At the end of our first fiscal quarter, MITCNC membership units were 1,037, up 50% from same quarter last year. And, there’s still 9 months to go in this fiscal year. Congrats, MITCNC!
So how did we achieve these great results?
In this interview, club president Doug Spreng shared his insight with MITCNC Blog.
Anna: Congrats to you and MITCNC, Doug! What does it mean to have hit a major milestone so early in the year?
Doug: Thanks, Anna. This is huge for us. Over the past few years, we were concerned by falling club membership. We were also concerned with low membership sign up early in the new fiscal year. I personally believe that club memberships are the best single measure of the quality and diversity of what we bring to our constituents – great events all year long that bring MIT alums and their colleagues together – so strong action was called for.
Anna: By “strong action” what exactly did you do?
Doug: We implemented five things over the past year to boost our club membership:
- Tiered pricing for all events, whereby club members get a significant discount into a fee-based event, including “free events” where members get in free but non-members pay a modest fee
- Adoption of iModules “role-based” pricing, requiring member login to get the discount, thereby avoiding the vagaries of the honor system we had before
- Addition of “Join the Club” links to all of our event e-mailers, making it easy for the registrant to buy a membership and improvements to the clarity of our messaging
- Addition of a Renew Your Membership campaign, specifically focused on expiring memberships in this year’s Q1
- Incorporation of Rolling Memberships, whereby the member gets a full 12-month membership, regardless of when they buy it
Anna: How many new members did we add, as a result of implementing this strategy?
Doug: More than 650, or roughly 70%, were new. To put things in perspective, we ended FY2014/15 with 1,165 total members for the full year. We are already at nearly 90% of that number with 9 more months to go.
Anna: I understand it’s too soon to predict where we may end up at the end of this fiscal year, but the numbers are definitely trending up. Will you focus on club events to continue driving membership?
Doug: Since we know that events drive membership, we know that we’ll get a lot more new members throughout the remainder of the FY. And, with rolling memberships, any time is always a good time to buy a membership. And yes, it is too soon to project where we’ll end up the fiscal year, but substantial growth in both units and revenue are ensured.
Anna: And more revenue means more benefits for club members?
Doug: Absolutely. While membership revenue will help fund all of our normal operating expenses, it will also fund our “free events”, like the Annual Meeting, Toast to IAP, Welcome the Class of 20xx, Summer Sendoff and others, so it’s extremely important to do well here. But, most important, since our alums vote with their dollars, I believe they are giving us a big thumbs up for our programs.
Last but not least, I want to thank the entire MITCNC officers who have made this possible. Anne Westbrook, VP of Membership, played a key role in this accomplishment, including due diligence on rolling memberships, incorporating Join the Club links into our newsletter and e-mailers and assisting on the Renew Your Membership drive, as well as working with the Alumni Association to execute the details. Equally significant, it’s the sum of all of the people putting on events throughout the year, which is essentially the entire team of officers. I could highlight exceptional performances in this regard, but have done so in past reports, so I would rather congratulate the entire team, because it took that kind of effort.