Functional Organizing: The Secret of Scale
The largest membership organizations in the world all share the same organizing model: functional organizing. Functional organizations attract members with benefits and services and then build on this base to advocate for their members.
From churches to AARP to professional associations to YMCAs to labor unions to business associations, all the major membership organizations in the world are functional organizations—providing material and social benefits for members, whether that be discounts, fellowship, business services, or collective bargaining.
Once these functional organizations have developed deep, trusted relationships with their members, they can activate them for civic engagement and advocacy.