As a relatively young organization focused on youth philanthropy in Africa, it was a privilege to sit in a room full of varied experiences during the WINGS gathering in Jamaica. For us, our focus this year is on enhancing our leadership, leveraging the appropriate partnerships, and tapping into resources to ensure our network thrives. Here are our 3 top things we learnt whilst attending the WINGS conference:
1. Cater to the needs of member organizations within your network with different engagement strategies:
It is important to create various engagement strategies for members within your network to ensure optimal engagement: During one of the mentorship sessions on membership retention, the discussion emerged that it was critical to ensure we are aware of our member needs and therefore engaging different members differently. A member organization that is a family foundation may need a different way of engagement, versus a member organization that is a different entity.
2. Tap into the knowledge of your membership:
Most of the time we go out of our membership to re-engage our members, but at times there is much to be leveraged within our membership that we haven’t had the opportunity to tap into. This was a learning moment that as AYPN we will find ways to conduct various skills assessments and baseline research about the needs of our members along with the areas of expertise that can nurture the network further.
3. Seek feedback from your members:
As we grow and bring on more membership into the network, we are learning how critical it is to ensure we ask our members what they want and how they can contribute to the network. One of the tools utilized by WINGS prior to the gathering to solicit feedback is definitely one that we are thinking of implementing as a similar model within our network to gain more clear feedback on membership interest as well as member contributions.