Trends & Opportunities: Member Satisfaction & Recruitment

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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.

Trends & Opportunities 2015: Expected Budget Growth

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A survey of more than 350 professionals at YMCAs, JCCs and community centers reveals that survey respondents are cautious in their financial forecasts for 2015. Daxko’s annual Trends & Opportunities report shows 45% of respondents predict an increase in their operating budgets over last year; down 10% over their predictions for 2014.

All together, 95% of respondents report their operating budget increased or stayed the same.



Of those who predict a budget increase, the top contributing factors are increased membership sales and increased program revenues.




Top reasons cited for budget declines include decreased competition as the primary driver with closing branches ranking second.

Interested in more insights from our 2015 Trends & Opportunities survey?  Download the complete survey.

Trends & Opportunities Survey: Major Gifts

By | Fundraising, Industry, Organizational Health, Trends Reports & Surveys | No Comments

Daxko surveys executives and professionals in the member-based nonprofit market annually to find out their biggest challenges and successes from the prior year. For our 2014 Trends & Opportunities Survey we had 288 respondents, 84% of which were executives. Organizations of various sizes participated in the survey, with operating revenues ranging from less than $1,000,000 to greater than $30,000,000. Here we dig deeper into the results for major gifts.

Leveraging relationships of board members and staff members tops out as the main methods for identifying prospects for major gifts ($1,000+). Still, digging deep with current donors and elevating gift values must play a big role.

“A major gifts program is the most cost-effective fundraising strategy,” according to Julie Sistrunk, Daxko T2 Consulting Direct of Financial Development. “Major gifts provide the greatest return on investment with 80-90% retention on these important gifts.”

Download 2014 Trends & Opportunities Survey Results

Download the PDF file .

Trend Reports & Surveys: Online & Mobile

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By 2014, the number of mobile internet users will surpass the number of desktop internet users (Source: comScore)

Providing online tools that can be utilized on both a mobile device and a desktop is something many organizations are already doing: 57% offer online registration, 28% offer online membership sales, and 18% offer online account management.


In addition, a mobile app can provide an added level of engagement. 57% of organizations are either offering or considering offering a mobile app as a free service to members, and 52% of respondents are either using tablets or considering using them in everyday operations, such as member check-ins.