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  • Writer's pictureNonprofit Learning Lab

Six Strategies to Welcome New Members and Strengthen Your Membership Program

New members aren’t sure yet what to expect from your organization or offerings. This is the perfect opportunity to welcome them into your community! With a purposeful outreach strategy, your team can set new members up for a great experience with your organization. Keep reading for six strategies to welcome new members and strengthen your membership program.

1. Send Welcome Emails When a new member signs up, they need confirmation of their purchase and that the membership was initiated. They also need instructions on accessing their membership. All of this information can be put into an automated “Thank You” email that confirms the purchase, includes a welcome line, and explains member benefits and access instructions. It is also a great touch to send a quick check-in email, personally welcoming a new member and offering help.

2. Offer One-on-One Meetings A membership base is built on relationships. Start forming that relationship when a new member joins! Offer a one-on-one video call, during which the member can ask questions and explain what they’re looking to get from the membership. Walk them through your website and members-only pages. Demonstrate how to access services and resources, and don’t skip any details. Great customer support sets the member up for success and reinforces that your membership team is knowledgeable, available and happy to help.

3. Have a Check-in Strategy Plan regular check-in points during a member’s first year to ask how everything is going with the membership and offer tips based on their usage data. Every couple of months, look into new members’ activity with your organization.

  • Has a member downloaded resources but not attended your live programs? Send a quick email to let them know which programs are coming up and explain how to register.

  • Has the member added their team to the account, but none of them have accessed your services or resources? Send them a few items that may be of interest and explain how to access them.

  • Have they been completely inactive? Offer a one-on-one video call to walk them through the membership.

It takes extra time to tailor communications to each members’ activity, but it shows the member that they are important to your organization and helps them see how your resources and services are relevant to their specific situation.

4. Incorporate Regular Phone Calls Phone calls are an effective way to connect with people, address questions, and build relationships. In our digital age phone calls can feel antiquated, but don’t let that dissuade you from incorporating them into your outreach! When done strategically, phone calls are a great way to provide customer support, promote upcoming events, and get to know your members.

5. Have How-to Documents On Hand Have professionally designed how-to documents for member processes like logging into a member page or registering for events. Break down a process into simple steps and include descriptions and high-quality images. A ready-to-send PDF cuts down on staff time explaining processes and provides a better how-to guide for members than an email paragraph. If you don’t have a dedicated design person on staff, hire a freelance graphic designer. You don’t have to have a big budget to create a professional, useful document.

Sample Image from Nonprofit Learning Lab Document

6. Provide Exceptional Customer Service Be proactive with your customer service to head off issues before they arise. Put processes in place to ensure members have everything they need to access login pages, benefits and resources. When members have questions, respond quickly and thoroughly. Great customer service sets members up for success with your organization and builds lasting connections.

Building a robust nonprofit membership program isn’t easy, but with a good outreach plan, a capable membership team and quality services and resources, you can create relationships with your members that will last for years.

We hope you enjoyed these Six Strategies to Welcome New Members and Strengthen Your Membership Program. If you want to learn more about nonprofit management and hear great advice from experts in the nonprofit sector, check out our upcoming online trainings page.


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