Book Catalogue

Competition Within: How Members Will Reinvent Associations

By Rebecca Rolfes




Associations must rethink member engagement strategies and reinvent their business models to stay relevant in an age of online community, social media and globalization.

When technology offers what author Clay Shirky calls "the power of organizing without organizations," why pay dues? When global markets are interested in one specific part of an association's offering and are totally unfamiliar with volunteering, how can associations afford to operate as they always have? When a younger generation blends their private and professional lives, managing both from any device with a wireless connection, why join an association with rigid ideas about boundaries?

When social networks remove the overhead of running an organization, when information floats freely, when like-minded individuals in any specific area are only a click away, why tie yourself to an association where one size must fit many?

In The Competition Within, Rebecca Rolfes answers these questions and more, and provides actionable advice to association leaders who want to embrace technology and competition as a way to ensure their organization's relevance for years to come.


  1. Why join?
  2. The nature of an association
  3. Online community
  4. Value proposition
  5. Branding Leadership

About the Author

Rebecca Rolfes is an executive director of Association Growth Partners, a division of Imagination Publishing. She helps associations strengthen member relationships and discover new revenue streams. She lives and works in Chicago.

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