Young professionals historic new england

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2010 Membership, Development, PR & Marketing PAG Spring Workshop.

Cultivating Membership Among Young Professionals - Presentation by Kirsten Alexander, Senior Membership Manager, Historic New England, MA

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Young professionals historic new england

  1. 1. Young Friends of Historic New England __________________________________________________
  2. 2. About Us Founded in 1910, Historic New England is the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional preservation organization in the country. We own 36 historic properties in 5 states, ranging from farms to estates to seventeenth-century homes. They include the Lyman Estate, Gropius House, Beauport, Roseland Cottage, and our HQ, the Otis House Museum.
  3. 3. Early Process • Started in 2005 • Early focus on recruiting adult children of high-level donors, board, etc. • These folks have stayed loyal, but not always involved • Growth was stagnant • Total: 62 Young Friends memberships combined total in 5 years. 25 in 2009 after significant staff turnover.
  4. 4. Young Friends Membership Details – the Past • Managed by development not membership • Age bracket “20s – 40s” • Invitations to a varying number of Young Friends events per year, including receptions, behind-the- scenes tours, and family-friendly programs. • Events to introduce members to the Appleton Circle. • Small Steering Committee with two co-chairs in their late 40s • Group was perceived by some non-development staff as a bit snobby
  5. 5. Growth over time • 12 long-term members upgraded early on • 22 new joins in first year 2005 • 5 joined in second year 2006 • 16 joined in third year 2007 • 1 joined in fourth year 2008 • 5 joined in fifth year 2009 • 1 upgraded into YF in sixth year 2010 • Most came in by word of mouth. • Take away: Staff energy and continuity are key.
  6. 6. Retention • 12 from first cohort of 34 are still members, including two co-chairs (35%) • 1 from second year (20%) • 6 from third year (37%) • Some variations with staff turnover • General membership retention is 75-85%
  7. 7. Our need? • Grow the group in order to justify the staff time and expense. • Bring in younger steering committee members to offset aging out members
  8. 8. Environmental Scan Winter 2010 • Reviewed all major young friends-like programs in Boston, DC, and NYC (intern project) • Most have age range of 21-39, Facebook pages, are fundraising oriented • Some overlap between our YF members and MFA, Boston Athenaeum • Came up with new proposal and worked through it with Steering Committee
  9. 9. Figuring out what they want • Lots and lots of events • Instant pictures, responses, specific to them online everything • High-level access to • To be heard president, board, famous • A new name speakers, patrons • To be an insider • Day trips and walking tours • “Value” for their dues to discover new places • Preferred walking tour to • Insider behind-the-scenes holiday party! access to sites, collections, and curatorial staff • Never aging out!
  10. 10. What do they want to support? • High-profile donor and member events – entire Steering Committee came to gala • Education programs • Volunteering at other (non-YF) events as greeters and helpers • Their own events (as an individual sponsor) Not membership dues
  11. 11. What do we want? • Fresh blood and diversity of all kinds • Help us get away from the “Society” perception • Vibrant volunteers • Lifelong, multigenerational connection to at least one property and organization • “Connectors” who will raise awareness and recruit members • Opportunity to get to know potential major donors • Committee as training ground for future Appleton Circle, Council, and Board members • Easy and relatively low-cost to manage
  12. 12. Membership Details – What we Changed • Young Friends of Historic New England – had to keep the name • Integrated into regular membership category • Dramatically lower entry pricepoint of $100 • Explicit age range of 21-50 • 3 tiers: Contributing, Supporting, Patron • Lowered entry to Appleton Circle by $500 for individuals. • Capped events to 6. Quarterly steering meetings. • Many more “bring a friend” options. • “Dual” membership for singles – bring a date
  13. 13. Young Friends Pricing New Pricing for FY11 Old Pricing (’05-’10) • Contributing $100 individual • $250 Associate Individual / $150 “dual” • $500 Supporting • Supporting $250 individual (Family/Couple) /$400 dual • $1500 Patron/Appleton • Patron $1,000 individual Circle /$1,500 dual
  14. 14. Successful Event Philosophy • Offer memorable experiences that only you can make happen – Events at fabulous houses (Beauport, Gropius evening events) – Collections access (tour of Haverhill collections) – Winter Antiques Show special access – Behind the scenes at Fenway Park – Family events with all the special touches – Thoughtful inexpensive touches that are part of your brand (candy made in NE) – Feeback/input by the committee • Keep costs low to nothing – most partners have been willing to help out of goodwill and exposure • Food budget for one big fun social event
  15. 15. What We’re Doing to Grow – Finding New Members in Our Midst • Analyzed database – virtually no ages listed, except for trustees and current Young Friends. • Purchased “Age Append” service from Raiser’s Edge/Blackbaud (about $1K for 50,000 names) • Added age line on new membership forms • Recruiting from base of younger staff – new price is appealing • Word of mouth
  16. 16. What We’re Doing to Grow – Prospecting • First-time budget for targeted online advertising • Will be posting events on our public Facebook page, not just Young Friends page. Easier to share. • Capitalizing on our Centennial year • Supporting and Patron level Young Friends can bring guests to YF events • Mailing packets to prospects. Personal invitations. • Inclusion on ALL membership forms for the first time. • Guide training
  17. 17. Who has been especially interested in Historic New England • History and architecture self-described “content geeks” • Families with young children • Single gay men • Young people in the museum/history/architecture/preservation fields • Geographically dispersed in and around Boston • Programming developed to appeal to each group
  18. 18. Goals for the Year • 100% growth to 50 memberships in the next year • Standardized benefits • Growing the steering committee
  19. 19. Questions? • Kirsten Alexander • Senior Membership Manager • Historic New England • 617-994-5935 • kalexander@historicnewengland.org

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