By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Member Services and Conferences
In the first installment of the “Retention as a Club Culture” series, we explored the importance of a retention practice and the role that it can play in your club’s membership.
However, we also understand that this can be an overwhelming process if you don’t know how to get started. That is why I wanted to share these four easily accessible retention goals that you can set and begin to implement today:
1) Really focus in on your club’s mission. It is easy to get caught up in the business of being a club – holding regular club meetings, putting together committees, overseeing finances and so much more. However, it’s important to remember that this is not why your members joined your club and choose to remain a Sertoman today. Your members are here because they value the mission-focused service your club offers.
Sample Take Away Action: Put together comments related to the “why” behind your club’s mission and how you are meeting those goals and share them at your next club meeting and in your next newsletter. After that, make sure that this is a consistent part of your communications.
2) Find out what is going right and find out what is going wrong. Is your club following through with your intended goals? Are you meeting the needs of the community you’re serving? Where is your work effective and where are you falling short?
Sample Take Away Action: Allocate 15 minutes at your next meeting to identify 3-5 questions you want to ask about your club. You can try this with your board to come up with questions to ask your members and with your general membership to engage with the community at large.
3) Surprise your members! A simple but unexpected gift, incentive, or experience can go a long way to show your member they’re on your mind and of importance to your club. For instance, when the pandemic was at its height and in-person meeting limitations were in place, some nonprofit organizations sent low-value gift cards to members and clients so that they could get a favorite coffee or meal delivered to their home. These are low-cost expenditures that can make someone’s day and let them know that you value the relationship.
Sample Take Away Action: Ask if local businesses might be willing to contribute to goody bags for an upcoming club meeting (e.g., a free car wash coupon, free cookie certificate from a local bakery, small promotional goods, etc.).
4) Find other ways to say thanks. This means going beyond the typical email campaign or note of thanks after a dues renewal. This could mean holding an annual social hour for your event volunteers, sending inexpensive gifts to your volunteer committees, or putting together celebratory videos with personalized messages of thanks from your club officers.
Sample Take Away Action: Devote a few minutes at an upcoming club meeting to handwrite thank-you notes (consider ordering inexpensive ones that are personalized with your club’s logo) to non-member volunteers, donors and sponsors from a past event or fundraiser. Provide sample messages to make it easy for your members.
I hope you’ll join us again next month for part three of this ongoing series!