Membership Drive Overview

Recently, I worked with a client to develop a membership drive. I have seen another client have great success in this area utilizing the plan below. In fact, this client doubled their membership in 18 months. Talk about a great success!!


A membership drive is a focused effort in a specific time period to renew and recruit new memberships. The membership drive should be a month long and include activities like:

  • phonathon
  • special membership event
  • additional efforts to sell memberships at organizational events
  • speak at service clubs
  • partner with other organizations to help you sell memberships

Phonathon can be held for 2-3 hours every night (or lunch hour) for a week or once a week for 5 weeks. You will need about five to ten callers and a facility that host multiple telephone lines at once. Provide a script for your callers and a list of membership benefits. Also, provide snacks, drinks and incentive prizes for callers. At the first phonathon, provide a brief training for your callers. During the phonathon, each phonathon caller should be able to make 15-25 calls in a two-hour period.

For the phonathon, you will want to call members who have lapsed or need to renew, individuals on your mailing list who are not already members and any other individuals who would be interested (i.e. architects and other design professionals).

Special Event
During the membership drive, host a special event in the evening to attract more members. Provide a special guest speaker or program along with drinks and light appetizers. Charge a ticket a price that includes entrance to the event and a year membership in the cost.

Sell memberships at organization events
Nominate an effective sales person from the organization to sell memberships at every event during the membership drive. This person should be an effective sales person and have a charismatic personality that will attract new members. This person should be provided with membership forms and benefit lists.

Speaking opportunities
During the membership drive, the organization should seek potential opportunities to speak at local service clubs to help sell memberships. An individual should be identified who can clearly and briefly speak about the organization and the important of membership.

During the membership drive, everyone on the organization mailing list (who are not already current members) should be solicited via letter or email. There should be a concerted effort to renew lapsed members by offering new membership benefits and limited time offers (i.e. two tickets to a local museum, movie theater or other attraction if you renew within a certain month).

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