Knowledge Centre Is it for you?

Asking yourself why you are setting up a friends or membership scheme is a good way to identify whether a membership programme will be for you. If your answer is simply to raise money, then a friend or membership scheme might not be for you. Asking your audience for a once-off donation may be more appropriate.

If your answer is to increase loyalty among your customers and create a family of supporters who will be interested in supporting your organisation in the long-term at the same time as raising money, then a friend or membership scheme is more likely to benefit your organisation.

Before starting, you should know that a successful friends or membership scheme is usually reliant on three ingredients;

  • knowing the audience/target market for your scheme and what benefits interest them
  • having a great attitude towards selling the scheme to this audience/target market and
  • being prepared for some hard work and interested in delivering (and over-delivering) the benefits

If you are thinking of setting up a membership scheme or are struggling with an existing one, this is a simple exercise to help kick-start or reignite your scheme.

Exercise: Who is the audience/target market for your friend or membership scheme?

To help with identifying these targets, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What types of people engage with my organisation?
  • Have these people (groups of people or companies) previously given money to my organisation?
  • Do they subscribe to my organisation’s output?
  • Do they regularly attend or undertake frequent transactions with my organisation?
  • Do they volunteer their services to my organisation?
  • Are they on my postal or e-mailing list?
  • Are they known to support similar organisations or have empathy with artforms/causes similar to ours?

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