How to Build Membership in Non Profit Organizations

by Maggie McCormick; Updated September 26, 2017
Portrait of volunteers holding painting supplies

The bigger your non-profit membership, the more money you will be able to raise for your organization. You can raise the member base for your non-profit by reaching out to people who care about the issues that your non-profit supports, using a variety of methods.

Step 1

Create different levels of membership. Some people might shy away from membership in an organization because they cannot afford the associated fees. Create levels of membership that are affordable to all--low-priced, mid-priced and high-priced options. Each level can come with different benefits.

Step 2

Allow for a monthly payment plan. When new members are able to pay a lower fee on a monthly basis, membership becomes more affordable, and you can collect more money overall.

Step 3

Offer something attractive to members. Aside from belief in your cause, give people a reason to join your non-profit organization instead of one that works for a similar cause. Consider offering a free book or newsletter, videos or a bag. Try to find something that fits with your theme. You can brand the item with your non-profit's logo to improve visibility.

Step 4

Build a mailing list of supporters. Not everyone can afford to pay for a membership to your non-profit, but that doesn't meant that you can't use their help. Collect both email and physical addresses on your website and at local events. Send these people newsletters about current issues. You also can ask for donations for specific programs or use the list to promote membership in your non-profit.

Step 5

Sponsor an event to attract new members. Seeing your name in a free concert series or other event helps build interest in your organization. Look for opportunities to interact with the public.

About the Author

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.

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