Trends & Opportunities: Member Satisfaction & Recruitment

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The following post is an excerpt from our annual Trends & Opportunities survey report. Our full 2015 Trends & Opportunities Survey report is available for download.

Member Satisfaction

Conducting member surveys is a great way to collect insight into attrition and satisfaction. The most popular ways to track member satisfaction include annual membership surveys (48%), exit surveys (51%), and collecting member feedback in a suggestion box (49%).

Being proactive about member retention can help an organization get ahead of member cancellations. Still, when attrition occurs, having a plan in place to recover lost members is important. Less than half the organizations surveyed have a member recovery plan.

51% of organizations report they conduct exit surveys to help understand why members are leaving, which is a 6% increase over last year.

Putting more emphasis on continuous feedback (think phone, email, and online) more than once a year could help centers make necessary improvements and lower attrition. Only 22% (compared to 2014’s 30%) of organizations solicit feedback more than once a year. Regular “member pulse checks” maximize interactions with members and give them a voice in the member community.

Member Recruitment

Word-of-mouth referrals are still viewed by organizations as being the most effective communication channel for attracting new members. For the first time, social media (11%) ranked behind word-of-mouth, displacing direct mail as the most effective way to attract new members.

Social media referrals may be catching on as more millennials become members. With this in mind, software provider HootSuite stresses the importance of getting your employees and your loyal followers on the same page when it comes to social:

Give your employees and volunteers a social media education. Many younger employees and volunteers already feel comfortable conversing in the social media realm and you can use that base knowledge to work for your association. Before you give anyone the keys to your social media accounts, be sure they understand how you would like them to communicate professionally in order to further the mission of your nonprofit. A helpful step is to designate one full-time employee to train and monitor the messages that are put out by others on social media. Be sure to set up social media keyword searches so you can quickly identify mentions from all sources.

Recruit loyal members to talk about your organization to their social networks. Have a running club that meets regularly at your center? Is the head of the group active in the local running community? Chances are this person has a lot of influence. HootSuite offers their “ambassadors” brand education, online recognition, and company goodies to encourage them to participate on social media. In this way, loyal members can become ambassadors for your association and for your mission. (“Doing more with Less: how Nonprofits Build Social Media Armies,” HootSuite, May 2014).

Being active on social media can often be an afterthought, but doing the work on the front end will encourage staff and loyal members to participate. Widespread participation creates an active social online community that can enhance your word-of-mouth referrals and further your nonprofit’s mission.

About Trends & Opportunities

Daxko conducts the Trends & Opportunities survey annually to gather insights on nonprofits and the members they serve. This year’s study was fielded in December 2014 via email and included YMCAs, JCCs, Boys and Girls Clubs and other community centers. We had more than 350 member-based nonprofit professionals respond to this survey representing 314 unique associations.


Executive Interview: Focusing on Progress

By | Industry, Leadership, Mission Delivery, Organizational Health, Webcasts | No Comments

Recently, Daxko’s own Tom Massey, sat down with 4 prominent YMCA CEOs to discuss leadership, technology, and YMCA best practices:

  • Billy George of the YMCA of South Hampton Roads
  • Danny McConnell of The Family YMCA of Greater Augusta
  • Paul McEntire of the YMCA of the Greater Houston Area
  • Baron Herdelin-Doherty of the YMCA of San Diego County

Each one provided great insight into the workings of successful YMCAs. A few highlights that stood out to me:

When asked the top things they knew they needed to take care of in order to make progress at their associations, Danny McConnell mentioned that the YMCA of Greater Augusta put a focus on the following:

  1. Building a great team,
  2. Building a culture of success to help community partners “think of the Y first,”
  3. And staying true to the mission of the organization.

Danny mentioned that the faith-based mission of the YMCA really resonated with him and so his team makes a concerted effort to, “keep the mission of the organization clear in our sights, we talk about it a lot, we plan around it…and I have not doubt because of that that we have been blessed with what we have done here along the way.”

Paul McEntire’s priorities centered on technology goals with the transition of the YMCA of the Greater Houston Area to Daxko software.

  1. Making sure that the association has accurate data and making data-driven decisions a priority,
  2. Establish common business practices across the association and decide what decisions should be made at the branch level versus the regional or association level,
  3. And make online registration a priority.

Watch the full webcast to catch all of the interview and find out more about how these successful CEOs make changes and measure progress at their YMCAs.


How is Your Business Acumen?

By | Building a Company, Culture, Life at Daxko, Professional Development | No Comments

How many times do you see an HR practitioner and a manager sitting and discussing things?  What do you think when you see those two go into a room?  Good or bad?

I challenge all professionals to change that perception.

One of the competencies that the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) is basing its certification model is Business Acumen.  Immediately, people think how the business works, what terminology and processes are in different departments and the effects of different decisions.  Yes, but I challenge you to start looking at and learning this competency differently.

SHRM Competency

Today Kim B, Sr. Talent Sherpa is meeting with Jonathan B, SVP of Sales.  They are discussing how to utilize the competencies and processes of different areas in the business to make our training and our efforts more effective.  In this instance, Kim and JB are discussing the sales process and closing a deal.  This is so applicable in Daxko’s People team realm of recruiting because we are seeking the best talent in a tight technology market.  Attracting and successfully recruiting the best requires the skill of sales.  From the opening pitch to closing the deal or getting the offer letter signed.

Daxko are not naïve to believe we are the only company going after the best and top talent.  But how can the Daxko brand win over others if the candidate doesn’t know about it or is not open to hearing it?

Here are some additional examples of incorporating other team’s processes into the HR realm:

  • The People team adoption the Agile project management methodology.
  • The People team has talked to the Professional Services team to implement some concepts to train our team member and assess knowledge gained or how to best train team members on a new ADP software feature.
  • The People team lead is part of the regularly schedule Agile coaches meeting.
  • The People team works closely with marketing to identify methods of branding and search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure that Daxko jobs are being seen by the most people.
  • The Talent Acquisition Specialist sat with marketing to learn how to read Google analytics for the Daxko career site.

We believe that learning, not just about the business but how the each department operates within the business (People team) better able apply those concepts and competencies in understanding the overall nature of the business and industry.  These are things that will develop us professionally and are not only applicable at Daxko.


Daxko Engage Success Story: Peninsula Metro Y

By | Customer Experience, Engage, Engagement, Industry, Membership, Mission Delivery | No Comments

Recently we caught up with Nancy Byrum at the Peninsula Metro YMCA and talked to her about how they use Daxko Engage to engage with their members and staff. Shortly after our interview with her, she sent us a story that one of her staff had brought up. For the purposes of the story, we’ve replaced the member’s name with a fictitious one. Enjoy!

“Mrs. C . is a member at the Victory Y.  She is also a Donor.  Recently, Mrs. C. filled out a termination form.

While using Engage, Mrs. C. came up on my call list to try to recapture her membership. 

I phoned Mrs. C. and she said that her husband had just returned from Iraq and life was crazy and they really enjoyed the Y but expenses were very tight and she could not justify the cost.  I had her membership info pulled up and noticed that her husband had been coming in quite often since his return.  I also noticed throughmember-360-pagethe Engage 360 page that she has 3 school age children that have engaged in several of the programs.  With that immediate knowledge, I was able to suggest to Mrs. C. that her husband may need the Y for some stress relief and decompression from being gone.  I also mentioned that she may need some time for herself.  I also brought up our Kids Night Out, where just her and her husband could safely leave the children at the Y and go on a date.  Then, I was able to offer the option of signing the children up for up-coming programs.  We also discussed her financial situation and she felt very relieved and comfortable with the options that I was able to provide.  At the end of our phone call, she wanted me to call her back the next day so she could talk to her husband.

 I followed up with her the next day, she decided to not only keep her membership, but add her husband permanently, and sign her children up for classes.

Engage has played a pivotal role in being able to capture these terminations and make a difference in people’s lives.  Engage provides an extra step to customer service, going above and beyond to get families engaged in their community. “