Only 2% of respondents were willing to attach the word “awesome” to their current member retention while as many as one-third admit dissatisfaction with their organization’s retention rate.
Still, it’s encouraging to see that 9 out of 10 recognize a need for member retention improvement plans, regardless of whether their current retention rate is favorable or not.
“Most organizations know what they need to do. The real issue is how to get it done. To address retention in the most efficient way, you need a team of people,” explains Lori Swann, Daxko T2 Consulting Director of Membership.
Lori suggests forming a Member Experience Executive Team, or MEET, with these attributes:
• Senior-level team focused on the member experience
• Interdisciplinary makeup including experts in programs, financial development, membership, and marketing
• Vital involvement in decisions around pricing, programs, facilities, hiring, and training
• Ability to make data-informed decisions and provide strong recommendations for next steps
For the second year in a row respondents have identified connecting members to the mission as the number-one way to improve retention. One way to literally connect members to your mission is technology.
With 45% of adults carrying smartphones (77% between ages 20–35 carry them), emphasizing your online presence as a way to educate members on the mission is a necessity. (Source: Pew Research Center)
The 2012 Millennial Impact Report found that the top three ways Millennials prefer to learn about nonprofits are all web-based: website, social media, and e-newsletters, in that order.
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. Just under half of organizations report having no member recovery plan at all, and 21% of those admit they don’t know where to start.
Conducting member surveys is a great way to collect insight into attrition. 74% of organizations report they already survey members, and tying those trends back to recovery is a great first step toward improving retention.