When you’re building, growing, and organizing communities, membership programs can be a great way to bring that community closer. They help give members the sense that they have a special status that can be more engaging, honorific, or imply more responsibility.
NationBuilder provides the infrastructure to manage your members at scale in a very diverse range of situations. In this article, we’ll review all the ways you can implement your membership program by asking four questions.
How are your memberships timed?
Most organizations have rolling memberships, which means that someone that signs up for a membership will earn it for a set amount of time. With NationBuilder, you’ll be able to select the length of your membership in days, weeks, months, or years. Plus, you can set up automated emails to remind your members when to renew and warn them if their membership has expired.
Pro Tip: This situation is less common, but suppose the end date for a membership with your organization is the same for everyone—NationBuilder can help in this case too. For example, if my members apply for 2021, I’ll create a dedicated 2021 membership type in my nation. As people sign up to become 2021 members on my website, they will receive a membership with no end date. In December, I’ll prepare for their renewal by doing a batch update of all members and setting their end date to Dec 31st. That way, they will receive my automated emails and get prompted to renew.
Do you charge for memberships?
A membership program can be beneficial to get an ongoing, predictable cash flow for your organization. The setup is simple, plus there are a few options for how to set up paid memberships:
- If you need one membership type, you can use a donation page as the membership sign up page and assign it to everyone who has made a payment on that page.
- If you need multiple membership types, you can let supporters pick what they want and send them to the donation page to apply for their preferred membership.
Now that you know how to set up multiple memberships, you can get creative to find the tier structure that makes the most sense. Here are a few examples:
- Levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold
- Financial capacity: Reduced, Regular, Benefactor
- Length: 1 year, 2 years, 4 years, lifetime
And, if you don’t charge for memberships, all you need to do is use a signup page and have the memberships automatically apply to all your signups.
Manual or auto-renew?
This is an important question—while this won’t always be possible, auto-renewing memberships will save you the hassle of having to chase your members at the end of their cycle. NationBuilder donation V2 pages make auto-renewals easy by allowing you to process recurring payments without needing action from your members.
If you’re opting for a manual renewal process, you’ll be able to take members to a dedicated landing page to guide them through their renewal. Then, you can use this as an opportunity to suggest that they upgrade to a higher membership tier.
What are your members getting in return?
At this point, you hopefully have a better understanding of the options available to implement memberships with NationBuilder, and I encourage you to think about the benefits your members will get. These benefits can include granting a specific status to your donors, involving them in your organization’s governance, or giving them rewards or perks.
Plus, on NationBuilder, you can gate access to certain pages on your website and make them only visible to members. This allows you to provide members with exclusive content, resources, or the ability to edit their profile. All these things will make them feel valued––the ultimate goal of any membership program.
We hope this helps narrow down your membership structure as you implement it in NationBuilder! Now head to your nation to get started by Navigating to People > Memberships.