Posted on Dec 20, 2022
The end of the year can be a hectic time for all, but it is also a great time to celebrate milestones, achievements, and member loyalty! Celebrating these aspects of membership can be a great way for an organization to show how much it values and appreciates its members.
Appreciation is key to membership retention. When members feel valued and that they truly are making an impact toward the organization’s goals, it helps build deeper connections and trust amongst members and between individuals and the organization. And it is these deeper connections that drive long-term loyalty with the membership organization, or increased membership retention.
When current members feel valued, that shows to potential and new members. This can turn leads and new members into long-term members, helping with recruitment. In other words, focusing on making members feel valued can have huge impacts on an organization and its success.
Here are our top end-of-year tips to show appreciation to members and add value to the organization.

1. Celebrate Member Milestones

There is something to be said for how effective getting recognition is. A little recognition for a job well done or hitting a milestone can show appreciation for members’ time and loyalty, making them feel as if they are a valued member of the organization. So shine a spotlight on members by celebrating those who have achieved certain milestones. Those milestones can be things such as:
  • Milestone number of years with the organization, for example, being a member for 10 years
  • Volunteering a certain number of hours
  • Certification level achievements
  • Raising a certain amount of donations
  • Spearheading a successful campaign at a local chapter
  • Emeritus status for members who have been around a long time but have retired–these members no longer have to pay dues, but still have access to some or all benefits
This recognition can be done at an organization event or listed in a newsletter that is sent out at the end of the year. Consider a year-end newsletter article highlighting member achievements throughout the year, or a video thanking them! You can even keep this recognition going year-round by doing a monthly member spotlight in your newsletter.

2. Reward VIP Members

Every organization has its VIPs. This isn’t just members who go above and beyond to help the association reach a goal. This can also be members who are willing to pay more in membership dues for additional benefits. Introducing different tiers into your membership model is a way to provide additional value to those members who tend to be among those who are more highly engaged in the organization. Those additional benefits are a way of showing the organization’s appreciation for that higher level of engagement. Some of the perks an organization can reward upper-tier members with include:
  • Access to additional resources
  • Free admission to events
  • Exclusive VIP events
  • Higher discounts with partnering organizations

3. Offer Member Discounts or Coupons

Speaking of discounts with partnering organizations, membership discounts or coupons, such as special rates on insurance or even some certifications, not only help incentivize people to join an organization, but can be a nice reward for members. That understanding deepens the feelings of appreciation as well as builds trust and loyalty with membership.
While an organization offers these discounts year-round, the end of the year can be a good time to promote savings through member discounts and coupons–in case any members have forgotten about some of the benefits they have.

4. Throw a Year-End Celebration

A year-end celebration is a chance for members to just have some fun. During a stressful holiday season, getting together for good food with friends can not only be fun, but can present opportunities for showcasing the hard work of members. If it’s in the budget, consider gifting members with something to show your appreciation. It doesn’t have to be expensive, even a personalized thank you card can show members how much they are valued.

5. Boost Networking Opportunities

Help remind members of some of the benefits of joining the organization by boosting opportunities for personal growth in the organization. Some of the best ways to help members find personal growth within the organization is through hosting networking events or promoting mentorship programs. Boosting these opportunities for networking not only makes members feel valued, but can get them re-engaged in the association at a time when it is easy to go into vacation mode and become disengaged. Be sure to send out event notifications or promote a mentorship program in the organization's newsletter to boost these opportunities.

6. Volunteer Together

The end of the year is the season of giving. Doing a day of volunteer work can be a great way to get members together during an otherwise busy time of year, helping to increase member engagement. If getting together for a day of volunteer work is too difficult, then raise money for a charity and make it a contest to see who can collect the most donations. Then reward the top three donation-getters with a prize.

7. Newsletters to Keep in Touch

Many organizations might think that taking a month off from routine newsletters during the end of the year is okay, but keeping members in touch and connected with the organization is more important than ever. Everyone gets busy at the end of the year with all of the shopping and festivities, making it easy for members to go into “vacation mode.” Pique their interest and pull them back into the fold by:

  • Updating them on what is happening in the organization
  • Celebrating goals hit by the chapter or association in general
  • Spotlighting key members who helped reach those goals
  • Promoting upcoming events

8. Make the Renewal Process Easy

Finally, make the membership renewal process easy. Set up automated email reminders for membership renewal so that you minimize lapses in membership. Include a button or link in the email reminder that takes members directly to the organization’s membership renewal page.

Not all members will be up for renewal around this time of year, but getting the house in order around this time can help the organization start clean in the new year. So if the organization doesn’t have automated email reminders, or the option for automated renewals, be sure to look into getting those options set up. And many members might also be thinking about dues even if it isn’t time yet, simply because the start of a new year is ahead of them. A reminder about what month their renewal happens in can be a great way to help them stay organized and on top of their membership obligations.

9. Review Overall Performance

The end of the year is a great time to reflect. The year-end season often has great pockets of time where you can process and evaluate. Take time to evaluate how your year went, look at KPI’s, set some goals for the upcoming year, and make a plan to address when everyone is back in the new year.

10. Kick Off the New Year

Planning ahead is key, so if you want to kick off your new year right, focusing on some of those initiatives needs to happen before January 1 hits. Consider an email campaign, or social media sequence, to engage members in the new year. You can do the legwork on these in the final months of the year and then let them drip out. (And, working ahead helps make life less crazy when everyone is back in the office after the holidays too!)

Integrated Member Management for Next-level Membership Organizations

MemberNova is a membership success platform. Our platform allows for fully integrated member management, community engagement and deep analytics to help membership organizations grow and succeed. Our solutions include multi-tier membership models, newsletters, automated membership renewal reminders and so much more. Learn how MemberNova takes organizations to the next level today.



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