What’s a great way to steward your donors? Memberships! By incorporating membership options into your nonprofit organization, you’re allowing your donors to be more engaged in the organization. It also gives them some added benefits and simplifies giving, so they don’t “forget” to donate.
But here are a couple of questions: While they are members of your community, are you still treating them in a personalized way, making them feel one-of-a-kind? Or because they are members of your community, do you put them on the backburner and put more of your focus on recruiting new donors?
Recently YourMembership released its “Membership Loyalty Study: A Deep Dive in Member Retention and Preferences,” and while the data was based on responses from individuals who belong to any professional membership organization, we think the information gathered is relevant for those in the nonprofit sector, too.
The good news is that when it comes to retention, 74 percent of study respondents said that they were likely to renew their membership. For those who were not likely to renew, their top reasons for cutting off their membership is because it became too costly (34 percent); the organization was providing little value (26 percent); changed industry/employment (19 percent); and forgot to renew (13 percent).
Approximately 55 percent of respondents said that the top benefit of renewing their membership is the Code of Ethics. In the nonprofit space, the Association of Fundraising Professionals offers its Code of Ethical Standards, which can be found here.
While we all understand why this is a valued resource, here are reasons why according to the study found:
- 68 percent of respondents said it provides a set of rules or standards for all in the profession to adhere to.
- 64 percent said it defines best practices for the profession.
- 54 percent said it provides a basis to meet compliance requirements for the profession.
- 50 percent said it provides a legal standard for the profession.
- 46 percent said it provides a “seal of approval” that those outside the profession can look for when using/selecting services.
- 42 percent said it helps as a watchdog for the profession.
When asked how satisfied respondents were with their professional membership organizations, a whooping 84 percent said they were satisfied, while 55 percent said they felt connected to the organization and only 20 percent said they felt extremely connected to the organization.
How often do you communicate with your members? According to the study, 31 percent of respondents said that they prefer to be communicated with monthly, while 27 percent said weekly, 20 percent said twice a month, 12 percent said quarterly, 7 percent said once a week and 3 percent said annually or never.
Additionally, the study did a deeper analysis of responses and broke down members into three tiers: super members, rank and file, and value seekers.
The study provides valuable, detailed information about professional organization members that anyone in the nonprofit sector can learn from and adapt into their organization. To read the entire study, click here.