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2014 small membership survey presentation


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Highlights from the 2014 Small Membership Survey offering insight about small, often volunteer-led organizations. …

Highlights from the 2014 Small Membership Survey offering insight about small, often volunteer-led organizations.

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  • 1. For more information, visit 2014 SMALL MEMBERSHIP SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 2. For more information, visit Small Membership Survey – What’s it all about? Since so much of the available benchmarking research focuses on large associations and non- profits, we wanted to identify the qualities and experiences that set small membership organizations apart from their larger counterparts. We conducted an online own survey to find out who manages these organizations day-to-day; how they are funded; their key priorities and challenges and much more. We wanted to know if size matters in reaching their goals. Here is an overview of highlights from the 2nd annual Small Membership Survey offering insight about small, often volunteer-led organizations.
  • 3. For more information, visit Survey participant snapshot In 2014, 487 respondents participated in our survey. Here is a snapshot: •67.1% are (unpaid) volunteers •67.3% hold leadership positions at their organization (e.g., President, Board Chair or Executive Director). •45.5% represented professional or trade associations •80.6% were based in the United States, with the remainder mainly from Canada, the United Kingdom & Australia
  • 4. For more information, visit What does a typical “small” membership organization look like? Based on our 2014 survey, a typical small membership organization… • has fewer than 500 members • is a stand-alone organization • is managed by a combination of volunteers and staff (1-2 full or part- time staff) • has local or regional membership reach • operates with a budget of less than $500,000
  • 5. For more information, visit Top priorities in 2014 The top 3 priorities for small organizations were: 1.Increasing membership (20.2%) 2.Increasing member engagement (16.3%) 3.Demonstrating member value (10.3%)
  • 6. For more information, visit Membership Size & Reach Number of members: This year, close to 80% of respondents represented organizations with fewer than 500 members. • Fewer than 99 members: 23.2% • 100 - 249 members: 35.1% • 250 to 499 members: 20.8% • 500 to 999 members: 11.7% Membership reach: • Local (City / County) 34.5% • Regional (State / Province) 33.1% Chapters/ Branches: • 71.2% represented stand-alone organizations
  • 7. For more information, visit Membership Growth & Retention • Member growth • Close to 60% experienced membership growth • 21.1% maintained existing levels Retention rates 52% of respondents reporting that 80 to 90% of their members had renewed.
  • 8. For more information, visit Who manages small membership organizations day-to-day? Day-to-day management: • Volunteers only - 55.4% • Staff only 23.8% • Combination of volunteers and staff 20.7% Staffing levels: •28.6% had 1-2 full-time staff •32.2% had 1-2 part-time staff •12.1% had 3-5 full-time staff •7.8% had 3-5 part-time staff
  • 9. For more information, visit Reasons Members Join and Programs & Services Offered The top 3 reasons members join: 1. Networking 2. Professional development 3. Learning best practices The top 5 programs & services: 1. Member education / professional development: 63.8% 2. Networking events: 62.3% 3. Information / publications / books: 47.3% 4. Online forum(s): 39.9% 5. Conferences / tradeshows: 36.7%
  • 10. For more information, visit Here’s a snapshot of the financial status of small membership organizations: Budgets and Funding Sources • Budgets: 56.6 % have an annual budget less than $50,000 • Membership growth patterns: More than 75% reported membership levels had stayed the same or increased 10-50% in the last year • Critical sources of revenue: 91.2% identified membership fees /dues as the most important source of revenue • Fee range: 49.6% identified $21 to $99 as most common membership fee range
  • 11. For more information, visit Small Membership Communications Top 3 tools for communicating with existing members: 1. Email: 97.8% 2. Online (website news, blog, forum, etc.): 76.2% 3. Newsletter or magazine: 57.0% Top 4 channels for recruitment efforts: 1. Personal outreach and word-of- mouth 2. Events 3. Email 4. Website
  • 12. For more information, visit Current challenges What challenges are small membership organizations facing? Some of the key challenges that identified in our 2014 Small Membership Survey included: • Being “resource-challenged” – AKA doing a lot with a little • Board and volunteer recruitment, engagement and retention • Enticing the younger generation to join and become involved • Developing sources of non-dues revenue • Technology challenges – getting board and members to use new technology
  • 13. For more information, visit   Want additional insight into small  membership organizations? You can download the full 2014 Small Membership Survey Report here: About Wild Apricot Wild Apricot offers cloud software to help small associations, non-profits and clubs build websites, connect with supporters, grow and manage their membership, and more. Wild Apricot’s all-in-one integrated software was identified as #1 in Capterra’s Top Membership Management Software, two years in a row.