Going, Going, Gone
Updated: Oct. 12, 2018 | Categories: Membership
There are many reasons members may leave your chapter. An advancing career, relocating to a different city, or shifting priorities are valid reasons for withdrawing from an organization.
Recruiting new members is important but, member retention at renewal time is crucial to the health and well-being of the organization. Here are some ways you can help reduce the number of expired chapter memberships.
Make a personal phone call
Reaching out to members that didn’t renew can make an immediate difference in retention and even increase engagement within the organization. If you don’t know the member personally, ask someone who does to call them and find out why they haven’t renewed their membership. The purpose of this call is a friendly reminder that the member is important and should they choose to leave the organization, they will be missed. You also wouldn’t want to lose a member because of a bad email address.
Send a short survey to members who are newly expired
Uncovering obstacles to renewal provides valuable information to the group. If the survey indicates problems, it’s important to not only reach out to the member in an attempt to correct the situation but also to discuss and implement ways to prevent it from happening again.
Set up automatic reminders at 90 days, 60 days, and 30 days before the member’s renewal.
In some organizations, the national chapter handles these reminders. Some form of communication should also come from the local chapter that lets the member know you are aware that their renewal date is approaching and you value their involvement in the chapter.
Ask a board member or the membership chair to send a personal email to expiring members.
Be sure to inquire whether the expiration was a simple oversight or a mistake on the part of the member. This kind of one-on-one contact opens the door for meaningful conversations about how the chapter can help members feel involved and valued.
Keep members engaged throughout the trajectory of their relationship with your organization.
Retention begins when the member joins the organization. Welcome emails and phone calls from lifetime members, recognition in newsletters, and face-to-face welcomes from members at events are all important when you are trying to make a new member feel special. Providing value to members, even if they’ve been involved with your organization for many years, is an excellent way to increase retention.
Develop literature that points out the benefits of membership in your chapter.
Share it with members that are close to their expiration date. Remind them of some of the reasons they may have joined, and let them know that it’s your goal to remain relevant and helpful to them. Your national headquarters should have membership material they can provide you to hand out at meetings and mail to prospective members. Give them a call and ask.
When you think about ways to reduce attrition in your chapter, carefully examine the reasons members give for joining. Make sure you are meeting their expectations. Every member is valuable. Good communication can prevent them from slipping through the cracks. If they feel connected to the local chapter and valued by the group, they are more likely to remain active in your organization for many years to come.