Museum Membership Drive Ideas

Museum Membership Drive Ideas
museum membership drive ideas

Museum Membership Drive Ideas

What do all museums have in common? They want to build perennial visitors and long-term memberships. 

Why is it such a difficult goal to achieve? The expense and hassle of signing up for a membership can be off-putting to some guests, especially when they aren’t aware of the valuable benefits and incentives that come with signing up for a membership.

And this is where a museum membership drive comes into play. Membership drives are essential to bolstering not only your membership count but your staff and presence in the community. 

While the type of drive you organize will depend on the size of your museum, location, museum type, and other relative factors, there are some best practices that can be applied to any competent membership drive.

Below is a practical checklist to follow when developing your drive and some examples you can reference

Museum Membership Drive Checklist

  • Develop a plan: There are several questions you want to address before developing your membership drive. In order to assess the kind of drive you’re hosting, you should know who you’re trying to reach, how many individuals you’re trying to reach, the target guest demographic, and your budget. 
  • Reference your CRM for Research: The best way to learn about your guests and reach out to them is by referring to your CRM. Your CRM provides you with contact information and valuable data on the trends and demographics of your guests, providing you with all you need to know to leverage your membership drive.
  • Contact Community Members: A membership drive is an excellent way to gain exposure and foster your relationship with the local community. Getting involved with community leaders and local institutions will help bring in new visitors and develop your brand and name within your city. 
  • Follow up: There’s little point in hosting a membership drive if you don’t maximize the potential of your event. This is where you can return to the efficacy of your CRM to reach out to visitors when your drive has ended. Even if visitors at your drive don’t end up becoming members on the spot, they might reconsider once they’ve had some time to think about the incentives and events. Within a month of the event, if not sooner, you should definitely be emailing your drive visitors with information, membership incentives, and exhibition schedules to increase your membership count. 

Museum Membership Drive Examples & Ideas

While the strength of your membership drive idea will rely on the type of Museum you’re running and the crowd you’re trying to reach, it shouldn’t be difficult to tweek and make small adjustments to the following drive ideas when considering your own institution. 

Here are some fun and effective museum membership drive ideas to help bolster your membership count. 


  • Host an Event: Whether it’s a wine and cheese luncheon or sleepover event for the kids, inviting the public to your museum with a fun event is a sure way to boost your image with the community and introduce new visitors to your museum. Depending on your audience, it would be smart to have a new exhibit or exhibit series relevant to their interests to showcase at the event. The point is to present your guests with an incentive that piques their interest and provides them with a reason to become a member. 
  • Host a Competition: If you’re an art museum or are hosting an art exhibit, why not invite young artists in the area to a friendly competition? If you’re a technology-based museum, why not host a hackathon? History museum? Essay competition. The idea is to galvanize and excite the public with an event that reflects the values that you as a museum hold, and use that positive energy to turn a stimulating event into members.
  • Phone/Email Campaign: If you have some downtime between big events or busy seasons, using your CRM to develop a phone/email campaign is an efficient and economic way to create new members. 
  • Keynote Speaker: Invite a popular speaker or expert in your field to give a speech. Like hosting a friendly competition, this kind of event will excite the community, reflect the tenets that your museum is built on, and bring in new guests with interests that could lead to memberships. 
  • Push New Incentives: If you are constantly looking ahead to new members, you might forget the ones that have the option to renew their existing membership at the end of their trial. One simple way to ensure these individuals renew their memberships is by constantly pushing new incentives. You can solidify old member and accrue new members simultaneously by providing incentives, like a monthly drawing, for individuals who bring in friends.

Part of building any strong membership following comes with understanding your members. ACME’s powerful CRM is the perfect tool to help you keep track of and evaluate all of the valuable information you need to connect and learn about your guests.

Increase your membership and expand your Museum with ACME ticketing.

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