Starting up a membership program with NationBuilder

Whatever your organisation type, running a membership program is a great way to get your supporters more involved and committed to your organisation. Memberships are used from the smallest community groups to the largest political parties. Here’s our top tips on kicking off your own membership program.

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Why have memberships?

Joining a membership program helps people feel more connected to your organisation and cause. It helps to build long term connection to your mission and makes them more likely to complete other actions that you need from them - like signing a petition, attending an event or recruiting a friend.

 

How do the memberships work?

Each NationBuilder nation has it’s own members, with as many different membership types as you need. Each membership type can have it’s own settings. So if you need annual or monthly recurring memberships, and also to have life memberships as well, that’s no problem.

People can have multiple memberships of different types, enabling you to manage different membership schemes for the same organisation all in one place. For example, as well as your main membership scheme, you might have a dinner club, or special prize schemes. Each of these can be managed through your NationBuilder control panel.

 

Communicating with members

Member_status.png Managing memberships can seem like it might be a lot of work. But with NationBuilder, you can automate the whole membership process - renewal reminders, lapsed notices and renewal payments can all be processed without manual intervention.

Best of all, the membership tools combine with the rest of NationBuilder, so you can use our filters and email tools to make sure all your communications are tailored correctly. So when you email members, you can always thank them for their membership. And when you email non-members, you can remind them of the advantages of joining.

 

Make sure members get something

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When someone has joined your membership scheme, they should get something for this. Here’s a few simple ideas that help make your supporters value their memberships.

  • Members only emails
  • Members only events
  • Members only resources on the website

To make members areas on the website is incredibly simple. With one drop down menu you can choose to make a whole site or any page of that site be visible only to logged in members.

These may seem like small offerings, but they can make your supporters feel highly valued and appreciated and help to keep high membership retention rates.

 

Charging for membership

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You can charge for your memberships by adding them to a donation page. You can also give memberships away by adding membership to other pages.

So for example, when you set up your scheme, you could ask people to complete a survey to get a month’s free trial membership.

Every payment made through NationBuilder is recorded in each person's record. So you can easily see when they paid for their memberships and when their next payment is due.

You can search for payments in the financ

es section based on particular code, so you can easily track, for example, how much of your income comes from membership fees.

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