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Membership Organizations – the Ongoing Struggle


There have been many discussions in forums recently on the difficulties organizations like itSMF and other professional membership associations for IT professionals are having with gaining and retaining members, and delivering value to their membership base.

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Community Brands, a technology-driven company that delivers purpose-built solutions for the world’s leading associations and non-profits, announced today findings from its Member Loyalty Study: A Deep Dive into Member Preferences and RetentionThis study explores what is driving retention among members of professional membership organizations, and the best ways for organizations to communicate their value.

“Far too few associations are proactive about identifying and acting upon retention warning signs until it’s a major problem for the organization,” said Amanda Myers, director of product marketing, member solutions for Community Brands. “In our study, we were able to identify four key metrics – satisfaction, likelihood to renew, connection, and likelihood to recommend the organization (Net Promoter Score) – to measure and segment members into groups, based on shared attitudes and values. Our hope is that associations benchmark their membership against our findings and identify new ways to nurture their members up the loyalty spectrum.”


Key Findings Include:

  • Members feel a lack of connection. While overall retention metrics remain strong, with the majority of members (84 percent) feeling satisfied with their membership, far fewer (55 percent) feel a connection to their professional membership organization.
  • Code of Ethics and consistent updates on industry information are must-haves for retaining members. Other top benefits are focused on intangibles, such as representing members’ interest, fueling growth and innovation, and raising awareness. Job, continuing education, and training opportunities are most important to Millennial and Gen X members.
  • Professional membership organizations struggle to communicate value. The top reasons members decide not to renew are centered on costly dues and the organization providing little value. The least loyal members, those most likely to have lapsed in the last year, see less value in intangible benefits.
  • Amount of information members want varies by loyalty level. Loyal members prefer detailed updates more than twice a month, while members less loyal to an organization prefer to receive the big news monthly or even less frequently. Millennial and Gen X members are more likely to want more frequent communication.
  • Email reigns supreme with members. Email is the top-performing channel, regardless of a member’s generation or level of commitment. Surveyed members cite email content as the easiest to consume, most likely to keep them engaged, and most powerful for telling the organization’s story.
  • Nearly half of members feel their content is not personalized. Forty-seven percent of surveyed members say the typical content they receive from their professional membership organization is not personalized. Common content offenses include sending content which is irrelevant, boring, or in an inconvenient format.
  • There is no consistency in collecting and using information for personalization. Seventy-four percent of surveyed members recall being asked for at least some type of personal information or preferences. However, there doesn’t appear to be consistency in terms of what organizations request, and whether they effectively use the information.

The entire report can be downloaded here.


Source: PRN Newswire

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