COOPERATIVES | Channels for Engagement …

By Kyle White |© Co-operatives First | Part 3Create Platforms and Channels for Engagement > The online stock photo retailer, Stocksy United has an online platform for their members. It fits because their members are around the globe (65+ countries, in fact) and the business operates online. Not everyone has this level of tech savviness or need for global reach. Finding the right platforms and channels for your organization is no less important, however.

Make sure there are a variety of platforms and channels for membership feedback. Create a rubric for prioritizing how this feedback is responded to. Maintain a clear display of interest and concern for the voices of individual members. Together, this will help keep a large and disparate membership engaged in the well-being of the business. For a consumer co-operative in the north delivering on this promise may include selling snowmobiles beside oranges. In the south, it may mean providing more local product at the expense of price competitiveness.

If you can Define it, you can Measure it > As we’ve seen, membership engagement can be difficult to define. This means it’s also hard to measure. Measuring membership engagement is key to understanding if your engagement strategy is working or not. So, getting both right matters. The number of volunteers, attendees at an annual meeting, investors in the business, and posts shared on Facebook can all be indicators of member engagement. The challenge for leadership is to understand if they’re performing well. Choosing the right indicators of member engagement can help with that.

Get to the Heart of the Matter > Whatever way you choose to measure engagement, make sure it gets to the heart of the business and what your membership values. If you have 10 members, perhaps it’s a monthly coffee row outing or beergarita Fridays. For those with large memberships, creating promotions or VIP email lists or social media groups to create discussion and push messaging could be a better solution.

Understanding how, when, and why to listen to members is a key challenge for boards and management of co-operatives. Be creative. But remember the tried and tested too. Sometimes the suggestion box is simply the right solution – just make sure you actually read and respond to the feedback. –

© Co-operatives First |


About communitynetworks

Leo Campos A. is a Storyteller, Community Organizer|Cultural Worker, Diversity & Inclusion Advocate, Personal Coach, Translator|Interpreter and a Bilingual Conscious Advertising Professional, based in Edmonton (Canada). He is also a part-time advisor & community outreach person with the cloud platform Wayfinders Business Cooperative ©
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