How Long does the Average Member Stay with an Association?

There is actually a formula to calculate how long members on average continue their membership. It is called calculating the Average Tenure of a member.

Here is how you can calculate this for your membership. Take the lapse rate of the membership (the opposite of the renewal rate) in a decimal form and divide it into the number 1. So a membership organization with an 80% renewal rate would have a lapse rate of 20% and an average tenure of five years (1/.20= 5).

Another way of looking at this calculation is if you have a 20% lapse rate, your membership will turn over every five years.

So what would be the “average”, Average Tenure for membership organizations?

In our 2010 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report with over 400 participating associations, our average renewal rate was 83%. So this would put the Average Tenure of a member at 5.88 years for the participating organizations.

Please be aware that this is an average for the participating organizations. Some reported renewal rates less than 50% and others more than 90%.

Knowing the Average Tenure of your membership is a crucial data point to use in marketing planning and making long term budget projections.

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