Are you a Board Member for an Organization That Is Considering The Growth Solution?

I was shocked the first time I polled a group of potential Growth Solution participants about the barriers that would prevent them from moving forward with the program.

Their #1 response?  "I don't know if my Board will understand it/support it/pay for it."

I don't know if YOUR organization's staff would be concerned about that, but the issue comes up often enough that I decided to create this page.

Let me tell you a little bit about Member Experience Design and why it is important to the future of any member-based organization.

When organizations aren't growing as quickly as they'd like, the natural inclination is to invest more time and money into marketing.  But this simply doesn't work for member-based organizations.  Truthfully, marketing can be a bit of a bottomless pit. It will suck up as much money as you want to throw at it.

That's because it doesn't matter how quickly you bring members in on the front-side, if you lose them off the back shortly after they join.

If you're experiencing one or more of the following, you have a Member Experience problem, not a marketing problem:

  • People in your industry wouldn't describe your membership as essential to their success in the industry.
  • Non-members come to conferences or other events, but they don't actually join.
  • Prospects sit in the "thinking about it" stage for a long time.
  • New members seem excited at first, but interest "fizzles".
  • Members don't take advantage of the benefits you're offering.
  • When you launch the things that people tell you they want, they don't respond the way you thought they would.
  • You are losing too many people at renewal time.

The challenges of a member-based organization have triple the complexity because you not only need to convince someone to join, you have to get them to engage, stay engaged and make that same buying decision over-and-over.  Marketing will never solve these problem... only a compelling member experience will.

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About Joy Duling

Joy Duling, Founder of, teaches membership-based organizations how to more easily launch, run and grow.

In addition to her leadership role for Member Magnetism, Joy is Managing Director for A 25 Hour Day, LLC, an administrative support firm specializing in virtual assistance for associations, and she serves as Executive Director for a nonprofit organization that has consistently raised more than $1.1 million annually in membership dues since its launch in 2012.

At a minimum, an investment in a new initiative needs to pay for itself, doesn't it?  And ideally, go far beyond that. 

The link below will allow you to download a revenue projection calculator. Simply enter your membership fee, your goal for new members, as well as how many you think will drop out... and the spreadsheet will automatically calculate your revenue projection. Compare that to your actual numbers and you can see how easily an investment in Member Experience pays off. It typically takes very few new members to offset the cost of a course or retreat.


The principles of member experience are universal.  I've helped organizations that have very limited start-up budgets, as well as those that annually generate multi-million dollar revenues. I've worked with clients that are brand new to their industry, one that had been operational for more than a century, and a whole lot of others that fall somewhere in between. I've supported organizations in healthcare, social services, photography, corporate leadership, education, publishing, information technology and more.  My clients also extend around the globe, from here in the United States, to Canada, England, Chile, Turkey, Sweden, Australia and beyond.

I believe that Board members can be ideal catalysts for change.  Your awareness of and support for Member Experience Design is one of the best ways to ensure that change actually gets integrated. Some of the most powerful impact can happen when Board dialogue happens around this topic.

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The Growth Solution is more than just a training. It is a three-part approach to creating an exceptional year of growth.

The program kicks off with self-paced online training modules that walk participants through an assessment of your current member experience from end-to-end. Participants learn what is of critical importance at every stage of the member experience and how to identify members really want.

After completing the online modules, each participant has a private, one-on-one Implementation Session with Joy to support putting the model to work for the organization. Each month thereafter, specific metrics are tracked to assure progress.

Unlimited support is provided throughout the entire year via email, a private discussion board and open office hours that are reserved exclusively for Growth Solution participants.

Every membership program started from zero at some point.  If you currently have no budget at all for support, I encourage you to take advantage of Open Office Hours.  I go online over my lunch hour, every other Friday, to answer all sorts of submitted questions. You can certainly leverage that opportunity to get questions answered and implement ideas offered on your own until your budget situation stabilizes.

Learn More About Open Office Hours

"The quality of what Joy has done is hands-down the best support I've ever received. She has helped me think through offers and levels; helped me with branding; provided a wealth of ideas I would never have considered."

Sandra Green, Founder
Women Leaders Association

"With Joy's help, AALC has grown and developed and is able to operate without a large staff. Joy works tirelessly on our behalf, is very responsive and has helped solve any issues we encounter from our logo, website, membership, bookkeeping and even strategic planning. I am not sure we would even exist without her capable help. I know we wouldn't be as functional."

Wayne Smallwood, Executive Director
Affordable Assisted Living Coalition

"Joy and her team are professional, efficient and talented. Whether they are organizing events, coordinating meetings, formatting documents or managing my schedule, I have the utmost confidence in their abilities. They have given me so much more than an extra hour in my day; they have given me my work-life balance back. If you are looking for a little or even a lot of extra assistance, I simply cannot recommend Joy and her team enough. It is one of the best decisions I have made as a trade association executive director."

"Joy is an extraordinary out-of-the-box thinker. I have personally worked with Joy on my 5-year strategic business plan.  Over the years, I have worked with a number of strategic planners and Joy is by far the most practical strategic consultant I have ever worked with. I USE the plan. My consultants USE the plan.

Joy's process is well thought through and the end documentation is something that guides you and your organization to success. I love the fact that it is not a 2 inch document that collects dust on a shelf.  

I have also worked with Joy through our professional organization NAWBO and she is a shining professional in everything she does. She has helped to grow the organization and is regarded as a strong leader in the chapter."

Stephanie Calahan, CEO
Calahan Solutions

"I have spent years and thousands of dollars trying to grow my business, come up with new marketing ideas, get more clients, etc. Often when I have hired consultants, I have been left with meaningless stacks of paper and a myriad of theories that I have no idea how to execute. In the end, I feel more overwhelmed and exhausted than I did when I started. My experience working with Joy has been entirely different. Joy provides "hands-on" tactics that are easy to execute. But, best of all, you see results... and fast."

Michelle Tjelmeland, Founder
Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation

"I have worked with Joy over the past three years on numerous projects and I can't even come close to express in words how easy it is to work with Joy.  Joy has an uncanny way of understanding her clients, what their needs are, and how to motivate them to move in the right direction in order to meet their goals. She offers a calm presence that takes the edge off of any "overwhelmed" business professional - no matter what business they are in."

Sharon Hewitt, Owner