All clubs need to have a strong membership base which will be made up of a range of individuals and families.
A majority of the members will be participants but they will also include parents, individuals who are interested in the social aspects of the club
And country members,members who have moved away from the area but who still have an interest in the club and are general supporters of the club.
The membership income is one of the main income streams for the club and therefore it is important that the club focusses on it and actively attempts to grow the income.
The club will need to understand
a) who the potential members are
b) what their individual 'wants and needs' are and
c) actively communicate with the potential members
Key points to remember are:
The Target Group - examples
What you offerthis target group will vary and therefore it is important that the club recognises the different types of “customer”. The performance rugby player (male or female) will want to have good coaches, good facilities, and a competitive team. The social rugby player will also require good coaching and facilities but will also want to have fun and a good social life through the club. Others may simply want the club to be welcoming to families.
Parents; the parents may simply take out a Junior Membership for their child/children if you don’t tell them about the benefits of being family members. These benefits could include discounts at events, access to certain social events, newsletters, fitness classes for mothers etc.
Social Members – You will need to understand why a non-participant should join the club. What’s in it for him/her if he does? The package needs to be developed and promoted.
Country Members – all clubs have individuals and families who have moved away but who would still like to be linked to the club. The Country Membership should be cheap but offer benefits such as newsletters, discounts on club merchandise etc.
As a result of falling revenue and recommendations within the club's Strategic Plan, membership was reviewed in 2010.
A Membership Steering Group was set up and undertook to carry out a full membership review which focussed on:
The Steering Group findings were as follows
What did they do?
They decided to a) ensure that each category provided value for money and provided the benefits that were required b) they created a range of community groups which would attract memberships e.g. Golf society, cycling club etc. c) they actively sold the membership d) they created a web application form for membership (see below)