Membership Levels and How They Affect Your Nonprofit Organization

Membership Levels and How They Affect Your Nonprofit Organization

Membership Levels and How They Affect Your Nonprofit Organization

Growing and maintaining your support is essential for success in the nonprofit sector. You often have to approach things through the lens of marketing, and membership levels are a great tactic when reaching out to the world. Implementing adequate membership levels can be more of a challenge than you might initially expect. You might have trouble figuring out where to start or if it’s truly an effective method of marketing. We’re going to go over why membership levels are important and give you a few examples of how you can implement some yourself. Membership levels can be a fun and engaging way to connect with your supporters, encouraging them to give you continued support. You can also attract newcomers to your mission as well. 

What are Membership Levels (AKA Donor Levels)?

At its core, membership levels are a marketing tactic used to create personalized and targeted purchasing options for perks or deals. In our case here, membership levels serve to reward your supporters with perks, accolades, or a view of what’s happening behind the scenes. Membership levels for nonprofits are tiers that increase based on the number and amount of donations made.

Why are Membership Levels Important?

One of the biggest arguments for using membership levels is their effectiveness. Implementing membership tiers shows you’re confident in your mission and excited to give back to those who donate. It also justifies the use of marketing campaigns. You can show off the tiers you’ve created to existing and future donors as a way to keep them engaged and interacting with your content and mission. 

At the end of the day, people love being rewarded for doing something good for the world. The perks and recognition donors will receive from supporting your nonprofit through a membership level system is an excellent way to inspire people to continue to hold you up and do more to help.

Common Ways of Naming Membership Tiers

There are a variety of ways you can label your tiers, each with its own unique benefits. The general idea is the same but each method we’ll list below showcases your perks differently. Some are more effective than others based on what you have to offer.

  • Price based membership levels.

Price based membership levels are similar to a subscription service. The amount donated per month (or within your desired time period) should be the highlight of your tiers with this method. This is great for memberships that include regular access to things like facilities or events. For example, if your nonprofit is for a botanical garden, you can provide special access to expert tours for donors with a monthly fee.

  • Access based membership levels. 

If you’ve used websites like Patreon, you’re probably already familiar with this method of membership levels. You highlight the perks you get to entice people to choose a tier that’s the most appealing. Listing things like merchandise or art, access to educational videos or special resources, or special content just for donors would be perfect for access based membership levels. This can be a great way to show off what lower tiers are missing and encourage them to donate more.

  • Time based membership levels. 

You can set perks based on specified periods of time as well. This is great if you have a lot of resources to offer and want to offer people who are willing to give bigger donations to have those resources for a longer period of time. If you have resources, programs, or subscriptions available to donors, for example, you could offer a tier for 1 month at $35, 3 months at $95 which gives you a $10 discount, or a full year at $275 which is a $145 discount. This is a great way to offer lower cost options to new people and discounted options for frequent supporters.

  • Medallion or precious medal membership levels.

Bronze, silver, and gold membership levels have become fairly common across most platforms that use the membership level method. It adds a “premium” flare to encourage people to donate in order to get not just all the perks, but the ability to call themselves a gold member as well. If you’re a gold museum member, you might get unlimited visits per month with a special card or your name somewhere in the museum. This is an excellent way to create membership levels that leave a mark on your supporter’s minds and adds a little bit of something extra to what you have to offer.

Why a Diverse Set of Membership Tiers is Important

Most people feel like they’re in the dark when it comes to donating to nonprofits. It’s important to show supporters your appreciation to encourage them to come back and donate again. With membership tiers, it feels accessible to everyone and encourages people to commit more money to your cause. Some people can only afford to give $10/month, and creating a tier that shows them you appreciate their donation in some way is incredibly powerful.

A good example of a nonprofit that has membership levels is the California Science Center. While some of their donor packages can get a little pricey, they’re giving people the opportunity to give to a great cause and show their donors appreciation through generous benefits packages. The Descanso Gardens has another good example of what membership levels can look like. They offer levels with discounts based on the number of people you’d like to bring and the benefits you’d like to receive. They even have a senior discount available for those who’re interested.

The purpose is to create a more transparent, enjoyable, and accessible experience when it comes to donating and supporting your nonprofit. Creating membership tiers makes it easier to see the mutual benefits that result from supporting your cause!

How Acme Can Help With Your Membership Tiers

Acme Ticketing helps create a seamless experience for your donation management and membership. You’ll be able to see what tiers are doing well and which might need some help changing. Museums, zoos, gardens, and more are already implementing Acme to make their supporters’ ticketing experience that much easier. If you’re interested in seeing how Acme can help your nonprofit, request a demo today!

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