Can you believe tomorrow is August 1st?! We’re already halfway through the year, and 2020 will be here before you know it!
That said, now’s the time to start planning for those end-of-year initiatives, ensuring you hit your lofty-but-still-achievable 2019 goals.
So how can you do that? Well part of it has to do with what goals you’re trying to achieve, but since many organizations share similar overarching goals (grow membership, raise money, etc.), below are a few specific ways to prep:
1. Create a small content calendar based on upcoming holidays
The end of the year is holiday heavy, and while that often means busier schedules for many, it also means more opportunities to engage your members - if you start strategizing now.
One tactic worth trying: Take some time to create a small content calendar based on upcoming holidays and events. Labor day, Halloween, football season, the first day of fall, Thanksgiving, etc. How can you tie those fun happenings into your marketing calendar? Think social media posts, contests, fundraising events, and email messaging.
For example, if you know Halloween is right around the corner, can you encourage your staff members to dress up so you can all take a picture for social media? (We do that here at MemberClicks, and it’s a blast! See below.)
Or, could Halloween be a good time to offer a special discount on membership? Your email subject line and messaging could be centered around, “No tricks, just treats! $100 off membership through Oct. 31!”
The more creative you can get with your marketing, the more effective it’s likely to be. But this does take a little planning, so again, start now!
2. Review survey feedback and implement at least one change
Hopefully you’ve conducted a few surveys within the past six months - or even an end-of-year survey this past December. Well, now is a great time to review some of that feedback (again) and implement at least one change based on that feedback. Did your members ask for more virtual offerings? Did they ask for an easier way to complete something (to register for events online, for example)? If so, make that request a priority, and once it’s complete, be sure to let your members know. Send them an email saying, “You asked, we listened!” - and then explain how you acted upon the feedback. This shows that you care about their experience and you’re willing to listen to what they have to say. (Plus, the timing here is critical with renewal season around the corner, which brings us to our next point…)
3. Evaluate your renewal process
For many organizations, renewal season begins at the beginning of the year, meaning reminders need to start going out earlier (often, towards the end of Q4). So now is really the time to evaluate your existing renewal process. Is it seamless? Do your members have to jump through hoops? Do you have automated renewal reminder emails drafted, uploaded, and ready to go? Will those emails be personalized?
You want your renewal process to be in tip-top shape, because ease of renewal directly impacts whether or not people actually take action. (For a few tips regarding your renewal process, check out our free guide, Best Practices for Membership Renewals!)
4. Organize an end-of-year fundraising task force
Last, but not least, let’s talk fundraising. The end of the year is often a great time to raise additional money for your organization, but are you putting as much thought into what you potentially could be doing as you should? Chances are, with everything else you have going on, probably not. That’s why we recommend putting together an end-of-year fundraising task force - a short-term committee designed to focus on quick, easy fundraising initiatives.
New people come with new ideas, and since this is a micro-volunteer opportunity, your chances of actually getting members to volunteer is a bit higher. Give it a shot!
Want more tips for ensuring you end the year off strong? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Membership Management below! In it, you’ll find tips and best practices for membership recruitment, engagement, non-dues revenue, and more!