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The Art of Membership: How to Attract, Retain and Cement Member Loyalty Hardcover – January 13, 2014

ISBN-13: 978-1118633106 ISBN-10: 1118633105 Edition: 1st

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The Art of Membership: How to Attract, Retain and Cement Member Loyalty + The End of Membership as We Know It: Building the Fortune-Flipping, Must-Have Association of the Next Century + Road to Relevance: 5 Strategies for Competitive Associations
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (January 13, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118633105
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118633106
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Membership... is an art. You've got to skillfully recruit members who will remain members throughout their careers. And during those careers, you've got to successfully provide for them exactly what they need, when they need it. When you accomplish this, they will tell your organization's story to their colleagues and peers."
—From the Preface

If a membership organization is to succeed in today's competitive environment, it must attract, recruit, and retain engaged members who will help the organization thrive. The Art of Membership—written by Sheri Jacobs, CAE—is a hands-on guide that contains the information, strategies, and principles that any membership organization can access to find its value, understand the difference between members and customers, sell its unique benefits and overcome objections, personalize the process, and create meaningful connections that will cement an organization's relationship with its members. The recommendations are concrete, irrefutable, and backed by data derived from ASAE research and Jacobs's more than forty market research studies encompassing members and nonmembers from organizations of all types and sizes.

The Art of Membership is filled with illustrative cases and examples from associations, nonprofits, and corporations as well as "how-to" guides, checklists, and worksheets that break down the concepts from goal to strategy to tactics culminating in an actionable "to-do" list. The book also includes a template designed to help create a concrete action plan based on the unique aspects of your organization.

From the Back Cover

Praise for The Art of Membership

"Sheri Jacobs does a fabulous job of relying on research and her own rich experience to explain concepts and provide useful recommendations. Readers will certainly walk away with 'I can use this today' golden nuggets."
Elena A. Gerstmann, Ph.D., CAE, Senior Director, Enterprise Planning & Development, IEEE Corporate

"The Art of Membership is for anyone who works or volunteers for a membership organization. No other book offers actionable ideas to help you better understand and grow your membership immediately."
Peter J. O'Neil, CAE, Executive Director, American Industrial Hygiene Association

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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4 star
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See all 13 customer reviews
I encourage you to read this book, or to buy it for someone else.
Andrew Calhoun
This book is a essential resource for anyone in leadership of an association, membership organization, donor organization, alumni group, etc.
Kenneth J. Luurs
You can move forward with confidence and new strategies that are on target and will put you on the path to success!
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Calhoun on February 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished Sheri's newest book on "The Art Of Membership" and I will encourage everyone in my department to read it. I've been an association leader for more than sixteen years and learned new ways of approaching some of the more challenging issues of recruitment and retention. There are great passages on things such as, action steps on how to better define your brand, ways to increase response rates in a shorter period of time and "onboarding" tactics to increase retention. Market research and real world examples help you to see concrete results of good membership strategies.

The book provides insights to best practices from both the individual membership and corporate trade association perspectives. It is valuable resource for people new to the industry and for association executives with more experience.

Sheri has a great reputation as a thought leader in the industry, but there are a lot of resources on association/society membership marketing already out there. I really was not sure how much new wisdom I was going to get out of her book, but I am so glad I bought it. My copy is full of underlined sections and turned down pages, so that I can go back and pull out specific suggestions that I might want to try at my association.

I encourage you to read this book, or to buy it for someone else.

Andrew Calhoun
Director, Membership Services
ISACA
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book looking for ideas and inspiration for several of the non-profits boards that I am on that are struggling with declining memberships, declining finances and therefore declining viability. This book was a real eye-opener. It gave me practical advice based on principles that work and it all made sense! Yes, membership is an art, but this book also gives you the science of it too. You don't have to try to come up with your own strategies from scratch, use these ideas and adapt them to your situation. When you have limited time and resources, you can't waste your time doing stuff that won't work. Your best chance for is in this book. From the first chapter, the book excited me and motivated me to get going! This book is phenomenal. Have your team read it to all get on the same page and then get going! You can move forward with confidence and new strategies that are on target and will put you on the path to success!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth J. Luurs on January 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been involved in association membership for more than a quarter century. There have been some fine books done on this subject - but this book is the new gold standard for membership development in the 21st century. Sheri's book does what many books and articles on the subject have failed to do - provide a truly comprehensive strategic approach to understanding why people belong to associations, what motivates them to join, renew and become involved.

This book will become a treasured resource for CEO, membership directors and other leaders providing not only the key elements of a successful membership strategy, but practical guidance on implementation of those strategies, the pitfalls to avoid, the things that many organizations miss, the kind of research one needs - even how to overcome objections that potential members may have.

One observation I was particularly happy to see was some discussion of "engagement." Engagement is one of the more recent mantras of associations. Sheri provides a far more sophisticated assessment of its true value, its sometimes misuse and how leaders and staff should think about members, their needs and satisfying those needs through an association model - not just "more" engagement is better - but something more akin to relevant engagement.

She also talks about the competitive environment in which associations operate - and how that's changed over the past few years.and how associations can successfully navigate through a more challenging environment.

This book is a essential resource for anyone in leadership of an association, membership organization, donor organization, alumni group, etc. One could spend a career or thousands of dollars in research to learn what is in this book.

I know of no book on this subject with more current and thorough assessment of how to understand, assess and implement a membership strategy for the 21st century.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is very well done. The author presents dozens of principles and suggestions for developing membership programs, keeping people involved, and renewing. She addresses how to convert membership into revenue as well. I am researching opening a fitness center which means a lot of what Sheri advises is not completely relevant, however, most of it is and even the parts not directly relevant spark the imagination for how to address various issues.

My favorite thing about her writing is how she combines the ideas with examples. Yes, many authors do this, but poorly. Usually, an author will provide a ludicrous example or one not very relevant to the material itself. Most books use the stupid case studies from HBR or another source stolen from other people's research. Sheri tells the story of how she applied the ideas to other groups. While she does refer to large corporations and how they may, or may not, have applied the ideas, most importantly, she provides a glimpse into how real groups solved real problems. This brings the material alive in a way few authors achieve. Well done!
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