When joining any organization, one key question is, “Is it worth the cost?” Everyone works hard for their revenue, and we all must see value in each dollar spent. Investing in membership of an organization is a decision one must make annually when it’s membership renewal time. Over the years I’ve often learned that many people make the decision without giving it much thought. Some don’t renew, because they “didn’t see value” in their membership. Others do renew just because they’ve been a member for years.
Hopefully it is becoming more common that the decision is made with more thought than a roll of the dice or a flip of a coin. The must be a return on the investment, or at minimum a proven value of that membership.
The easiest way to determine this is to calculate the cost vs. value of the benefits received. Then you will know if you “get what you pay for” from your annual dues.
Cost vs. Value
For items that can be quantified financially, we did some research and found these pricing structures for other associations and member organizations similar to our industry (NICA’s information is in parenthesis in Orange text):
- Entry in the online directory … free to over $200/month. (Free)
- Annual membership … $150 – $500. ($200)
- Certification exam … $200 – $700 (some charge an exam application fee also). ($200)
- Continuing education courses for members … $15 – $180. ($15 – $30)
- Continuing education courses for non-members … $26 – $280. ($30 – $60)
Of course, there are intangibles that can’t be assigned a dollar value. Some of those are additional exposure, the benefit of being part of something bigger, and being associated with other quality professionals in your field. For example, NICA offers:
- A “welcome” post upon joining for each new member and their location on Twitter and Facebook.
- Promotional posts, on a rotating basis, about each member’s inventory business on social media, which include a link to each company’s website.
- A press release written and distributed announcing each member who achieves certification.
- Press release posted as a blog post on the NICA website.
- Inclusion in the online directory, with a live link to their website.
- Referrals when a call is received asking for a home inventory professional.
For those contemplating joining NICA, we believe that this information will help you make your decision. When it is time for current members to work on renew, we trust that this information will help you decide that your NICA membership is definitely an investment in yourself and your business.