Membership, thumb screws and the Iron Maiden
Membership was created to help supporters of Windhover Center support Windhover Center.
But, and there is always a big but somewhere around here, when resources are limited membership can be like having a tiger by the tail.
Say you’re a not-for-profit arts organization and you’ve got a good number of loyal members and all want to hear from you. But many arts organizations do not have the resources to be responsive to their member needs. Volunteers are required to administer the membership program, but volunteer hours are limited and typically staffed by more than one volunteer.
More than one person doing the same job breeds chaos. “I thought you were handling this!” “I thought you were!!” In the meantime, members are calling wondering where their member cards, renewal reminders, or newsletters are!
All of the above played out at Windhover Center. All are cringe worthy moments. Here are a few other of my “favorite” cringe moments: Some of our best ticket purchasers weren’t members. Why? Cuz they never heard from us. Cringe. Or they did hear from us and it took 2 months to receive their member card! Cringe.
Just say no to Cringe.
With some of the resources that are now available, Windhover Center can now say no to cringe. Hopefully our members have noticed an increase in communication from Windhover. New software is being implemented so we can stay connected with our members like never before. We also have a few more hands helping. Certainly, more qualified hands, such as Jacqui Corsi our new marketing director. Her marketing initiatives have nearly doubled our membership rolls in the first quarter of 2013 alone!
Jacqui also has a whipping boy….Young Andrew Lang. Hopefully some of our members have been able to meet Andrew and the experience was positive. If it wasn’t, we’ll drag up the thumb screws and the Iron Maiden, both of which have been outstanding tools in improving morale and productivity.
Torture aside, all of the membership improvements have been done to make sure we are responsive to our member needs as well as staying better connected. Our members are truly important to us and Windhover Center would not be in the positive position we are in now if it were not for the generosity of our members.
So we will be better. We will be able to handle the success of increased member rolls. We will be able to offer you more for your membership: From advanced ticket sales and discounted merchandise, to complete connectivity to all that is going on. And of course the overseas art trips (still room for France!).
Big things are happening and we want our members front and center. See you for The Reveal on June 25.
PS: I am taking reservations for Andrew Lang’s torture sessions.