Are you getting the most out of membership builder?
Membership builder is the tool provided to all sections and chapters that allows officers to dig a bit deeper into their membership statistics. It links directly to SPE’s membership management software, and has been adapted to a user friendly web interface.
New members – finding them
It all starts with recruitment. Understanding your membership demographics can help you find new members. Are there for example degree programs within your university that are relevant but perhaps underrepresented by the members you currently have? Is your chapter at risk of losing a lot of members in one go as their graduation dates are coming up? Running the ‘Members’ report in Membership builder can give you a quick overview of when your members will be graduating, and also which degree programs are represented across all members:
With any recruitment drive or effort it is crucial to get the right students in. Recruiting students from other degree programs which are less relevant to Petroleum Engineering is likely to diminish your chances of retaining them in the long run as they will not feel the programs and services are relevant enough to them to renew their membership. The ‘Dashboard’ report also gives you a quick overview of the top 10 fields of study of your current members:
Lapsed member might be an ‘easy win’ for getting your membership numbers back up. They were once a member, and may have simply not gotten around to renewing their membership. You can easily identify those members who have not renewed, by running the ‘Members’ report, and identifying those who do not have Y listed in the ‘Current Member’ column.
New members - keeping them
So finding good members is one thing, but keeping them will be the next challenge. Engaging and supporting your members is where the work really starts. Similar to recruiting new members, current members are going to stay involved is they feel the membership value is personalized for them. Building a close relationship with your Faculty Advisor and creating a greater awareness of what is going on within your university and the oil and gas industry as a whole is going to help you better understand the needs of your members. For example, think about the essential skills they need to make it out there in the professional world. This allows your chapter to put on programs and services that help your members develop such skills, and make them realize the value SPE can offer for their future career.
Even with a fantastic and highly personalized member engagement plan in place, there is undoubtedly going to be a need for the occasional reminder. Membership builder allows you to easily identify unpaid members, so that any renewal campaigns can be targeted. Digging a bit deeper into the report allows you to identify the individuals, and you may well be in the position to even do some face to face reminders for those individuals you know personally.
The same goes for any new members who have just joined. Being able to identify these individuals through membership builder, means that you can welcome them either through a personalized welcome email and/or in person at an upcoming chapter event.
Health check your chapter and start looking for long term trends
It is good practice to build up awareness in terms of how your chapter is doing compared to the global benchmark for growth and retention. This is easily visible using the dashboard report which shows both year-to-date as well as previous year-end figures for retention and growth.
Do however keep in mind that the influx through new university recruits and out flux due to graduation of students is influenced by many different factors, and can vary from one region to the next. Therefore it is better to compare your own chapter’s figures against its previous performance, with the aim to maintain or increase growth and retention in in the long term.
The dashboard report for example shows current members and renewed members month by month and year on year, which can be useful to identify what times of the year you can expect the highest turnover (which is likely to mimic your new term and graduation periods respectively).
To get a better picture of the overall health and performance of your chapter, it is however advised to look at longer terms to identify any year on year trends that way. Thus, if you chapter isn’t already, make it a habit to report on the membership demographics and statistics during chapter meetings, and record these consistently. This way long term trends can be identified accordingly and you can start planning ahead for the future.
A full Membership Builder User Guide can be found in the Connect library.
How does your chapter use Membership builder and membership data? Do share your thoughts and experiences with us.