10 strategies for membership retention & growth

10 strategies for membership retention & growth

Running a successful membership group, whether it’s a booster club, Greek life organization, sports team, or another type of group, is within your reach!

With club membership, it’s the more the merrier, so we racked our brains and came up with 10 fresh tips to get your membership counts up. Don’t worry these tips mostly require time and creativity – no big budget required. By implementing these strategies, you can create and nurture a thriving community.

5 tips for growing your club’s membership

When you are just starting your club, it might seem hard to attract members. But, taking the proper steps will ensure that the right people will find your group, and become happy members. Here are five easy tips to keep in mind as you take your first steps:

1. Promote your group on social media:

Using social media to spread the word about your group is important for social validity and building a community. You may have the resources to build a website for your club, so creating a free Instagram account or Facebook page for your group is a great way to be searchable online (if your club has a unique name, it will likely be the first result on Google!).

But beyond a making page for your group, your goldmine will be where you find your members online. Is there a Facebook group where your target audience hangs out? A reddit community? Post about your club there!


2. Get creative with event ideas:

Be original when you are planning your events, especially if you are just starting. Think of a fun title with alliteration, or offer a fun food or drink to get people in the door. The more out-of-the-box your event is, the more people will talk about it, share it on social media, get curious, and show up. 


3. Poster where your members hang out:

If your club will meet locally, use the traditional marketing technique of putting up posters for your events. Create a cool design for your event poster, print out a bunch of copies, and tape them up in the relevant places, according to your audience. For booster clubs, hand up posters at the school or local supermarket. For a university club, hang posters in the student center or local coffee shop.

Tip: Place a QR code on the poster, and connect it to an online form, email, group chat link, etc. to make it easy for the people who see your poster to get connected to your club. There are many free QR code generators online, choose one where you can track scans to monitor your campaign’s success.


4. Leverage word of mouth:

There’s no doubt that people are more likely to try out your club if they hear good things about it from family or friends. Encourage your first few members to spread the word or consider launching a discount for members if they bring a friend. That way, you are incentivizing your members to do the hard work of bringing new people to your club for you! 


5. Set up a nonprofit bank account:

To scale your group sustainably, set up a dedicated bank account for your group. If you expect to collect more than $5K a year, make sure you incorporate your group as a nonprofit so that you can receive tax-exempt benefits. Regularly review your financial reports, monitor cash flow, and make informed decisions to maximize the impact of available resources.

Tip: Crowded is offers bank accounts* built for nonprofits – it offers built-in compliance tools, nonprofit banking, digital debit cards and fundraising tools.

5 strategies for club member retention

1. Listen to member feedback:

To get your members to keep attending your club events, invest the time in understanding them. Why do they return, or what made them stop coming? Depending on your relationship with members, initiate casual conversations where you ask for their feedback, or use an online form. Check to see what you are doing right, and if there is anything your club could improve on. Be sure to take action based on their feedback, so your members feel valued.


2. Keep your club organized:

Members can easily pick up on if there is a lack of organization within your club. Make sure your events run smoothly and that there is a strong leadership team. If relevant, hold elections for board positions, and meet with the board regularly. Your member’s will be able to tell that your club is well run, and they will trust you in the long term. 


3. Make it simple to join or renew membership:

Pick a reliable online payment collection provider for collecting club dues or event fees. If signing up for your club or events is burdensome, shady or expensive, you may lose members. Your payment processor should be low-cost, secure and simple. 


4.Provide real value to members:

Your members are not doing you a favor by joining your club, you must always be working to create value for them through your club’s activities. When your club costs money to join, people will think twice before spending their hard-earned money on your club. If your members truly feel that they are getting good value from your events, they will remain your members for a long time. 


5. Stay true to your group’s purpose:

If your members joined you as a gardening club, you cannot just shift your club into a pickling club. For one, your members joined you because of your club’s definition, if you change it, they will not all stay. Also, for tax compliance reasons, if you conduct activities outside of your stated purpose, you risk losing your tax-exempt status