Think about your organization and all the “things” that comprise it. Where did your mind first take you? The facility? Program offerings? Staff? Your cause? All of those “things” point back to two greater purposes – members and community. We wouldn’t exist without them.Your members provide consistent support, volunteerism, donations and a sense of community unlike any other. Your function is to develop those members from casually associating themselves with a facility to connecting with a community. Then, develop those members into individuals who are committed to your organization’s cause.This purpose is clear for a non-profit community organization, but the ideology is certainly applicable to other organizations as well. One of your focal points is retention – something that proves difficult in a world crowded with shiny, trendy, new offerings that you must constantly compete with. Members might be attracted to unique offerings, but they will stay if they feel connected with other members, trainers, or staff. Developing your community to be a supportive network that provides accountability will ensure a higher retention rate and a far more satisfied member. There are two measures for engagement:
Improving your relationships with your members and connecting them to opportunities that they are interested in will decrease the rate at which you see memberships turn over. In a case study performed by our team (the Daxko Engagement Solutions Team), we found that organizations saw a 3-5% increase in retention year over year if they did the following:
- Establish a new member orientation and develop a new member engagement initiative
- All staff log 3-5 in person conversations each day in a tracking software
- Communicate staff successes and coach under-performers
Engaging your members is incredibly important to accomplishing the mission of your organization, whether that mission is to make an impact through social programs OR to foster a healthy community and make a profit while doing it. While retention is primarily focused on numbers, social impact focuses more on the stories that you will create when your members have an exceptional experience.
All the “things” that make up your organization are important. But what’s more important are the people and the relationships those people build with others.