Yes. Below are six steps to creating a successful membership model and once you’ve mastered this your organisation is positioned to flourish.
Do you understand your organisation’s objectives? Does your organisation know what kind of member it wants to encourage to join? Is the leadership team in your organisation in agreement with pursuing a membership model?
What is the primary benefit you will offer the community? What do you expect from the community who become members of the organisation?
Get an idea of what the community needs may be. Once you have the data, you can align it with what you hope the organisation can achieve. From here you can set goals that take all views into account.
Now that you have agreed to shared values, goals and objectives which should be included in your founding document, you need to figure out how you will charge membership fees.
Most community organisations will have one fee for all individuals, but what if there are businesses in your area that want to get involved, or impoverished households that simply cannot pay a fee? What if there is an old age home that wants a membership deal for all its residents in the complex?
You might find that your organisation can offer levels of membership, too. You may have a general fee and then a premium fee, which comes with added benefits such as a discount from a local security company. How you structure your fees will develop organically over time.
If the fees are too high you might not attract enough people, and if they are too low you might not generate enough revenue to do anything of value.
You may be a non-profit organisation, but you need to think like a business and prepare a budget and business plan. Once you have a general sense of your expenses and what you need to achieve your goals in the short, medium and long term, you can set a price. Do not undersell your organisation. People are prepared to contribute more than just pocket-change if they see a tangible benefit. Make sure you punt campaigns with an immediate visual impact such as planting trees at a local park, having the grass cut in unkept municipal land, removing weeds from the sidewalk or painting an eyesore wall.
Providing you keep to your plans, listen to your members, and engage with them regularly, you will find they are eager to provide advice, volunteer and help grow the organisation.
Make sure you do the following:
Regularly remind your members why they are members and the great work the organisation is doing.
Engage with your members regularly.
Work hard to keep the members.
Target campaigns that have broad-based appeal.
Make sure you host regular public meetings (at least once a quarter) and use technology to make sure as many people possible can attend.
Evaluate the organisation, your value and objectives regularly and make sure the members are involved in this process.