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#MemberMonday: Retention as a Club Culture – Part 1

By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Member Services & Conferences

Recruitment is a perennial favorite subject for service club organizations like Sertoma. However, in the many conversations we have on membership, people often overlook the critical role that retention plays. It’s not as dazzling as a membership drive where we welcome multiple new members into the fold, but when we create a culture of retention in our clubs, we can actually help make our membership efforts easier.

Customer retention is defined as “the ability of a company to keeps its customers over a specified period,” by Caribbean Ideas, a customer acquisition and branding agency. They explain that the goal of retention is not to just keep customers as part of our organization but rather, to encourage them to spend more. For nonprofits, that spending may be in dollars via membership dues, event registrations, donations, etc., as well as in time spent with the club through volunteering, fundraising, attending club meetings, serving in leadership/committee positions, etc.

Let’s take a look at some numbers that prove just how impactful retention can be:

  • The probability of “selling to” (for nonprofits, selling to would be in the form of membership renewals) is 60-70% for current customers and just 5-20% for new customers. (Source: invesp)
  • New customer acquisition can cost as much as five times more money than keeping a current one.(Source: Invesp)
  • A 5% retention increase can help profits rise 25-95%. (Source: Small Business Trends)
  • Loyal customers are five times as likely to repurchase. They are four times more likely to refer other customers. They’re also five times more likely to forgive a company. (Source: Qualtrics)

Knowing how important retention is just the first step in your club’s membership journey. Future installments in this blog series will address ways to increase your club’s retention, explain how you can accurately measure retention, and offer tips to get your current members actively engaged in your club’s retention culture. Stay tuned!