What a Membership Directory Can Do For Your Association

December 12, 2023

Elevate Associations and Boost Member Engagement

In today’s competitive landscape, attracting and retaining association members is a top priority for every association leader. Membership management software plays a critical role in helping organizations manage their members efficiently while creating and maintaining a sense of community. Membership drives and member engagement initiatives are essential for driving new member growth and ensuring that current members are satisfied and continue to renew their memberships.

Table of Contents

One of the best ways to attract new members to your association is through a vibrant and user-friendly online presence. Association management software should make it easy for potential members to find information about member benefits and professional development opportunities and provide a seamless registration process. Additionally, hosting events, offering volunteering opportunities, and employing social media marketing strategies can help create a robust and engaged membership community that attracts new members and keeps current ones engaged.

What Is a Membership Directory?

What Is a Membership Directory?

A membership directory is a comprehensive list of an association’s members, typically containing their names, contact information, and relevant professional details. This valuable resource can serve various purposes for both members and the association management. It enables networking, collaboration, and communication among association members, fostering a sense of community and engagement.

For instance, a membership directory can make it easy for members to:

  • Connect with other professionals in their industry, broadening their professional network and fostering collaboration.
  • Finding potential partners or suppliers leads to new business opportunities and increased member satisfaction.
  • Participate in mentoring or professional development programs, connecting with experienced members or experts in their field who can provide guidance and support.

For association management, a membership directory can:

  • Facilitate targeted communication with specific member segments, delivering information and benefits more effectively.
  • Help track and analyze member engagement, allowing the identification of trends, opportunities, and areas for improvement.
  • Support the creation of marketing materials by providing insight into the demographics and needs of current members.

What Is the Purpose of a Membership Directory?

What Is the Purpose of a Membership Directory?

A membership directory serves as a valuable resource for association members, fulfilling several key purposes that help to create a cohesive and thriving community. This section will explore three critical aspects of a membership directory: providing networking opportunities, sharing contact information, and boosting online visibility.



Providing Networking Opportunities

A significant benefit of a membership directory is the ease with which it allows members to connect and network with one another. By offering a centralized location for members to access critical information about fellow members, directories facilitate the process of finding like-minded professionals, enabling collaboration, mentorship, and knowledge-sharing within the association. Additionally, a membership directory encourages member engagement, helping to foster a sense of community and camaraderie.

Sharing Contact Information

In any professional association, the ability to seamlessly share contact information plays a crucial role in allowing members to work together effectively. A membership directory simplifies this process by comprehensively listing each member’s names, job titles, Email addresses, phone number, and other relevant data. This streamlines communication between members and ensures that information stays updated, improving overall efficiency within the association.

Boosting Online Visibility

Membership directories can significantly boost the online visibility of both the association and its individual members. By creating a professional, searchable directory, the association increases its chances of being discovered by potential new members, partners, or other interested parties. Furthermore, individual member profiles that include personal or business websites, social media profiles, and other relevant links help increase exposure and online presence for members, contributing to their professional growth.

What Information Should a Member Directory Include?

What Information Should a Member Directory Include?

Standard Information: Every Directory Listing Should Include

A member directory should contain the following basic information to ensure that it is informative and useful for its intended audience:

  • Name: Full name of each member.
  • Contact Information: Email, phone number, and mailing address.
  • Member Since: The date that the member joined the association.
  • Membership Status: Indicates whether the member is active or inactive.
  • Job Title & Employer: The member’s current position and company or organization.

Information on Professional Association Directories

More specific information tailored to the interests and needs of members in the respective fields should be included for professional associations. These may consist of details like:

  1. Industry-Related Certifications & Licenses: Relevant certifications and licenses that show the members’ expertise.
  2. Educational Background: List of academic degrees or diplomas obtained and the respective institutions.
  3. Areas of Expertise: A brief summary of the member’s professional focus and skillset.
  4. Professional Affiliations: Details of memberships in other industry-related organizations.
  5. Publications & Awards: Notable publications and awards the member has achieved.

Information on Trade Association Directories

Trade association directories often cater to specific industries and can be customized to address the unique aspects of the relevant sectors. The following information can be beneficial to include:

  • Business Name: The name of the member’s business or company.
  • Industry Sector: The industry or sector the member’s business operates in.
  • Services & Products Offered: A brief summary of the services and products provided by the member’s business.
  • Trade & Business Licenses: Relevant permits and licenses associated with the member’s operations.
  • Geographical Coverage: The region or territories served by the member’s business.

Strategies for Promoting Your Membership Directory

Strategies for Promoting Your Membership Directory

Promote It on Social Media

Leveraging social media platforms is a powerful strategy to increase visibility for your membership directory. Create appealing graphics and posts that highlight the benefits of being part of your association and the member directory. Share these posts regularly on your organization’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn profiles. Encourage your existing members to share the posts and engage with the content, thus boosting its visibility to a broader audience.

Get Board Members to Share It

Getting commitment from board members to promote the membership directory is crucial. Ask them to endorse and share the directory on their personal and professional social media networks. They are often well-connected in the industry, and their credibility can influence potential members to explore your association’s directory. Additionally, board members can include a link to your member directory in their email signatures, extending its reach to a more extensive network.

Talk About It at Public Events

Public events present an excellent opportunity to discuss the benefits of your membership directory and its role in fostering professional development. This includes conferences, workshops, webinars, and networking events. Deliver concise presentations or incorporate talks about the membership directory into existing presentations.

Moving Forward With Your Own Membership Directory

Moving Forward With Your Own Membership Directory

Investing in a membership directory is essential for every association aiming to grow its membership base and enhance member engagement. Below are a few key steps to take to create and manage a thorough membership directory for your organization effectively.

Identify the Purpose and Scope of Your Directory: Start by defining your organization’s specific objectives with the membership directory. This might include making it easy for members to connect, providing professional development resources, or facilitating access to members-only benefits. Outline the types of member information and content you want to include in the directory so that you can later organize and present it effectively.

Choose the Right Management Software: Selecting the appropriate membership management software or association management software is crucial in simplifying membership tasks and keeping your directory up-to-date. Look for software that offers features suited to your association’s requirements, such as member analytics, membership tiers, and an easy renewal process.

Organize and Format Your Directory: Once you have chosen the appropriate software, organize your membership directory to make it user-friendly and visually appealing. Utilize formatting features, such as tables, lists, and bold or italic text to draw attention to essential information. Organizing your directory into logical sections based on member type, interests, or event attendance can further enhance the user experience.

Engage Members and Encourage Participation: A successful membership directory should foster engagement among members by offering opportunities for them to connect, contribute to the community, and take advantage of exclusive benefits. Social media platforms and newsletters are used to inform members about upcoming events, new members, and professional development opportunities. Encourage members to share their success stories and upcoming events, fostering a sense of community within your association.


Membership Directory Software & Plugins


Brilliant Directories

Brilliant Directories

Brilliant Directories is a powerful membership management software that offers a robust set of features. It includes member profiles, search functionality, and a wide range of customizable templates. With its easy-to-use interface, administrators can easily manage and maintain their directory. Additionally, the software is mobile-friendly, ensuring ease of access for members on the go.

$145 Monthly } Yearly | $950 Yearly



MarketGrabber is an all-in-one directory software solution that provides efficient membership management. Its features include member management, event listings, and a comprehensive set of reporting tools. MarketGrabber offers seamless integration with popular payment gateways, making it easy for members to pay their dues and renew their membership.

Prices $49.00 | $199.00 | $599.00



Raklet is a cloud-based membership directory software that centralizes member management. Its user-friendly interface enables organizations to manage members, events, and communications within a single platform. Raklet also offers built-in CRM and email marketing features, making it a powerful tool for engaging members and driving membership growth.

Free | Essentials $59 | Professional $119 \ Premium $499



PhpListings is a customizable directory software solution designed specifically for online listing management. It offers responsive templates, search engine optimization, and integration with popular payment systems. Its intuitive interface makes managing member profiles and directory categories a breeze for administrators.

Prices are $99. You will need to self-host this solution for a one-off payment (open course software).

Personify WildApricot

Personify WildApricot

Personify WildApricot is a comprehensive association management software ideal for organizations of all sizes. Its features include detailed member profiles, automated membership renewals, event registration, and secure online payments. By integrating with popular tools like social media and email marketing platforms, Personify WildApricot provides a seamless experience for both members and administrators.

Prices Start From $60 to $900 per month.



LifterLMS is a learning management system that allows associations to manage and deliver professional development courses to their members. The platform offers course creation, student enrollment, and progress-tracking features. LifterLMS is also easily integrated into membership directory plugins, making it a valuable addition to an association’s digital toolkit.

Free | Earth Bundle $199 | Universe Bundle $360 | Infinity Bundle $1,200 paid yearly.

Ultimate Member

Ultimate Member

Ultimate Member is a WordPress plugin that enables organizations to create and manage user profiles, member directories, and user registration. Its features include customizable profile templates, powerful search capabilities, and integration with popular WordPress themes. Integrations with other plugins, such as WooCommerce and BuddyPress, make Ultimate Member a versatile solution for membership management.

Free | $249 | $299 per year



ProfileGrid is another feature-rich WordPress membership plugin that simplifies member management. With customizable user profiles, groups, and member directories, organizations can create a fully-branded online community. ProfileGrid’s geolocation tools help locate nearby members, creating opportunities for in-person networking and fostering a sense of community among members.

Free | Premium $79 | Premium + $139

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a membership directory?

A: A membership directory is a comprehensive listing of all the members of an association, typically including their contact information, membership status, and other relevant details.

Q: How can a membership directory benefit my association?

A: A membership directory can significantly improve the management of your association by providing easy access to member information, facilitating communication, and streamlining administrative tasks.

Q: What are the best ways to attract new members to my association?

A: One of the best ways to attract new members is by utilizing membership management software and creating targeted marketing strategies that highlight the benefits of joining your association.

Q: How can I increase membership satisfaction within my association?

A: You can increase membership satisfaction by offering valuable member benefits, enhancing the member experience through the use of association management software, and implementing a solid marketing strategy that emphasizes member value.

Q: What is the role of a learning management system in association membership management?

A: A learning management system can provide valuable resources and educational opportunities for current and potential members, enhance the overall member experience, and attract new members.

Q: How can I retain and keep my current members engaged?

A: To keep members engaged, you can offer exclusive members-only content, benefits, and events, as well as seek feedback from existing members to improve their experience within the association continuously.

Q: What are some effective strategies for recruiting new members to my association?

A: Effective strategies for recruiting new members include offering compelling membership benefits, utilizing membership management software to streamline the joining process, and implementing targeted marketing campaigns to attract and recruit more members.

Q: How can I use membership software to achieve my association’s membership goals?

A: Membership software can help you effectively manage membership data, streamline membership dues collection, and track progress toward your membership goals, ultimately enabling you to grow your association and attract new members.

Q: What member benefits can be leveraged to attract and retain members?

A: Member benefits such as networking opportunities, professional development resources, exclusive access to industry insights, and discounts on events can be leveraged to attract and retain members, demonstrating the value of association membership.

Q: What key points should be considered when developing a marketing strategy to attract new members?

A: When developing a marketing strategy, it is crucial to identify what potential members are looking for, highlight the unique offerings of your association, and communicate the benefits of membership in a compelling and engaging manner to attract and recruit new members.

Final Thoughts

In today’s competitive landscape, attracting and retaining members is a top priority for any association. Implementing effective membership management strategies is crucial for growth and member satisfaction. Here are some key points to consider when enhancing your association’s membership management approach.

Leverage the right software: Utilizing powerful association management software (AMS) and membership management software is essential for managing members, renewals, and professional development opportunities. These tools streamline processes and offer valuable analytics to help you make informed decisions for your association.

Focus on member engagement: Offering exclusive member benefits and creating a sense of community are vital to building long-lasting relationships with your members. Consider implementing members-only content, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing volunteering options to increase engagement.

Utilize effective marketing strategies: A comprehensive marketing strategy is integral for attracting potential members and retaining existing ones. Capitalize on the power of social media, email marketing, and targeted campaigns to spread the word about your association’s value and benefits.

Offer professional development resources: Providing access to professional development resources such as webinars, workshops, and online courses helps members stay engaged and grow in their careers. Integrating a learning management system within your association can aid in meeting this need.

Streamline membership processes: Simplify the membership registration and renewal process, making it easy for members to join and continue being part of your association. A smooth, user-friendly experience will encourage more people to join and renew their membership.

Remember, every association is unique, and what works for one might not be the best fit for another. Keep a close eye on membership trends, listen to your member’s needs, and continuously iterate on your strategies to foster growth and ensure the long-term success of your organization.

What a Membership Directory Can Do For Your Association was last modified: by