By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Member Services and Conferences
Many Sertoma clubs come to our national headquarters staff seeking ideas to recruit new members. Oftentimes, my first response is to ask them what they are doing to keep members.
The truth is that it is not only more cost effective to retain members, it is often also easier. The average Sertoma club is smaller in size, making one-on-one communication easier for club officers and board to handle. When you have a member not wanting to renew, you can reach out directly and have the conversation. Many of those issues can be dealt with personally so that you can hopefully avoid their lapse. You can also track trends over time to see if there are ongoing problems that may be plaguing your club.
Members have many reasons for leaving a membership organization. This may include:
- Moving to a new area
- Lack of engagement
- Displeasure with the management or direction of the club
- Weak Return on Investment (ROI)
- Change in job/retirement
- Age and health
- Financial reasons
While this list is numerous, it is in no way comprehensive. In fact, the best way to find out why a member is leaving your club is to ask them. Don’t assume. Make this part of your regular membership processes and outreach.
We suggest that your program contain three post-lapse touchpoints – the day that they lapse, 30-90 days after they lapse, and 6-12 months later. Each communication should include details on how they can easily renew, as well as contact information for the appropriate leadership. It’s also a great time to invite them to an upcoming meeting, ask them to volunteer, and/or remind them of the benefits of belonging to your club.
Focusing on Membership Retention in 2022? We have some great resources to help you with that! Make sure to check out our Retention Manual and Retention developmental training to get started.