For associations, membership retention is a critical component in day-to-day operations and yearly strategic planning. As you organize events, deliver content, and find solutions for your members, it is also important to serve your own needs by tracking membership retention. The number of members you engage and retain each year will determine how you can grow as an association and expand your horizons. A healthy membership base keeps your operations afloat and helps your community thrive.
Whether it is during your end-of-year wrap-up, after a big event, or while you’re prepping member resources and content, keeping tabs on your retention rate is always important. Your retention rate is the percentage of members retained over a given period of time. The path to finding this number is easy! Pull up your recent membership numbers and plug them into this simple calculation to make sure your association is on the right track:
Once you solve for this number, you can use your findings to propel your association forward and brainstorm new strategies. Taking time to be in the know about your member health will benefit your operations and provide tangible data your board and staff can work with. Take this calculation for example:
At the end of 2020, there were 3,000 members (start count). At the end of 2021, there were 2,750 members (end count), which included 75 new members and 175 members who did not renew.
Step 1: 2,750 – 75 = 2,675 (end count – new members)
Step 2: 2,675 ÷ 3,000 = .89 (end count ÷ start count)
Retention Rate = 89%
Tracking member retention ensures a healthy future for your members and the impact you can create as an association. Your members value your experience as an association to support their businesses and community. By working to make your association sustainable, you strengthen member relationships and encourage long-term membership commitments. Put the calculation to work to help your association and members flourish!