Memberships & Associations



Associations, sporting clubs, business networks, health and fitness clubs all rely on one thing – members.  Yet many membership associations, especially not for profit organisations are experiencing anywhere from 3% -8% churn rates in memberships year on year. Professional networks and associations are struggling to deliver “value” to their members and often miss leveraging the value of their membership base into other products and services because of the low involvement of their members.

While younger members are most likely to learn about a professional association through their educational institution, a large proportion of association members (nearly 25% overall) first hear about their association through colleagues or friends. So it is critical that membership advocacy be strong in any association wishing longevity. Member- centric design is critical if organisations wish to grow sustainably and the only way this will be achieved is by gaining insights and driving a member centric culture in the organisation.

With personal recommendations most likely to be an influential factor in individual’s decision making, the power of word of mouth on association’s renewals cannot be underestimated.

Given that only members who feel their organisation provides value, are likely to make recommendations, ensuring members are satisfied and inclined to provide positive word of mouth is critical for associations to grow their organisation through new member recruitment.

Significant insight into the factors common to those members who are less likely to recommend their association to others. These include a belief that the association:

  • does not offer value for money;
  • does not offer events and services of sufficient quality;
  • does not adequately represent members; and
  • provides little more than (mandatory) membership

More often than not, associations are losing touch with their members as resources become scarce, volunteers dry up and the ability to do things differently becomes harder. Associations need to look at their members differently and seek to understand the different segments and develop key personas within their membership to truly deliver value to members.  Having engaged members will drive volunteers and innovation and put your association on the path of sustainable growth – if you spend the time to reengage. Therefore, membership organisations need to identify and reshape the member experience.

What can a commitment to ‘Managing the Membership Experience’ mean for your organisation?


Position your organisation to be the organisation of choice – for current and future members and prospects

Provide a clear understanding of how to evaluate current member benefits and how to develop newer, more valuable ones

Give you better insights into member and prospect needs, and how to help them be successful

Allow for a guided transformation of your organisation’s membership culture to one of constant improvement and value orientation.


Lead to higher retention through increased member affinity

Develop more member engagement (at every level)

Encourage mass customisation of solutions to their problems – true 1-1 servicing

Increase your brand awareness

Make it easier to attract and qualify new members

Help fewer prospective members fall out the recruitment pipeline and help find and fix a faulty sales funnel

Enhance your relevance, as you anticipate the needs and behaviour of your members.

NPS is a member loyalty metric developed by Fred Reichheld of Bain & Company.  In his book, The Ultimate Question:  Driving Good Profits and True Growth, Reichheld suggests that your association’s members can be divided into three buckets: Promoters, Passives and Detractors.
  • Promoters are loyal enthusiasts who keep renewing their membership and help your growth by referring others.
  • Passives are satisfied but unenthusiastic members who are vulnerable to leaving.
  • Detractors are unhappy members who are not only at risk of quitting your organization, but can damage your brand and impede your growth through negative word of mouth.

6peas work with sporting, not for profit, commerce and membership organisations to drive the engagement with members and deliver greater value. To innovate with products, services and solutions which allow members to leverage their associations and drive advocacy.