How to Help Your Local Chapters Increase Membership in 3 Easy Steps

Updated: Oct. 12, 2018  |  Categories: National Perspective  

Increase Membership Steps

In association marketing, accurate tracking, information gathering, and analysis are key to validating the efforts a chapter makes to gain new members. It’s crucial to recognize the lifetime value of one new member. 

1. Incentivize Chapters to Grow

Illustrate the importance of chapter growth by paying close attention to it with regular reporting, monthly updates on the chapter membership numbers and incentives to encourage them.  Sometimes recognition alone is enough but, perhaps offering free admission to the national conference for some of their members would add to the motivation.  Share best practices from some of your best chapters with those that are struggling.  We’ve seen a lot of chapters succeed with Member-Get-A-Member Recruitment.

2. Track prospective members

Accurately and effectively tracking prospective members is essential to growing local chapters. Every chapter has its own unique personality and style, so developing best practices that fit the culture of the group ensures growth.

There are a few ways to track prospective members that work well for chapters run by volunteer board members. The first step is establishing a standard practice for documenting prospective members’ contact information.

Manually transcribing business cards, trying to maintain an excel spreadsheet, or keeping a folder full of names and phone numbers presents opportunities for error. These methods are also difficult to pass from one board member to the next.

Collecting and organizing up-to-date member recruitment information to present at board meetings may be difficult when there isn’t an easily accessible, accurate, and consistent method of tracking prospective members. The ability to collect data quickly and present it in the form of an easily digestible report helps to maximize opportunities to increase chapter membership. Those analytics also help assess the value of a recruitment event or promotion.

3. Consider the value of membership management services

When assessing how a consistent and easy to use member management service may benefit a chapter, consider these questions:

  • Is the organization able to attract prospective members?
  • How easy is it for the membership chair or committee to compile and present reports about how and why prospects convert to members?
  • Is there a membership marketing plan in place? How is the chapter tracking its effectiveness?
  • How easy is it for the person responsible for following up with prospects to locate accurate and up-to-date contact information?
  • Is personal information about prospective members backed up for disaster recovery and stored securely?

When members can devote their time and energy to bringing in prospective members instead of performing clerical duties, the overall health of the chapter increases.  

Every association depends on a constantly growing membership to offset attrition, provide a consistent stream of revenue, and bring new ideas and energy to the group. Simplifying how chapters manage and update prospective members’ information is a smart way to support their growth.

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