Compared to data from last year’s Trends and Opportunities Survey, this year more organizations are using income-based memberships and more are open to implementing them. One in four are not interested, however, and of those, two-thirds say it’s because they are offering financial assistance or scholarships instead.
If your organization is offering any type of discount (employer, military, municipal, wellness related, or otherwise) you know that while the system offers a true service, it can be time-consuming to monitor and manage.
To make the process more smooth, form a type of automatic workflow around financial assistance and discounts, put an approval process in place, and set alerts for when discounts are up for renewal.
Does your process have these elements?
The ability for a discount to be pending approval upon joining in house or online is critical. Imagine someone has just taken a facility tour, or they found the ability to join online, and they want to join right away. If the person qualifies for a discount, your system should still allow them to join, with the discount pending approval.
The alternative is turning people away at the front desk until they provide paperwork, or not allowing them to apply for a discount at all when joining online. Instead, the new member should be able to go ahead and join and bring in paperwork on his next visit—and your organization should keep track by running a regular report of pending memberships.
Periodically ensure members qualify for a discount throughout the life of their membership. Your system should allow you to track when a discount needs to be reverified. We recommend members be asked to verify their statuses, financial or otherwise, every six months. Remember, people whose situations have changed may not let you know they no longer qualify.