The Latest Thinking on Strategies To Grow Membership

Research & Insights

Welcome to our blog, where we share our thought leadership on strategies to grow membership. Designed for professionals seeking actionable insights, this blog aims to provide an in-depth exploration of effective approaches to expand your membership base.

We navigate proven strategies, guiding you towards sustainable growth and increased engagement. Please explore to help you unlock the keys to membership expansion and empower your organization’s success.


Reading Time: < 1 minute ASAE | August 9, 2023

Reading Time: 4 minutes Is your association leaving money on the table? If so, you are not alone. Most associations are.

Reading Time: < 1 minute We conducted in-depth research with ten highly prominent organizations with renewal-based business models to understand member retention best practices and benchmarks across industries.

Reading Time: 3 minutes Every membership survey ever done says the reason people don’t renew membership is lack of value. The top reasons always include lack of engagement, value, or ROI. Which begs the question: “What do our members want us to do?” But you should be asking: “What do they think we do?”

Reading Time: 4 minutes Despite your best efforts, some members are bound to leave. But when a member leaves, it doesn’t mean goodbye forever. Members who have walked away may be the easiest ones to get back. The keys to getting them back are how long you offer them opportunities to renew and how well you understand their needs.

Reading Time: 4 minutes How to grow engagement? It’s a law of nature in marketing: Your best prospect is the customer you already have. Research consistently shows that it costs six to seven times more to get a new customer than to keep one, and in membership terms.

Reading Time: 4 minutes Many associations have “group” membership, which usually amounts to a modest volume discount, sometimes with a single invoice. The idea is that companies will want to pay for their employees’ memberships if they get a price break and a convenient way to pay.

Reading Time: 5 minutes Traditional membership marketing is predictably low return and has stayed the same for years. The good news is that membership marketers can expect a lot better. We have recently tested innovations in membership segmentation, targeting, messaging, and advertising that performed four to nine times better — in one case, twenty-seven times better — than the old-school tactics they replaced.

Reading Time: 3 minutes Up-and-coming association leaders from corporate backgrounds are often shocked and bewildered by how their new organization works. They may ask themselves, “How does anything get done here at all?“ But anyone familiar with the association space knows that things do get done; not only that but they also get done well, and associations are built the way they are for a reason.

Reading Time: 3 minutes value to its members. A look at four ways to do just that. When we talk about member value in associations, we don’t want members to feel like we just gave them a bargain. We want them to love us. We want them to keep coming back. We want to be irresistible. We all have had that experience with brands.

Reading Time: 5 minutes What is member engagement? We usually talk about from our organization’s perspective. However, real growth happens when we start thinking about it from the perspective of a member.

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s a law of nature in marketing: Your best prospect is the customer you already have. Research consistently shows that it costs six to seven times more to get a new customer than to keep one, and in membership terms, smart associations understand what that means for retention. A dollar spent on retention goes much further than a dollar spent on recruitment.

Reading Time: 4 minutes Most associations segment their membership in the same way: by career stage. So young professionals might be one segment, mid-career folks another, and so on into retirement. They do it this way because it seems obvious, and it’s easy – but is there a chance it’s wrong?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Associations are always “mission first” in word and often indeed. Yet many have led less and less with a mission in their efforts to revitalize their membership. Enhancing member value and experience have been the guiding lights for association growth.

Reading Time: 3 minutes In 2015, millennials surpassed Generation X to become the largest population in the workforce. The majority of the workforce is getting younger. Most membership organizations are seeing the average age of their members go up.

Reading Time: 3 minutes Membership organizations are trusted and beloved middlemen. They convene people, connect resources, curate content, mediate conversations. Or at least they used to do. Things have changed.

Reading Time: 3 minutes Today, we are diving into the world of membership pricing strategies and how they can help you maximize the value of your association. In this post, we will explore three powerful strategies that will not only enhance the appeal of your membership offerings but also attract and retain a loyal base of members.

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s no secret that member retention is critical. How to achieve it is another story. A membership expert unlocks three clear and evidence-based paths to reaching successful and effective member retention.

Reading Time: 3 minutes Intentional choices can be hard in the best of times. What’s a necessary choice as opposed to one that would be nice to make? How do we choose between things that are all necessary when we can’t have them all? How can we be confident about the decisions we make? How can we explain our choices to other people?

Reading Time: 8 minutes Many of the lessons associations were forced to learn during the pandemic have relevance enduring beyond this past year. The expectations of organization members across the board have changed forever.

Reading Time: 3 minutes The events that unfolded over 2020 and 2021 have brought about extraordinary change for organizations in nearly every industry. Associations, in particular, had to adapt quickly, assess old ways of doing things.

Reading Time: 3 minutes It is not just a mission or vision. A nonprofit brand strategy is how your organization shows up in the world, and how you want existing and potential members to see and feel about you. It is a promise about who you will be to them, and a promise they expect you to fulfill.

Reading Time: 3 minutes The online content your nonprofit creates tells a story. It highlights the importance of your work and accomplishments. Done well, it can further your mission by attracting new members and inspiring constituents to action.

Reading Time: 2 minutes Membership organizations have always offered third-party products to their members. This usually means a discount, sometimes bearing the association brand. Affinity products have served essential roles. They provide value to members, giving them a reason to join and renew.

Reading Time: 4 minutes Nonprofit disruption has been a topic of conversation for what seems like forever, but at what point does a disruption become the status quo for nonprofits?

Reading Time: 9 minutes Headwinds evokes the image of sailing into the storm. We imagine wind whipping our faces as we make progress against forces beyond our control. Headwinds is a good word for the market forces facing membership organizations today.

Reading Time: 2 minutes Eighty percent of executives say creating an “outside-in” culture is a high priority for the future. Outside is where the good stuff happens. Buyers buy. Inventors invent. Competitors compete. An outward-focused organization has its eyes on the action.

Reading Time: 2 minutes For well over a decade, “integration” has been the holy grail of marketing. Integration means many things. It means coordinating multiple channels. It means cooperating as teams, agencies, and disciplines.

Reading Time: 3 minutes Ask association members why they don’t renew and two in three will say lack of value for the price. Half of them also say lack of engagement or “I forgot,” which are another way of voting on your value with their feet.

Reading Time: 3 minutes There is a saying called Parkinson’s Law: “Work expands to consume the available resources.” Which is to say your entire team will always be busy and your entire budget spent. The question is how do you ever do something new?

Reading Time: 3 minutes A marketing leader once told me: “More is more.” More prospects, more offers, more communications. More stuff. With unlimited resources, this could be true. But resources are always limited. So when can less be more?