Establishing a paid membership scheme
Paid membership schemes are a practical and useful way of not only fostering a sense of belonging among those close to your group, but can also provide revenue for your group.
At its most basic level, a paid membership scheme is simply a way that people who are interested in your group or organisation can pay to join it.
In return for that payment, members would expect to receive something - a benefit, discount, newsletter, or offer - which non-members would not receive.
Why set up a paid membership scheme?
There are two main reasons to set up a paid membership scheme for your group.
The first is to generate recurring and (hopefully) ever-growing revenue for your group. This opportunity to collect funds comes in the form of those annual subscriptions or membership fees.
One major advantage of this source of money, unlike one-off funding sources like grants, is that it can be used for general operating funds rather than being limited to individual projects and it is an independent source of revenue.
Another advantage is that your group can structure such a scheme so it generates constant revenue across all 12 months of the year. This revenue can be used to cover operating costs which crop up during the year.
The second reason to set up a membership scheme is to offer your supporters a chance to deepen their commitment to your group or organisation and what it does.
A membership scheme can increase this type of loyalty from supporters, who, with the right sort of encouragement and personalised treatment, will become great advocates for your group and its work.
Not only that, but these members may end up converting their appreciation of your services to regular donations outside of their regular membership fees.
Sometimes it can be daunting to know where and when to start a membership scheme. This topic is discussed in another help sheet in this section of the website.