Association Growth and Retention

President & CEO


Association Growth and Retention.  What’s the most effective road to consistent dues growth? Member Retention. Why? Because member retention reflects the best barometer of value received, member engagement and an Association’s relevance. The most satisfied or dissatisfied members don’t hesitate to share their ROI or their dissatisfaction when they speak with other members, prospective members or competitors. If an Association wonders where the biggest impediment to growth lies, it is Retention.

Beware of The Billboard Effect

In the real time world, both good and bad news travel fast. One bad member experience can be posted and spread like a wildfire of bad news. An Associations’ threat is real and CEO’s should  factor this reality in their member engagement strategies. Many are implementing Association wide strategies to involve all staff in member engagement and participation.

It’s not all bad news, The Billboard Effect works with satisfied members too. Satisfied members are happy to convey positive news as well.  In one Association, satisfied members scheduled meetings with prospective members (who later joined), and in another Association satisfied Board Members agreed to recruit new Directors based on their positive experience.

Growth and Retention Multiplier

Make no mistake, Retention is a growth multiplier. Some Associations re calibrated their membership strategies and rightly so. The better the retention performance then the better the cash flow and year end net growth performance.

Secret Formula, Use it Today

1. First Year Renewal for New Members, Add $20,000 to Year End Growth

Example ,$100,000 first year renewals, improve retention from 70% to 90%.

2. Member renewals, add $200,000 to Year End Growth

Example, $1 million renewals, improve retention from 70% to 90%

Best Practices

One Association achieved two consecutive $1 million plus net revenue gains, another improved cash flow by several hundred thousand dollars. CFO’s will appreciate this approach. This is a more balanced and less expensive approach to revenue growth.

Association Growth and Retention

 Link growth and retention and Associations potentially multiply year end growth while they avoid the downside of the Billboard Effect.

Much more on Association Revenue Growth at