Non-Profit Membership Ideas

by Barbie Carpenter

A nonprofit relies on its members to donate money, volunteer and promote the worthy cause. Thus, the nonprofit's success is contingent upon the dedication of its members. Nonprofit directors focus on recruiting and maintaining members year after year, and current members reach out to friends and family to boost membership. Nonprofits can employ several strategies to attract members.

Membership Drive

When a nonprofit launches, it needs to hold a membership drive to attract interested community members. This membership drive can take place annually, ensuring the nonprofit grows year after year. Current nonprofit members can set up tables at community events, from art fairs to church carnivals, to distribute information about their organization. They can have membership cards on hand that allow interested individuals to sign up immediately for more information about the nonprofit and its cause.

Membership Incentives

Offering incentives to nonprofit members can increase the number of people interested in joining the organization. For example, the nonprofit's annual fee might deter people from joining, unless they can see the benefit of membership. Talk to local businesses about offering discounts to nonprofit members. A local lunch spot might offer 10 percent off to all nonprofit members, for example. Working with a charitable organization while enjoying a few perks can be an appealing combination for an interested nonprofit member.

Membership Bash

Host a quarterly or annual membership bash to bring together old and new members of the nonprofit. At this event, you can answer questions about the organization, discuss the benefits of membership and sign up new members. Interested members can interact with current nonprofit members, who can share the benefits of working with the organization on a personal level. The social aspect of such an event can also appeal to new members, as they can build new friendships as a part of the nonprofit.

Membership Structures

Nonprofits can prevent their membership fees from deterring new members by offering different membership structures. If a high annual membership fee turns potential new members off, set up a payment plan so that new members can pay their dues quarterly rather than annually. Offer corporate memberships, where employees who work for the same organization can join the nonprofit at a reduced rate.

About the Author

Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.

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