It was rewarding to learn recently that the National Trust’s template for organizational assessment includes in its references a guide to membership development I wrote for them many years ago.
As flattering as that might be, I’m not so sure it’s still relevant. The concept–and perceived value–of membership is changing rapidly, with young people not feeling as compelled to be part of a club as they once were.
There is a real movement toward experiential participation, through events and one-shot volunteer opportunities, especially those that don’t require membership as a prerequisite to participation.
This is a topic I hope to develop in a future post; it is of critical import for nonprofits that have traditionally relied on membership dues for a significant part of their revenues.