Adding Member-Generated Content to An Association’s Website

Member-generated content on association websites is a powerful tool for engaging members. Learn how to optimize your website with this content in this guide.

The member experience is a crucial aspect of your association’s website. For members to navigate your website, find information, and engage with your resources, the site must be easily accessible and compel them to dig deeper.

When building your membership website, there’s a tool at your disposal that has the power to increase member retention and engagement: member-generated content. Asking members to become a part of your association’s website bolsters the trustworthiness of your online presence and encourages member engagement in your content. Let’s explore the benefits of member-generated content for your association’s website and practical strategies for implementing it.

What is member-generated content?

Member-generated content is content created and contributed by your association’s members that reflect their unique perspectives, experiences, and expertise. This can include:

  • Written articles

  • Case studies

  • Testimonials

  • Visuals, such as photos or videos

  • Social media posts

  • Discussion boards and forums

As your association collects member-generated content, you must curate it and feature it on your website strategically. However, developing a plan for your association’s outreach can be time-consuming and complex. Many associations receive professional support from a strategic partner to develop a plan for their organization’s future and the objectives they should accomplish to fulfill it. Similarly, your association can delegate content planning to a specific team, who will be responsible for implementing this content and measuring engagement.

Benefits of member-generated content

By taking ownership of the content on your association’s website, members gain a higher sense of loyalty through greater involvement with your organization. When they feel like valuable contributors to your association, members will be more engaged and invested in your work. As a result, they’ll be eager to support your association in the future and will feel highly important to your association’s community.

Additionally, diversifying the perspectives represented on your website encourages discussion and collaboration in member forums and comment sections. Members will be excited to continue the conversation when their peers contribute relatable and compelling content, driving connections among members and a strengthened community.

Demonstrating this engagement also attracts the attention of other website visitors, such as prospective donors and members. For example, a member’s positive perspective of your association’s recent event could help you secure corporate sponsors by demonstrating the effectiveness and reach of the event. Or, potential members may be enticed to join when they see your association’s thriving and active community via forums and discussion boards.

How to implement member-generated content into your website

To implement member-generated content into your existing website, you’ll need a careful plan to ensure you publish high-quality content and use it strategically to enhance engagement. Before accepting content, be sure to clearly define the type of content you want to solicit. This will give members (and your team) an idea of what the content should look like and how it will be implemented into your website.

Once you’ve identified the type of content you’re looking for, follow these three steps to infuse your association’s website with member-generated content.

1. Allow for member submissions

Before you can curate members’ writing, research, and other materials for your website, make it easy for members to submit their content. Provide straightforward prompts and user-friendly submission portals through which members can easily upload files. While creating such online platforms will be a massive undertaking for your team, the ease of use for members will pay off when your association receives an increased amount of member-generated content.

These outlets don’t have to exist solely on your website. Encourage member submissions across a variety of channels, including:

  • Online forums: Allow members to engage with each other by starting conversations, debating a topic, asking questions, or sharing their insights on an online forum.

  • Social media groups: Establish private social media groups where members can share articles, posts, and other relevant resources.

  • Submission portals: Create a dedicated portal on your website where members can upload files, write out their ideas, or offer feedback in a concise form.

Wherever you solicit content submissions, provide guidance for the type of content you’re looking for. Submission guidelines and instructions can ensure your association receives only high-quality and valuable content.

2. Encourage member contributions

After opening multiple outlets for receiving content, your association should nudge members toward submitting by promoting the opportunity, incentivizing submissions, and showing appreciation for those who do contribute. Here are a few strategies to do this:

  • Promote the opportunity: Use your communication channels to promote the opportunity to contribute member-generated content. Share brief instructions for contributing and link to the platforms where members can make submissions.

  • Incentivize submissions: Offer benefits to members who contribute content, such as social media spotlights, to incentivize content submissions. You can also incentivize engagement with member-generated content by basing each membership level on content access. This may encourage upgrades to new membership tiers when members see the community they could unlock by increasing their membership.

  • Show your appreciation: Use personalized messages, public announcements, and member-only events to thank members for their contributions.

Personalize your efforts based on the amount and quality of a member’s participation. For example, you may increase the incentives for top contributors by offering exclusive benefits, such as premium networking opportunities with industry experts by attending exclusive conferences.

3. Incorporate content into your website

Once you’ve collected high-quality member-generated content, it’s time to incorporate it into your website. The placement of this content on your site will largely depend on the type of content you receive. Here are a few examples of the content you can place on different pages:

  • Homepage: Your homepage puts forward all the highlights about your association’s work and goals, making it the perfect place for member testimonials, quotes, or spotlights. Authentic content from your members demonstrates the trustworthiness of your association to web visitors.

  • Blog: Upload articles to your association’s blog after lightly editing them to catch any grammar errors. You can also share member interviews here and provide links to other member-generated resources. This increases engagement among your members since they’ll be more likely to engage with content created by their peers.

  • Resource library: Share member-generated case studies or multimedia content, such as webinars covering topics suggested by members, in your resource library. This showcases your association’s willingness to support the research and work conducted by its members and provides a diverse body of resources for others to explore.

If you’re struggling to determine where member-generated content would fit best on your website, peruse the best nonprofit websites for inspiration. These top examples of compelling content can provide unique ideas that invigorate your website.


Member-generated content is an indispensable tool that association websites can use to foster a strong and engaged online community. Remember to continuously monitor the impact of member-generated content on your association’s website traffic by monitoring performance metrics such as click-through rates on the pages that host your members’ content. This can help you determine which strategies are most successful and how you can better engage your audience.

You can also ask members directly for their feedback on your website, encouraging them to provide ideas based on their evolving needs and preferences. This way, you can embrace member-generated content to create a dynamic online environment that resonates with your audience.

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