The trend on professional body member recruitment seems to be a mixed picture.
The Ashridge Communications Member Engagement study last year showed a retention mean of 88% (not including those lapsing due to retirement, death or ceasing to be students) so professional bodies are working with an average 12% replacement recruitment target each year before thinking of growth.
PARN’s last benchmarking study across 357 professional bodies showed average membership of 31,000 down from 37,000 over a 5 year period.
Increasing member acquisition is the main goal mentioned in the last two Memberwise Harnessing the Web survey reports.
We know of some professional bodies doing well others having more of a challenge. Some also found that it was hard for them to identify how much they spent on member recruitment so difficult to measure ROI. ‘It’s wrapped up in other things’ said one.
So what is really happening here? What does best practice look like?