The Best Practices for Managing Association Memberships

An association cannot sustain itself and grow without adequate association membership management. That involves the right member software, strategies, and an ongoing commitment to membership renewals. Providing members with the right services and resources is not necessarily enough to keep them on board. You must understand where they are in their membership journey and engage with them accordingly.

With the right strategy, you can connect with your members at the appropriate time and maximize their value. Here are the best practices for managing association memberships.

Use Member Software

Member management software is essential for any association. It helps them maintain precise records, which are necessary for handling memberships. This software allows you to manage your members’ names, pertinent member details, membership duration, and more.

Software can streamline association membership management. This technology handles registration, coordinates communication, and keeps track of dues or renewal dates. It automates the monitoring of specific services and resources. Organizing a large pool of data becomes more streamlined with member software.

Optimize Onboarding

Member management begins with onboarding, so fine-tune it. Automate your onboarding wherever relevant. Members should be informed of what they will receive for membership and understand your association’s value. Describe your expectations for the upcoming term. This transparency will make new members feel more at ease with your association.

Personalised Messages

An organization should not communicate with a one-year member in the same manner as a long-term member with many years of loyalty. Members appreciate personal messages that resonate with them. Enhance communication by categorizing members and ensuring no one receives irrelevant information.

Also, ensure members are not isolated. Keep in touch with members throughout their membership period. A monthly or quarterly email or message can maintain open, welcoming, and transparent lines of communication.

Use Annual Renewals

A yearly membership renewal schedule ensures you check in with members annually. It helps you identify any issues with the program and provides an opportunity to receive feedback. If renewal rates remain strong, that is a positive sign for your association.

To retain more members, you may consider offering incentives to returning members. They may enjoy access to more resources and unique benefits or discounts on membership renewal. Consider how you can strengthen the argument for a member to remain with you for another term.

Track Participation

You can track how services are used, event engagement, and resource access in your association. These measurable metrics indicate how members benefit from your offerings. If you discover certain perks are underutilized, consider switching them out for more popular alternatives.

Be Responsive

Ensure a representative is readily available when a member has a question, comments, or sends a message. Your staff should field incoming messages promptly. This way, members feel heard when reaching out to your association. They’ll appreciate someone to connect with and get answers from.

If you’re short on labour, use technology to facilitate responses. Chatbots answer basic questions. They also provide links where members can obtain critical information for specific inquiries.

Include Reminders and Thank you

When someone confirms their attendance, send an email reminder near the event or service date. After the event has passed, follow up within a week with a thank you message. Express gratitude for their participation. In addition, you should hint at what’s to come.

Collect on Member Dues

If an association membership costs money, ensure it is collected within a defined time frame. You should also have a process to work with members to receive the required payments to keep a membership active. While asking for member dues can be uncomfortable, you shouldn’t let dues remain uncollected. In the long run, it could lose you money, benefits, and value.

To retain more members, consider offering flexible payment plans. Auto-renewals may be an option, depending on the member software you’re using. Tiered payment plans are a perk. Monthly payments instead of annual fees may be another path to pursue. Some associations offer sliding scale pricing, pay-what-you-can, and compassionate pricing plans.

Ensure You Provide Value

Association memberships are retained when members believe renewal is worthwhile. This requires an organization to provide the services and resources advertised. Ensure its offering is tailored to its member base. Offer voluntary member surveys. Find out their values, what’s relevant to them about association membership and more. This way, you know how to care for your members and offer them unique benefits that match their personalities. More on

Also, pair up like-minded members. Encourage real connections to form. Create events where members can get to know one another. Those bonds can keep members returning, attending more events, and renewing their memberships.