Member engagement is a crucial element for a nonprofit organization’s growth and success. Actively engaged members can help create better projects and will continue to participate in the cause. If you’re looking to boost the engagement of your staff members, you will need to focus on three things: awareness, commitment, and participation.
You need to actively connect with your members, give them personalized content or resources, and focus on preserving their commitment. If done right, you can also boost the renewal and retention rates within your nonprofit. Let’s explore five strategies on how you can successfully increase member engagement.
1. Understand your members
You can’t strengthen your relationship and bond with your members if you have no idea about their personalities. Take time to know them on a personal level. This way, you can curate engagement strategies that are specific and appealing to your members. It can be a lot of work, especially if you’re a big organization, but the results can be fantastic. Or, better yet, utilize membership management software that will help you gather information about your constituents. This is ideal for collecting details about the members’ participating history, giving habits, preferences and interests, and personal goals. Such tools can save you from hours of manual data management.
2. Support their education
We’re not saying you should pay for their educational endeavors. Instead, find ways that you can support them. If your organization can afford it, you can pay for the cost of any education programs or classes of your members. As long as it is related to their work, of course. Many for-profit companies also offer this through education assistance plans. But if you’re just a small nonprofit and don’t have the resources to offer such programs, there are other ways to help. Start an open discussion with your members and request them to share their personal development goals.
Do you have members who are currently planning to continue their graduate studies? You can create and host a seminar to help them decide between master’s and doctorate degrees, which is helpful for individuals who are confused about which graduate program is right for them. You can also find reputable educational institutions your members can take a look at.
3. Provide on-site training
Aside from education opportunities, you can further support your members’ development by providing on-site training. Good training should foster both professional and personal growth. You can craft community-based webinars and seminars, creative and art workshops, or have Q&A sessions with experts related to the field of interest.
On-site training is even more beneficial for members who hold high positions in your organization. For training your organization’s board members, focus on discussing topics like strategic planning, tactful persuasion, and decision-making. You can keep your members active, inspired, motivated, confident, and engaged by offering such learning opportunities.
4. Let them join the story
It’s important that all members of your nonprofit feel that they can actively contribute to the cause. In every storytelling process you conduct, let your member join whenever they want to. This further encourages them to tell their stories, which you can learn something from too. Some of the key points to discuss are your team’s completed projects, stories of dedication and courage, and new ideas for fundraising events and campaigns.
You can also talk about the lessons each of you has learned. These stories can inspire less active members to become more engaged and motivate new participants to do the same. In addition, this is a perfect chance to recognize your members’ hard work that’s contributed to the story.
5. Streamline renewal process
The last thing you need to work on is the renewal process of your organization. If you want to keep your members consistently engaged, you should provide them with a convenient renewal experience. You’d want them to sign up for another year is a straightforward process. You can implement automated renewal by using software that can prompt renewal reminders and instructions.
Also, create a form that your members can easily access and fill out when applying for membership renewal. Ensure it is user-friendly and that your members won’t have an issue completing them. In terms of extra donations, it’s best to give them flexible options for additional giving.
Your nonprofit organization can boost member retention and loyalty by focusing on member engagement and providing a relevant and hyper-personalized experience. Bear in mind that these are just general suggestions to help you craft the right member engagement strategy. There’s no one-size-fits-all in this, but you can start with this guide.