[Ohio-talk] fyi membership and just good information

Cheryl Fields cherylelaine1957 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 8 19:06:25 UTC 2016

Richard, this is really good information, thanks. Blessings, Cheryl

On 2/8/16, Payne, Richard L (Synchrony Financial) via Ohio-talk
<ohio-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Survey Results
> In a recent survey, more than 25% of respondents said FundRaiser Basic has
> directly contributed to an increase in donations!
> In a recent survey of FundRaiser Basic users, 90% of respondents indicated
> that Basic has solved their fundraising problems!
> In addition, enrolling a donor as a member gives a concrete reason for
> sporadic donors to become regular donors, at least once a year when their
> membership renewal comes due.
> Would a membership program be good for your organization? If you already
> have a membership program, are you clear on what you and the members gain
> from having the program, above and beyond being a donor to your
> organization? Here are some of the  questions to help you decide:
>   *   What role do you want people to play in your organization who are not
> board or staff?
>   *   What should be the base membership fee?
>   *   What benefits should you offer to members?
>   *   How can you best manage joining and expiration of membership?
> "From a fundraising point of view, a member generally feels more ownership
> and involvement in the organization than a donor does, even if the member
> never actually does anything with the membership. These kinds of
> organizations want people to feel involved beyond simply giving money."
> - Kim Klein, What Lies Down the Membership
> Road?<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.grassrootsfundraising.org_howto_dearkim_2045-5F200604.html&d=CwMFAg&c=i0QXx0LZaNWl3bsI0Hrdtw&r=VwceYPGIIpVPLVm9gShbIRaVNtDCN1-d9rGacia1JBYgBHb7brUX0EXwNQPG1QWx&m=DlAWMRNB4iGcNi6gWNENH6BbkJa4vejXTA98ByZgUs0&s=m5qaHxkBF8Af0-JBhHpvs3aTYUCac9UaUcdeGLPvewg&e=>
> What role do you want people to play in your organization who are not board
> or staff?
> Members generally feel more ownership and involvement than donors. Members
> may have an expectation to be asked to contribute other things in addition
> to money. Some of the things they may contribute are volunteer time,
> political support, expertise and influence.
> If these things would benefit your organization, then consider starting a
> membership program. However, if you really just want money to do your work,
> then a membership program may add more administration for little added
> benefit. In that case, look for other ways of showing your gratitude for the
> money that donors contribute. Donors feel involved and hopefully feel
> appreciated, but they usually have no expectation of being asked to give
> anything besides money and feel little ownership of your organization.
> What should be the base membership fee?
> One good way to decide on the base membership fee is to ask yourself what
> kind of people you want as members. Then decide what those people can afford
> as a general minimum. Make that amount the base membership fee.
> You may have the kind of organization that does not require a fee at all.
> For instance, people who live in a specified area of a city are sometimes
> considered members of a neighborhood association whether or not they have
> ever been to a meeting or paid any dues. Some organizations also give
> memberships to anyone who donates at a certain level.
> You can also set levels of membership to allow for different degrees of
> ownership and involvement. Some typical levels are student, senior,
> corporate, regular. This allows for people to participate at an appropriate
> level to their current circumstances and gives you some information on who
> they are.
> What benefits do you offer for membership?
> Ask yourself what motivates people to want a membership in your organization
> and tie the benefits to that. The reasons that people will be motivated to
> become a member depends on your mission. They may simply want a stronger
> sense of affiliation with the work you do or gain satisfaction from knowing
> that they are making a bigger difference. In other cases, members may be
> looking for concrete benefits, for instance an after-school youth center.
> Whatever the mission of an organization, members are usually offered
> something tangible in return for membership. It may be symbolic or
> practical. If your organization's mission is to save the rain forests, then
> a hat with the logo of your organization may be just what people want to
> advertise  their involvement. If your organization provides an after-school
> youth center, then membership would provide greater access to equipment.
> Many memberships offer a newsletter that gives members information that they
> want and need.  For some, the newsletter is the only benefit offered, and
> that is quite sufficient.
> "When considering which benefits to offer, less may be more at first. You
> can always add benefits to membership, but you are hard pressed to take them
> away. So, only promise people what you can actually deliver. Approach this
> question with a lot of thought on the front end. This will save you time
> (and grief) later on," cautions fundraising consultant Kim Klein.
> In addition, check out tax considerations when deciding on benefits. Certain
> insubstantial benefits may be offered by organizations without impairing the
> tax-deduction that may be claimed by people who join.  However, there are
> very strict limits on what can be considered a tax-deductible benefit, and
> which benefits need to be dealt with in a different way.
> "When we set fund-raising goals, we usually cast them in terms of dollars.
> However, the major fund-raising goal of any organization should be to build
> a base of loyal, supportive donors who give money year after year, campaign
> after campaign. The longer a donor gives to an organization the more likely
> those gifts are to grow in size and frequency."
> - Tony Poderis Building Donor
> Loyalty<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.raise-2Dfunds.com_012703forum.html&d=CwMFAg&c=i0QXx0LZaNWl3bsI0Hrdtw&r=VwceYPGIIpVPLVm9gShbIRaVNtDCN1-d9rGacia1JBYgBHb7brUX0EXwNQPG1QWx&m=DlAWMRNB4iGcNi6gWNENH6BbkJa4vejXTA98ByZgUs0&s=BF1Eloy97g8kcXVZ2C20mlAQ5Q0UPQ-iG0CRTRdeXrU&e=>
> How do you manage joining and expiration of membership?
> Some organizations keep memberships simple - beginning of year to end of
> year. In this case, there is often a membership drive at the end of the year
> where the organization expects to get most of their new members. People who
> join in between are still members only until the end of the year. Another
> simple way to handle it is that anyone who gives over a certain amount
> automatically gets a membership.  A more robust membership is one where you
> pay dues and your membership is valid for 12 months from that date.
> Keeping track of a simple membership program that runs the calendar year can
> be quite easy, and can be managed with the ordinary features of your basic
> donor management software.  Membership can be determined just by looking at
> when someone last gave. However, for varying dates of expiration, levels of
> membership, and a range of benefits, special membership management features
> are important.
> Sasha Daucus is Newsletter and Web Content Editor for FundRaiser Software.
> Through her work at FundRaiser, she volunteers as forum host and facilitator
> for
> TechSoup<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.techsoup.org_&d=CwMFAg&c=i0QXx0LZaNWl3bsI0Hrdtw&r=VwceYPGIIpVPLVm9gShbIRaVNtDCN1-d9rGacia1JBYgBHb7brUX0EXwNQPG1QWx&m=DlAWMRNB4iGcNi6gWNENH6BbkJa4vejXTA98ByZgUs0&s=jsiXkUu17aQzwFKf6PZcvcwXEjePhbTL5SfzqLL-SPE&e=>,
> a nonprofit technology help site. Outside of work, she volunteers for the
> National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. In her free time she enjoys nature
> photography and listening to world music from the Mediterranean region.
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