In our previous post we learned the reasons people want to join professional associations. Now we will discuss the main reasons members leave or do not renew their membership. Also, whether or not you can do anything to change their mind or if it’s time to let go.

1. Lack of value – Of course this can be fixed. Find out what your members need and talk about existing benefits of membership. Offer them convenience and up to date information. This is where having an online community comes in handy.

2. Change in careers or retirement- When someone leaves the field, industry, or profession you can’t do much to get them to renew. On the other hand, retired professionals can be offered discounted memberships or volunteering opportunities to share their time, expertise or be mentors.

3.  Budget- Not being able to justify paying for the membership, budget cuts, economic hardship or employer stopped paying for membership. Not all are fixable but you can offer discounted group rates, a tiered structure, a la carte pricing. Most importantly, they must feel like the membership is worth the money because of all the value they receive.

4. Leadership- No consistency or undirected organization; lack of engagement from leaders and staff to members. This is fixable. Staff should strategize, map out goals, get to know the members. Don’t dwell on numbers, instead aim to provide the best experience for members. For the sake of engagement, people expect a personal touch.

5. Technology- Software may be outdated. Not offering value and convenience. Associations must keep up with technology to stay relevant to members. Offer the value members seek, live events online, member discussions, community support. Give them the resources they need and the tools you know they want.

The next step for your association is to figure out the biggest reason your members leave. Your best source? The members that have left.

Ask them why didn’t they attend the last event or why did they let their membership lapse?  No matter what they say, you can use this information to help fix what you’re doing wrong and pinpoint the areas that need improvement.