If you Google “today’s holiday”, something will come up. As a matter of fact, as I’m writing this blog post, it’s National Chicken Wing Day (and chicken wings are undoubtedly a cause for celebration). As surely as I will be getting an order of honey barbeque boneless wings with ranch from B-dubs today, humans find reasons to celebrate things. Celebrations express affinity, and also bring people together. All that being said, I challenge you with one simple question: What are you doing to make your members feel celebrated? 

According to the book The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath, 


“The ‘occasionally remarkable’ moments shouldn’t be left to chance! They should be planned for, invested in. They are peaks that should be built. And if we fail to do that, look at what we’re left with: mostly forgettable.” 


With your members top of mind, creating an experience for them that is sprinkled with “occasionally remarkable moments” takes thought, time, and effort. The investment, though, is worth it to help with relationship-building and member retention. 

One way you can create a remarkable moment, and one of the easiest causes for celebration is the member anniversary. No, I’m not talking walk-down-the-aisle-and-marry-the-love-of-your-life kind of anniversary, I’m talking the anniversary that marks them joining your association. 

A prime example of someone who is doing anniversary recognition right is Facebook. They deliver dynamic, personalized celebrations based on when you joined Facebook, when you’ve added friends, and on your birthday. These personalized experiences don’t just stop at a notification. Custom slideshows are created and photos resurface (whether that’s a good or bad thing, I’ll let you decide), taking the user on a stroll down memory lane for each particular anniversary. How fun is that?

Recognizing that associations have various types of members, there are different tactics that would be more effective for certain associations than others. That being said, the baseline for any of these is data, data, data! Make sure you are collecting, storing, and organizing member data. If your association is small, your tactics could be more “grassroots.” Consider sending members a small gift in the mail on their anniversaries. If you have more members than you can count, automated emails are a great gesture as well. I know big numbers can seem daunting, but you’d be surprised at how easy an effective automated effort can be!

There are different things being celebrated every day. Between National Lasagna Day and National Pet Your Dog Day, there’s plenty of room to set aside time to make a member anniversary feel like a national holiday. After all, members are worth celebrating. 


Looking for other ways to improve member engagement and grow your audience? You’ll want to read this.

Written by Lizzie Jackson

“We are all innately creative, marketers and clients. Let’s channel that.”