If you’re looking to run a membership drive and need some help, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve rounded up 10 real-life examples of organizations (both small and large) that held very successful membership drives, gaining anywhere from 5 to 200 new members.
The best part is that they didn’t over-complicate things. The strategies these organizations chose were fairly simple to plan and execute.
To help you meet the most success for your organization, I’ve also rounded up extra advice on how to set your goal, budget, strategy, and more.
Here’s everything I cover in this guide:
- The Best Way to Make a Goal
- The One Metric that Will Set a Proper Budget
- How to Create a Successful Strategy
- 10 Proven Ideas for a Successful Membership Drive
- Why Paper Membership Forms Are Bad for New Members (And What to Do Instead)
- The Easiest Way to Set up New Member Registration
- Additional Resources
It’s my hope that by following these steps and examples, you’ll meet great success. All the best!
The Best Way to Make a Goal
There’s a common mistake I see organizations making when they set goals for their membership drives.
They set goals like, “increase memberships,” or “market our organization more.”
The problem with these types of goals is there’s no way to measure real success.
If the organization gains one new member, did the organization reach its goal? How about 100 new members?
On top of this, it’s difficult to know what sorts of activities will lead to that goal’s success.
A better way to set goals is to use the SMART framework.
SMART, according to MindTools stands for:
- Time bound
According to research by Michigan State University, writing down and sharing SMART goals with your team can increase the chances of success by 33%.
Say for example, you have an organization of 500 members. A SMART goal might be: Gain 50 new members over one month — that’s a 10% increase over their base membership.
This goal is SMART because it’s Specific (50 members), Measurable (50), Achievable (10% increase), Relevant (members for a membership organization), and Time Bound (one month).
A goal like this also makes tracking it easy — half way through the month, the organization should be at 25 new members. If not, new tactics can be employed. To be even more transparent about this goal, the organization can post progress on social media, in the office, and on the website. That way, everyone knows where the goal stands, and can help out if needed.
If you need help setting your own SMART goal, here are some typical goals I see:
- 10% increase in overall membership
- 300% increase in average memberships for one month (ex. If you typically get 10 new members a month, can you get 30?)
- A drive to get a specific type of member (ex. Students vs Professional members)
Once you have your SMART goal created, it’s time to create a budget.
In the next section, I share a common way the top membership organizations approach budgeting.