The Case for Your Association’s Strong Mobile Presence

The Case for Your Association’s Strong Mobile Presence

It comes as no surprise to anyone that the world has gone mobile. The numbers and trends are staggering. Since 2014, more people have used mobile devices to access the internet (think handheld tablets, laptops, smartphones, etc.) than desktop computers.

Getting your mobile technology up to date (and speed) is of utmost importance. According to the 2016 Tech Success for Associations study by the American Society of Association Executives, association members are more “techno ready” than the general U.S. adult population and less likely to resist technology innovation.

Here are a few more reasons why developing a mobile presence is so vital for associations:

  • People are used to “the membership of things,” or the seamless, highly personalized services provided by companies like Amazon. Your association’s mobile presence should similarly serve as a one-stop shop for members who want information at their fingertips at a moment’s notice.
  • Research shows that members who engage via mobile device tend to be more active and, well, engaged. Mobile apps allow you to connect with your members instantly, whether it be to share breaking news, fundraise, recruit volunteers, send event invitations, or suggest networking opportunities. Apps help keep your association relevant. Creating and sending “push updates” can help you communicate with members as needed.
  • Mobile experiences are a surefire way to appeal to Millennials. GeekWire, a technology news site, reported that Millennials spend more than three hours per day using apps alone, compared to about two hours for everyone else. This cohort also has their smartphones within arm’s reach more than 22 hours per day! If your organization is looking to grow and retain Millennial members, a strong app might be a good place to start.


There is of course much to consider in terms of cost and infrastructure. Creating a user-friendly and successful app experience takes time and careful planning. For example, you’ll want to be sure to think about app security in terms of user access and privacy. You’ll also want to develop a clear plan for measuring outcomes and success.  How many users do you have and what is your target? How are you marketing your app and how frequently are you developing updates?

Despite the challenges, developing a mobile app experience for your members may be well worth the cost and time.