Get the PDF
Learn How to Tap Into Your Greatest Natural Resource for Economic and Membership Growth
Natural resources are things that come from our environments to create wealth, opportunity, and growth inside our institutions. There is a natural resource membership organizations and associations are rich with that can help you create more economic outcomes for your organization: your members!
Your members are a FREE resource you can develop, or mine, to create more economic development for both your members and the organization. Let’s talk about how in this 7-page White Paper that discusses current natural resource research through the lens of membership organizations. We’ll discuss 3 key findings from a recent report from the Brookings Institute plus ideas on how you can implement human development strategies for growth.
Table of Contents
Level Up Your Membership Growth Strategy with Resource Mining for Membership Organizations
Tap Into Your Greatest Natural Resource for Economic and Membership Growth
"It's time to tap into your biggest asset - your people." - Josh Hotsenpiller
What Is Your Greatest Natural Resource?
Natural resources are things like oil, gas, and minerals that come from our earth. We use them to create wealth, opportunity, and growth inside our nations, regions, or institutions. There is a natural resource in every membership organization that is not being leveraged, or mined, to full potential. There is a natural resource membership organizations and associations are rich with that can help you create more economic outcomes for your organization: your members!Your members are a FREE resource you can develop, or mine, to create more economic development for existing members, new members and the organization as a whole. Let’s talk about how.
Is Natural Resource Wealth a Curse?
The Natural Resource Curse is the phenomenon of countries with an abundance of natural resources (such as fossil fuels and certain minerals) having less economic growth, less democracy, or worse development outcomes than countries with fewer natural resources. In a recent study addressing these political and economic challenges of natural resource wealth from the Brookings Institute, Addisu Lashitew and Eric Werker share new analysis on whether natural resources help or hinder long-term development. Three important findings from Brookings Institute’s empirical study help reconcile seemingly contradictory findings in the historic resource curse literature.
Figure 1 identifies two important channels in this discussion: a direct economic effect and an indirect institutional effect. The direct effect includes several economic factors with both positive and negative components while the indirect effect comes from the potential adverse effects of natural resources on institutional quality. The overall effect of natural resources on development, therefore, will depend on the extent of these two separate effects.
When used wrong, natural resource abundance can be a curse, but when developed, mined and managed correctly, natural resources are a boon to economic growth. Let’s look at the findings and tie back to how you can leverage your existing members for membership growth for a killer growth strategy using membership engagement software.
Natural resources generally have a positive direct effect through the economic channel and a negative indirect effect through the institutional channel.
If two organizations of the same institutional quality are compared and one does nothing to develop or mine their membership base while the other does, the organization that leveraged their members sees greater economic success and growth, for the institution and its existing and prospective members!
When you invest in the development of your human capital (your members), 4 key things happen:
- People develop more.
- People’s skills develop more.
- People make more money.
- Institutions make more money.
In one example of “mining” your members, you see every member as a mentor or potential resource for another. When your members begin to mentor and share ideas to develop both personally and professionally, your people are developing more. Their innovation, problem-solving, creativity, and social skills are improving through the connection and knowledge-share you are facilitating. They go on to use these skills to make more money which indirectly makes the institution more money as they sign up for more events and opportunities offered by your organization which continues to feed the abundance of natural resources you have!
By developing and investing in human development opportunities, you are mining, and therefore leveraging, your greatest natural resource, your members.
Natural resource dependence rather than natural resource abundance undermines institutional development.
To underscore the importance of the distinction between resource abundance and resource dependence, we’ll consider Canada and the Republic of Congo. According to World Bank data, the two countries have the same levels of natural resource wealth, with resource rents per capita of around $1,200 as of 2013. The contribution of resources to GDP, however, was much larger in Congo (42.3%) than in Canada (2.3%). While both countries can be considered resource abundant, only Congo can be said to be truly dependent on resources.
Have you ever felt like there weren't enough volunteers? Not enough engagement? Not enough members contributing? Are your membership renewal rates down? That is what natural resource dependence looks like in a membership organization or association. When you depend on a small membership base versus developing all your members, you are undermining your membership growth.
The challenge is maybe you don’t have the ability to recruit, train, or develop in abundance; maybe your organization is still stuck in a top-down approach versus a horizontal leadership experience. That’s where technology comes in. Your community tech stack has to be creating abundance over dependence. Your value proposition depends on it.
Create abundance with tech that supports innovative mentorship programs, year-round micro-networking environments, microlearning courses, AI networking, cohort connections, and other membership development programs proven to make your people better. The more people that are developing, learning, and sharing knowledge, the better off the institution will be and the more likely potential new members will see the value and benefit of a membership in your organization.
The effect of resources on development tends to differ between physical and human capital development outcomes.
The good news is you have the choice to focus on developing physical or human capital. This third and final finding supports positive economic outcomes when you invest in developing human capital over physical, removing resource dependence while staying resource abundant.
We have a choice to focus on developing more of the old (physical capital) or use the old to to innovate and focus on the human capital that is your greatest natural resource.
Studies prove innovation is key to membership success, as executives in an MGI report reporting increases in one-year and five-year membership levels and increases in new member acquisitions and member renewals are significantly more likely to consider their association to be extremely or very innovative.
When ASAE: Center for Association Leadership came to JUNO to design their innovative ReadyMe program, they did not seek help to innovate their event or membership dues, they sought to innovate their human capital development and services that promote personal and professional development. ASAE wanted to make their people smarter and better not only for their value proposition but because we know from the research when members are being developed, the organization is growing.
- There can be a very big positive human development impact if you use your natural resources correctly.
- If you are not dependent on natural resources but have an abundance, people and revenues can develop and membership retention increases.
- You have a choice: do the same thing over and over again or allocate resources for innovation and investment in human development. This will drive your greatest success.
Are you ready to innovate? Provide more value? Let’s talk more about how to start mining your natural resources for organizational and business growth. Schedule a strategy session with our team now.
Download the PDF
Learn How to Tap Into Your Greatest Natural Resource for Economic and Membership Growth
Let’s talk about how in this 7-page White Paper that discusses current natural resource research through the lens of membership organizations. We’ll discuss 3 key findings from a recent report from the Brookings Institute plus ideas on how you can implement human development strategies for growth.