A membership model is a type of business plan where individuals pay a recurring fee to access the value an organization creates. It provides the design for different membership levels, revenue sources, marketing activities, events and conferences, and finances.
Some examples of organizations that use a membership model include:
The top membership organizations often attribute their success to formalizing a membership model early on. If you haven’t created one for your organization yet, the sooner you do, the sooner you may realize:
In this guide, I’ve pulled together a detailed overview of how to create a model that best fits your organization. But, just like any management practice, if you don’t formalize, standardize, and commit to a set of procedures, you will end up with disorganization, no way of measuring progress, and no way of scaling growth.
If you’re unsure whether a membership model is right for your organization, below are some benefits of using one.
Simplify the member application process:
Full Stack Zone membership management software fully automates the application process to help give your new members a great first impression. Cut out complicated paperwork by creating a web-based, mobile-friendly form where applicants can provide all the information you need and pay online by credit card.
You can customize your member application form with multiple membership levels, discount codes and required administrator approval, and set up automated emails to welcome new members as soon as their application is approved. You can also offer group memberships for families, teams, and companies, allowing group administrators to manage their own members within your larger member base.
Automate your member renewals:
Chasing down people to renew their memberships can be frustrating and time-consuming. With Xyz, you can automate renewal reminders and invoices and make your members’ lives easier with recurring payments for membership.
Cut down your administrative work by offering self-service options to members: they can renew their own membership on the spot by logging in to their profile. They can also securely update their own contact information, register for events and pay membership dues on their computer or from their mobile device.
Share and update member data in real-time:
If you find yourself emailing membership lists back and forth with your team, Xyz could save you hours each week by storing your membership information in the cloud. Volunteers and board members can access the same database online, and updates to your member records happen immediately, so your data is always up to date.
Getting started is simple: you can import your member information from a spreadsheet, customize the database to suit your needs, and you're ready to go!
Engage members with exclusive content:
You can build member engagement by offering access to exclusive member-only web pages, such as networking forums and specialized blogs. You can also customize which member levels or groups you want to access each page.
Set up searchable online member directories:
Help your members connect with each other or the general public by using multiple member directories that are always up to date.
Whether you create a public directory of your members’ businesses, or build a directory only your members can see, you can control which information each directory shows. And whether your website is built in Xyz or another platform, you can easily embed mobile-friendly member directories on your website.
Embed membership functions on your website:
Add Full Tack Zone membership features to your website, no matter which website builder you use.
You can create a new website with our drag-and-drop builder, or add membership features to your existing website by embedding membership application forms, directories and event listings as widgets. These widgets stay connected to your Full Stack Zone database, so you can be sure the information is kept up to date automatically.
Below are some of the benefits when using a membership model:
While the above benefits are good for an organization, membership models also create an easy way to increase member happiness by catering to their exact needs, more of this is explained below.
As your association grows and collects personal information about your members, you can’t afford to protect your member data. To protect your member data and reduce risk, we recommend considering membership software with the following qualities:
Consider the member benefits you offer to your nonprofit members.
Show your members some gratitude by:
As a nonprofit, you know that promotion is a central part of moving your mission forward. Likewise, if you hope to attract new members, you’ll need to develop a marketing strategy for your membership program.
With all your marketing efforts, it might be easy to get lost in the membership drive process, but don’t lose sight of the value of your membership program.
Rather than simply selling your supporters a product, you should be inviting your most invested donors into an exclusive, mutually beneficial experience.
As you put together a promotions plan, keep the following tips in mind.
Keep communication lines open with regular newsletters, invitations to membership appreciation events, and information on volunteer opportunities. Use your membership management software to send batch communications to specific member lists or interact with members one-on-one.
Some do. It’s important to check with your membership software provider to see what integrations they offer. XYZ, for example, is a nonprofit CRM that integrates with membership management software like xyz. That means your membership management data will flow seamlessly into your CRM and any other tools you have integrated.
When researching membership management software for your organization, it is important to look for software that is user-friendly. Especially for small nonprofits who are just delving into the automated world of collecting, using, and storing data, you do not want a program that is so complex that those who you put in charge of managing it get overburdened by it.
Find a software system that features an easy-to-navigate dashboard. Employees of your nonprofit, as well as your members, should be able to get into the system and find the information they are looking for with ease. You also want to make sure you are not investing in a software system that has too many bells and whistles for what you will realistically use the software for. A large nonprofit requires a much more complex system than a small nonprofit; you can always upgrade to a more robust system in a few years once your organization grows.