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The State of Small Membership Organizations

Lori Halley 04 February 2013 2 comments

This month we’ve been sharing our initial reactions to the insight provided through our Small Membership Insight Survey.

So far, we’ve looked at the funding and futures of small organizations; identified what folks want to find out from their membership peers; and reflected on whether size matters – when it comes to meeting their mission. We've also created infographics for each of these posts - and here's our latest (click to enlarge) which is a compilation of all of our survey images .

Survey highlights

Of course these blog posts offer just a sampling of our first impressions of the survey findings. Our full report – just released – provides detailed survey findings (see registration details below). But we’ve also captured some of the key survey highlights in an article – now available in our Membership Knowledge Hub:

BIG Insight Into Small Membership Organizations – Survey Highlights

This article offers an overview of:

  • Who participated in our survey?
  • What does a small membership organization look like?
  • Budgets and funding sources
  • Does size matter?
  • The state of the small membership organization

Additional insight into the state of small membership organizations

In our survey, we asked a number of questions to get a sense of “the current state of membership” for small organizations. Through the survey findings, we’ve confirmed that issues around growing membership and increasing existing member engagement remain key for small organizations. Some of the details we share in the highlights article as well as the full survey report include insight into:

  • Top 3 priorities for the small membership organizations that participated in our survey:
    1. “increasing membership (27.7%);
    2.  “increasing member engagement (22.1%)
    3.  “demonstrating member value” (15%)  
  • Reasons members join: The Top 3 reasons were:
    1. Networking (77.1%)
    2. Member education/professional development (71.3%)
    3. Learning best practices in their profession/field (43.7%) 
  • Programs & services offered: The top three program and service categories were:
    1. Networking events (66.8%)
    2. Member education/professional development (64.9%)
    3. Information/publications/books (44.1%)

Check out our survey highlights article:

If you’d like to see a recap of the key highlights of our Small Membership Insight Survey findings, check out the article: BIG Insight Into Small Membership Organizations – Survey Highlights now in our Membership Knowledge Hub. 

Full survey report now available!

If you want to review the full detailed survey findings you can register to download the report here:  Small Membership Insight Report registration.

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Monday, 04 February 2013 at 8:30 AM


  • Kathy Widenhouse said:

    Monday, 04 February 2013 at 12:35 PM
    This report highlights a key principle for small nonprofits: leaders wear many hats. What they may not understand fully is the overwhelming need to <a href="http://www.nonprofitcopywriter.com/strategic-planning-for-nonprofits.html#sthash.fTbMP3xK.dpbs">have a strategic plan</a href>, yet this is a key approach which will allow them to increase membership. Thanks so much for your great insight!
  • Lori said:

    Monday, 04 February 2013 at 2:05 PM
    Kathy: Yes, there's no doubt that volunteer leaders at small orgs wear many hats and in these volunteer-led orgs they also have to have a strategic plan in order to meet their mission with limited resources.
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