Membership Development Strategy
A project for The Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color
Pro Bono Time
COSEBOC launched its first membership campaign in the 2009-10 school year and membership has waxed and waned since then. Based on member feedback, we have revised our membership levels and member services. We request guidance on the promotion, launch and delivery of these new member services, including ongoing evaluation and incorporation of lessons learned. How can we best serve and satisfy our members.
Membership is critical to the mission, strategic and long-term plans of the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys and Young Men of Color. Membership is a means to:
• build a national movement for change in schooling for boys and young men of color
• share information and resources on promising practices, policy issues, and opportunities amongst schools and educators interested in the educational success of male students of color
• connect a nationwide network of educators with shared interests
• generate unrestricted income to support the work of this organization.
We are looking for guidance to help us build our capacity to attract, serve and retain members. COSEBOC staff will prioritize this project; Board members are eager to support work on this project.
Building a base of supporters is essential to the success of any long-term campaign. A membership program can also be a key element of an organization's fundraising strategy. The focus of this project is to help an organization develop an actionable strategy and a clear road map for improving and expanding its membership program. (NOTE: The organization must have a functional membership program already. This project does not cover the implementation of a new membership program.)
A strategic membership development document of no more than 10 pages, which may include:
- An in-depth SWOT analysis for the organization’s current membership program
- A Market Analysis
- Membership growth goals and objectives
- Membership development strategy recommendations
- Budget and resources for future membership development activities
The professional meets with the organization to learn about the organization’s current membership program, development goals, available budget and resources for membership development activities. The professional, together with the organization, develops a plan for an in-depth SWOT analysis.
The professional and the organization’s leaders conduct an internal SWOT analysis for the organization’s membership program.
The professional helps the organization obtain external data for an external SWOT analysis. This process may include surveying existing and potential members through focus groups and/or one-on-one interviews.
The professional and the key internal stakeholders conduct an in-depth discussion about the external and internal SWOT analysis outcomes.
The professional conducts an independent market analysis to research the target market, competition, and peer organizations’ membership program development strategies.
Based on organization’s goals and findings from the SWOT and market analyses, the professional delivers a strategy document including membership development/engagement recommendations, which may include communications and outreach strategies, one-time events and activities, ongoing services and programs.
The professional and the organization review the recommendations. The professional incorporates the organization’s feedback to finalize the strategy document.
The professional and the organization conduct a wrap-up meeting and discuss next steps for the organization to implement its strategy for membership development.
- At least 3 years of experience in association management, membership program development, or in a relevant strategic field including management consulting, corporate strategy, business development, and entrepreneurship
- Ability to facilitate and lead potentially tense discussions to find a workable compromise
- An established membership program with procedures and criteria for recognizing or designating members. Examples of such membership programs may include professional associations, alumnae/alumni programs, client networks of membership-based community organizations, etc.
- An initial SWOT (strengths/weaknesses, opportunities/threats) analysis of the current membership program as a starting point for the professional
- An Executive Director, Membership Director and/or Board of Directors who are strongly committed to this project and understand that the strategy discussions involved in this project may shape and/or direct the organization’s high-level strategy and/or branding discussions and changes
- Ability to articulate goals and challenges, and to provide data and information on the organization’s current membership program
- Willingness to allocate budget and resources for future membership management and development activities