Scott, UFWDA continues to promote membership at all levels. We encourage people to join clubs, clubs to join associations, and associations to join UFWDA. However, UFWDA allows each of these "levels" to join UFWDA directly, acknowledging that some people don't have clubs in their vicinity, some clubs don't have associations in their vicinity (Wyoming for instance - a club would have to join Montana 4WDA, Southwest 4WDA, Idaho Association). Also UFWDA knows that some people are not into the "social" factor of club and association membership. We often hear from them that they don't join clubs because it's too political. As UFWDA provides direct membership for people and clubs we have tried to be diligent through the years to continue to support membership at the local, state, and regional levels.
UFWDA understands, and sympathizes with, the age-old questions clubs and associations must face, because UFWDA faces it too - What have you done for me lately? People rightfully want to know what the club has done for their money. Clubs want to know what the association has done with their money. And associations want to know what UFWDA is doing for their money.
So, ultimately the answer to an association capturing a member club that joins directly to UFWDA is to promote the association and answer the clubs question - what has the association done for me lately?
UFWDA has several programs in place to assist associations answer this question. We have built on-the-ground projects to aid associations in keeping lands open - whether state-managed or federally-managed. For instance, the adopt-a-road program can be utlized with state and federal agencies. http://www.ufwda.org/adopt-a-road.htm
The Volunteer Trail Patrol can be used by four wheel drive enthusiasts whether recreation on private land, state-managed, or federally managed land. http://www.ufwda.org/trailpatrol.htm
The UFWDA 4WD Safety and Awareness Program is an eductional program. http://www.ufwda.org/4wdawareness.htm
These programs were created specificially to protect access through road and trail restoration, self-policing, and education, particularly to novice four wheelers. When associations involve themselves in these programs they are providing clubs with benefits that some clubs may or may not be able to carry out themselves. There is a big benefit to pooling the resources of an association to make these programs easier for clubs to navigate through.
Finally, the best access protection tool an association can offer prospective member clubs is money for on-the-ground closure fights and preventative closure measures. UFWDA is proposing to send money to our member organizations through a program called the Organizational Incentive Program (OIP). This program gives $3 from every UFWDA membership to an organization of the members' choice.
Even with the programs mentioned above an association can only capture a member club that joins UFWDA if the association can effectively communicate association benefits to prospective member clubs.
If I've missed the heart of your question let me know. I'll be happy to give it another whirl.