Pros and Cons: Memberships
Some organizations offer both individual and corporate memberships. In return for paying dues to the organization, these members receive benefits.
- Membership dues provide immediate and unrestricted funds.
- Memberships serve as a predictable and ongoing funding base.
- Memberships give people a way to have an intimate, ongoing relationship with your organization.
- Not every organization's charter allows memberships. You may have to retain an attorney to make the appropriate governance changes.
- You must give people membership benefits in return for their dues.
- Members may want a higher decision-making role in your organization than you want to provide.
TIPS TO REMEMBER
- Reinforce members' pride of association by stressing their commonalities.
- Be sure your membership fee is reasonably priced for the marketplace. You may need to do a market survey to discover the best fee. (See
step 3 .)
- To be properly responsive to your members, it's best to have sophisticated computer technology.
- Provide members with an easy mechanism (toll-free number, postage-paid envelope, fax line, etc.) to give you input about their concerns.