Early Returns on Dues Increase Survey

In my post on August 9th, I shared that we were doing a survey to get feedback on how associations handle a dues increase. We sent out about 12,000 surveys and returns are coming in at a pretty good clip.

I spent some time this morning going through the open ended responses to our question: “In your own words, what lessons have you learned and what would you do differently next time an association you work for raises dues?”

There are some varied responses ranging from don’t raise dues at all and grow revenue in other ways to communicate the need for a dues increase frequently.

I would value your feedback on the initial survey comments that have been submitted.

Here are some representative responses.

“A dues increase should always be a last resort. I think the winner in business is the one that finds the way to give the customer/member the most for the dollar.”

“Always make small increases rather than large ones made less frequently. Nothing slows or stops renewals like a shocking increase.”

“Say it more than once, more than twice and more than three times . . . eight months later, we still have members saying, ‘we didn’t know’”.

"Our primary members’ dues increased at 30 percent. . . I would do a smaller increase more often rather than a large increase at once.”

“Never raise dues unless you have added value associated with it.”

“We learned to raise dues every year – even if that raise is only 1 percent. Our costs go up every year (salaries for staff, insurance, rents, utilities, etc.) Raising dues each year is a given, it’s just a question of how much.”

“Raising dues modestly, with ample notice and explanation does NOT impact membership.”

"The larger the dues increase the more detailed the explanation has to be. Small incremental increases don’t require much if any, explanation.”

“The less you make of it, the less of an issue it will be for members as well.”

“You can never start too early to educate [members] of the need for an increase and you can never communicate enough for the need."

There is one comment that I personally really like. Guess which one it is?


Matt Baehr said...

Tony -

I just got back in the office. I found it in my mail box, along with 2 other copies my co-workers gave me that they received. I will send it back soon. Just curious where you got your list.


Tony Rossell said...

Matt -- You may have noted that we had some problems with the mailing list. We are working with the supplier to have the fields clearly noted. There are cases for example where the CAE desingation was part of the last name field instead of in the suffix field. Tony

Matt Baehr said...

Tony -

No biggie. However, I just noticed you have my blog linked as "Blob Clum" instead of BlogClump. Ouch!

Tony Rossell said...

My spelling leaves something to be desired. It is fixed. Feel free to point out my errors. There are probably a lot of them.