Resources

such as FAQs on policies, news about relative legislative initiatives, and email campaigns to contact representatives.

Digital Toolboxes

include a variety of resources from templates, graphics, software, and other digital resources to benefit members.

Association Event Calendars and Registrations

are often presented via the website after a user has logged in. These often require a third party integration to sync the site with whatever system the association uses to register members for events.

When building a member based site you should be prepared to help the association identify the resources most valuable to their members and create engaging, user-friendly platforms where these resources and technology can be easily accessed. Offering exclusive, high-quality content not only adds value to the membership but also further positions the association as a thought leader in its field. Most associations and member organizations know what their members want and what resources they regularly engage with. The key is to use the website to get those members to their resources as quickly and intuitively as possible. The challenge in this is that often these resources and services are spread across multiple disconnected digital systems & the site serves as a hub to connect them.

Providing Assistance

A website should be more than just a source of information; it should also provide robust support to members. This assistance can be specific to the organization or more general assistance in regards to the industry. 

  • FAQs about the organization as a whole, specific to membership, or the more general industry 
  • Live chats create an opportunity to connect with other members and  answer specific questions 
  • Webinars focusing on topics of interest to members such as industry specific tools and programs
  • Tutorials in video or written form to walk members through specific processes and procedures


It takes a well rounded team of designers and developers to integrate these support features into websites in a seamless and intuitive manner, ensuring that members always find the help they need. This process also requires a deep understanding of member behavior both on and off the site. Countless times we find user experiences that are frustrating both for the end user and the administrators of the site. For instance, an event sign up process that is so cumbersome on the site that most members just call in and reserve their spot with an association staff member. The site should serve to support members in a way that the vast majority of resources can be accessed on the website intuitively. A well-supported member is a satisfied member, and we must strive to make every interaction with the association a positive one.

Fostering Growth

Member associations exist to support the growth of their members. Accordingly, their websites should be geared towards facilitating this personal and professional growth. This may involve offering networking opportunities, promoting member businesses, or providing access to exclusive opportunities.

  • Events can be virtual or in-person. Association websites should have an events calendar showcasing upcoming programs. 
  • Opportunities include events hosted by the association, or supported by the association, plus networking opportunities, job opportunities, and ways to share member’s businesses and accomplishments
  • Membership guides including a digital new member orientation make new members feel comfortable and confident when joining an association 
  • News and Media showcasing accomplishments of the association or individual members provide a positive outlook to potential new members and the general public
  • Directories serve members by providing a list of people in the industry that they know they can trust due to their membership in the association 

Your website must not only highlight these offerings but also make them easily accessible to members. The real value of an association lies in its ability to help its members grow, and your website reflects this.

Understanding Member Associations

At the heart of our approach is a deep understanding of member associations. We know that every association is unique, with its own set of challenges, opportunities, and member expectations. That’s why we take the time to understand your association and its members before we start designing your website.

By doing so, we ensure that the final product is not just visually appealing but also perfectly aligned with your association’s goals and your members’ needs.

In conclusion, a well-designed website can be a game-changer for member associations. It can reinforce the value of membership, create valuable resources, provide assistance, and foster growth. At Mile6, we combine our technical expertise with a deep understanding of member associations to create websites that do just that.

Jake Trunk

Creative Strategy Director

Jake Trunk is our Creative Strategy Director. He brings a passion for creativity, sound design principles, and a desire to provide delightful digital experiences. Jake is always eager to walk our clients through the process of understanding their users, identifying the users’ needs, and creating digital products that help them accomplish their goals. His aim is to always provide innovative and intuitive solutions to digital problems. Jake brings skills in all kinds of creative mediums from digital illustration to website prototyping, and he believes that the muscles of creativity grow stronger not only with repetition but with stretching. Outside of work, Jake can be found in his art studio working on his latest paintings, or spending time with his wife and two small kids.