Retention & Reinstatement

The Retention/Reinstatement Committee develops new programs, processes and strategies to retain current members and rerecruit and reinstate lapsed members.


Over the past few years a focus of the SAR has been on the processing of new applications – both the number being processed and the time that it takes for this processing to occur.  Close on the heels of this focus is the cost related to getting a new member approved.  Estimates are that it takes the SAR approximately two years of dues to recover those costs that are not associated with the application fee.  

 
While the SAR could answer the questions of how many new members and how many reinstatements it generated each year, the basic question of how many members does the SAR retain could not be answered.  In other words, while there has been a focus on getting members into the SAR, there was no similar focus on retaining members once they were approved.  
 
In terms of “brass tacks,” the focus on new membership could be distilled into how much new revenue the SAR was receiving from dues but could not answer the question on how much money it was losing in not receiving ongoing dues payments from those members who did not retain their membership.
 
Feeding this lack of focus on retention is a common belief that many new members are just “Certificate Members” – men who only want a membership certificate to place on their wall and who drop their membership at the first opportunity and that there is really nothing that can be done to combat this type of member.
 
Thus, over the past two years, two new committees have been established, the first by President General Ed Butler to generate a common Annual Reconciliation Template so that the process of reconciling membership would be standardized and simplified in terms of the man hours needed by the National Office.  Secondly, President General David Sympson established the Reinstatement & Retention Committee to study the data available from this new Annual Reconciliation Form to develop useful reports for the general membership and to identify and/or develop materials that can aid the various state societies in their efforts to retain membership.
 
Thus this new webpage has been developed as the primary means of communicating the analyzed data and the materials identified / developed by the committee.
 
Hopefully, the materials presented will help each society mitigate the expenses related to the letters and notices that are sent out each year trying to get the member to pay dues to continue their membership as well as lowering the expenses of pursuing the member who has dropped their membership.
 
Getting back to the issue of the “Certificate Member,” this is not as large a problem as commonly believed.  In every state society that has been studied in detail the actual number of “certificate members” runs between 10% and 15% of new members.  Where the largest drop off in membership occurs is after the third year of membership!  The next largest drop off occurs after the 12th year of membership.
 
These two demarcation points correspond to firstly not engaging the new member in the work of the chapter or society in the first years of membership.  After they give it some time hoping to find a connection point, they eventually drop their membership.  Secondly, the member was successfully engaged but has now progressed through all the offices of the chapter/society or has lost interest after working on the projects that initially interested them and is now looking to find something new to do.
 
Hopefully this webpage will provide tools and suggestions that will be useful in increasing your retention rate.  Please check back often as materials and data are updated. 
 
The Reinstatement & Retention Committee 
 

2009-2010 Retention Analysis

 

 

 

SOCIETY

JANUARY 1, 2010 MEMBERSHP

 

ACTUAL LOSS   1

NET CHANGE FROM JANUARY 1, 2009  2

RETENTION RATE  3, 4

1

Mexico

7

0

0

100.00

2

Nevada

155

6

20

98.14

3

Vermont

53

4

1

96.49

4

Alaska

25

1

1

96.15

5

Dakotas

92

5

4

95.83

6

District of Columbia

291

31

8

95.00

7

Minnesota

128

10

0

94.96

8

Colorado

266

23

18

93.40

9

Louisiana

512

44

23

93.32

10

Massachusetts

327

33

1

93.09

11

Ohio

1,380

141

(26)

92.75

12

Pennsylvania

1,562

160

26

92.69

13

Kentucky

686

64

31

92.27

14

Wisconsin

146

18

9

92.02

15

Washington

272

33

5

91.75

16

Maryland

699

85

8

91.54

17

Arkansas

205

21

5

91.52

18

Illinois

727

77

55

91.92

19

Rhode Island

145

19

(6)

91.41

20

New Jersey

463

48

7

91.03

21

North Carolina

694

82

29

90.72

22

South Carolina

684

90

17

90.59

23

Tennessee

818

108

15

90.14

24

California

1,425

191

59

90.03

25

Nebraska

84

11

(3)

89.36

26

Virginia

1,529

230

(34)

88.90

27

United Kingdom

21

5

(2)

88.55

 

NSSAR

24,783

3,804

10

88.55

28

Florida

1,510

263

(13)

88.23

29

Texas

2,251

384

(27)

88.04

30

Arizona

368

54

12

87.74

31

West Virginia

261

38

8

87.67

32

Wyoming

70

11

(2)

87.50

33

Montana

39

8

(1)

87.23

34

Oklahoma

206

41

(7)

86.59

35

Kansas

569

107

(17)

86.58

36

Delaware

244

44

(20)

86.51

37

Oregon

136

26

(11)

86.42

38

Maine

189

35

(26)

86.04

39

Hawaii

26

7

(7)

85.29

40

Missouri

508

98

17

84.77

41

Alabama

830

168

15

84.77

42

New York

944

188

(49)

84.73

43

New Mexico

92

19

8

84.68

44

Iowa

166

35

(9)

84.58

45

Georgia

1,256

262

2

84.06

46

Michigan

275

59

13

83.58

47

Connecticut

476

100

(19)

83.56

48

New Hampshire

114

25

(6)

82.73

49

Indiana

491

163

(76)

77.71

50

Idaho

40

12

(10)

76.92

51

Mississippi

253

90

(44)

75.80

52

Utah

53

25

13

69.23

53

Canada

20

13

(5)

60.61

 


Notes
  1. Actual Loss counts only Drops and Resignations since Transfers Out are not Actual Losses in overall SAR membership.  
  2. Net Change is the sum of Actual Growth (new members and reinstatements) minus Actual Loss
  3. Retention Rate is derived from taking Actual Loss and dividing by the sum of Beginning Membership plus Actual Growth.  
  4. Deaths are not included as a factor in Retention Rate.  Deaths accounted for a loss of 2.15% in the year reported above.

Observations
  1. 53 Societies are reported with 26 falling below the national retention rate of 88.55% and 27 falling above.  The Germany, International and Switzerland Societies did not furnish a reconciliation report.  The Spanish Society formed during the year and thus a retention rate is not applicable. 
  2. 23 of the 53 Societies reported a Net Loss for the year.
  3. Each Society can determine the money that it is losing and thus does not have available for the next calendar year by multiplying the Actual Losses number by the amount of Society dues.  For example, while the National Society had an Actual Growth of 3,813 members for total new revenue of $114,390 throughout the year, this was offset by the loss $114,120 due to Actual Losses of 3,804.  

Conclusion
  • The size of the Society does not have a bearing on the reported retention rate.