As the new year approaches, you’re probably busy setting membership growth goals for 2020.

But, before diving into your new goals, it’s a good idea to take a look back and evaluate this year’s progress and pitfalls. After all, you won’t know where you want to go if you don’t know where you’ve been.

Here are four key areas to evaluate as you look toward 2020 and bring 2019 to a close.

  1. Retention. Your retention rate is a key metric in determining your membership strategies. If it’s lower than you want, focus on member engagement and retention strategies. Are the benefits you offer members providing a relevant ROI? Is your chamber transactional or relational with its members? Be sure your messaging and brand communicate your mission, beyond events. It’s key to retain current members before intentionally recruiting new ones.
  2. Recruitment strategies. What lead sources resulted in new members this year? Where are your new members coming from? If you don’t currently track this information, implement a tracking field within your member data management system immediately. Once you know what’s working, target future members with similar strategies and programming. Focus more of your efforts into the lead sources with the highest impact.
  3. Industry Analysis. In simplest terms, who joined and who failed to join? Focus your efforts on industries that are a good fit for your members and Association or Chamber. Who do your members want to connect with? Who will sustain and believe in your mission? Evaluate the data and facts to determine a strategy.
  4. Market Penetration. Know your market penetration prior to deciding where to focus your resources and strategic efforts. If your market penetration is high, you can make retention your priority. But if it’s lower, become strategic and intentional about pursuing new members.
Shari Pash is the founder of Strategic Solutions for Growth, a training company headquartered in Lansing, MI.  Shari works with Chambers of Commerce, non-profit organizations, and associations in 27 states and throughout Canada. Connect with Shari to learn more about how she can help your organization.