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From Member to Messenger: Tips for a Successful Ambassador Program


Many membership organizations are constantly challenged to keep their members informed and actively involved. These members are not only perhaps the most invested audience an organization has, but they also hold immense potential as ambassadors who can champion key initiatives and outreach efforts. Building a strong ambassador program can maximize member value, drive loyalty, and increase your organization’s awareness at a community level. Consider these tips to build an effective ambassador program:

Seek Out Active Members – But Don’t Stop There

Starting an ambassador program does not have to be hard. In fact, you probably already have several members informally acting as ‘ambassadors’ already. These are your superstar members – the ones you can always count on to post on social media, who take on volunteer leadership roles, and turn up to every annual meeting. You know these members are invested in your organization, can be counted on to carve out the time to help, and will stay on message.

To launch a successful ambassador program, take what’s already happening organically and formalize it by including these individuals as early adopters – gaining their buy-in for your campaign and inspiring the rest of the membership through their participation, creating opportunities for others to join the effort.

Don’t Prescribe – Lean In

The beauty of an ambassador program is the opportunity to tap into your greatest asset: your members and their networks, expertise, passions, and connections. When building a member ambassador program into your campaign’s strategy, remain flexible so that you can take advantage of the unique connections members have in their communities. Also, take advantage of their talents – whether in public speaking, on social media, or when being interviewed by the press.

Tools for Success

Allow flexibility for member ambassadors to leverage their unique strengths but ensure cohesive messaging through tools and training. Successful ambassador programs arm members with evidence-based messaging that resonates with your organization’s key audiences and customizable tools they can share with their networks. Tools such as op-eds, fact sheets, and social media content allow ambassadors to plug your campaign’s message into work they are already doing – whether it’s posting to their own networks, communicating with elected officials, or conducting media interviews.

Train the Trainer

As your early adopters get more involved, give them the tools to train additional member spokespersons. This helps your organization by leveraging their expertise and experience in the field to bring your message to life in a real and authentic way for new participants.

This creates an opportunity for empowerment among experienced ambassadors, and creates a sense of ownership among your members of not just your campaign but in the impact they can make for your organization.

Build a Community

Most importantly, we’ve seen firsthand that member ambassador programs can turbo-charge a campaign’s message in local communities, but they also do something far more important: they foster a sense of community and pride among your members.

Bringing members into any campaign and making their voices a pivotal part of your strategy creates ownership, a sense of pride and comradery, and significant added value in terms of training and mentorship. Members are given resources to lean into what they are already doing organically to support your organization, and are offered the tools, support, and guidance to step out of their comfort zone and grow as spokespersons.

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