Ralph Johnson, CEO of the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), laughed when I said that every association should be actively experimenting. Why the laughter? It was a knowing response to the tiered membership model he helped develop for his association—and the knowledge that experiments don’t come without stress.

But CVMA’s experiment brought dividends for the association, an enviable 11.5% growth in membership over a two-year period. The three-tier model allows members to pick their own “adventure.” More price-conscious members can join for $265 while top-tier members pay $635 for the premium category, which includes added benefits such as discounts and a free membership for a practice manager. All classes include advocacy, member-only content and public outreach and visibility.

Click here to see CVMA’s membership chart. (By the way, this visual display of membership benefits is a model worth adopting — even if you only have one category of membership — due to the fact it makes benefits more tangible to members.)

Mary Byers, CAE, CSP, shares additional strategy starters for busy association professionals in her new online learning series titled, Momentum: Strategy Starters for Today’s Association Professional (powered by Elevate in partnership with CommPartners) at leadwiselearning.com. She is also the author of Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations.