Grow Membership, Grow Chapter Success
Updated: Oct. 12, 2018 | Categories: Membership
Your chapter is only as good as its members. When your membership growth is stagnating, or worse declining, it is time to take a hard look at how you are providing value to your chapter. Question everything. Evaluate all activities. Conduct a survey and ask your chapter’s leadership, and its current active membership, what is going right and what isn’t. Then, ask former members and prospects who never became members why they left or didn’t join.
Just as important, determine if you have been seeking the right members for the goals of your chapter has. Make a list of what benefits your chapter needs to achieve success. This doesn’t mean ignoring other characteristics, rather it centers your focus. Build from that core within your industry and profession.
As you grow your membership, don’t forget that your members should be part of the growth process. Make sure you establish practices and plan experiences with the membership to expand the membership – that way they know their value is stronger than a dues payment.
Here are 5 key ways to keep your members engaged as they share in the management of your chapter’s growth:
1. Everyone is on the membership committee. Make an announcement at the meetings. Yes, at every meeting. Everyone should hear who you are looking to attract based on your groundwork. Change it up a bit once you start growing, as you should always be revaluating how to fulfill your needs.
2. Encourage members to bring guests to meetings. Attendance at a meeting through an invite is the best way to introduce someone to the association. Make sure it’s a good one that engages attendees in the content. Offer specials, such as bring a guest and get half off your meeting registration.
3. Bring back expired members. These people are ideal to target. They already know about the association and can be reminded about the benefits. Send them a sappy “we miss you” email. People like to belong, and inviting them back makes them feel welcome. Start the conversation to find out why they didn’t renew, solve it, and bring them back.
4. Utilize marketing and PR tactics. Look at local papers to take out an advertisement. Check out free or inexpensive posts on events and articles to boost awareness. Check out Facebook ads. They are still very cheap to budget for and you can promote your meetings as well as target your prospect categories. Employ the use of good solid content to entice greater interest in your chapter.
5. Engage and retain through proper etiquette. Make sure you are following up on meeting attendees with proper Thank You notes, surveys, and invites to upcoming events. Ensure that the membership chair follows up with prospects and new members about membership info. Go back through your previous list of meeting attendees from the last 12 months and construct an email to send to all of them. And absolutely do not forget about the long-standing members.
Membership strength is the backbone of your chapter. Engage, enroll, and retain through solid planning and simple tasks that involve everyone. That way, your chapter’s success is your members’ success, and vice versa.