Association Field Report (March 31, 2020)



Hi, it’s JP, with a field report for March 31st.
End of Q1. Oh my goodness, wow, what was March like?
We’ve got a lot of challenges in April and in the second quarter. I want to talk about a few observations from organizations as they’re deciding what to do with membership, renewals in particular. A lot of us are on either a fiscal year or an anniversary basis. Here are some thoughts on what I’m hearing in the field.
One. Do you extend the grace period for people that can’t renew at this time? I certainly think that’s a good practice.
Two. The other is you may give them, in the renewal notice, an opportunity to set up a payment or a deferral plan. Here’s what I would do. I would definitely send out renewals. Don’t take no for an answer without ever asking. Set it up so you’ve got flexibility with deferrals and payment plans. Stay the course and send those renewals out. People want to renew.
There’s unprecedented opportunity right now on the new membership side. Open up and lower the paywall for member’s only benefits. I see a lot of organizations, for the first time ever, show interest in the work you’re doing: advocacy program, industry focused Covid19 information, and other work that you’re doing such as stepping up and answering the call for your industry. You may want to offer a trial membership for a certain period of time as people are getting through this period. With that, thoughtfully, develop a good process and an implementation plan of what you’re going to do in terms of converting them at the end of the trial period. As you know, I’ve never been a huge fan of trial memberships in the first place. However, if you’ve got a sound implementation plan, this may be a unique opportunity to give them a try.
I hope this is helpful. Talk to you soon.


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