Business » How To Successfully Communicate An Association Dues Increase

How To Successfully Communicate An Association Dues Increase

How To Successfully Communicate An Association Dues Increase

The Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association (VPPPA) faced the challenge of implementing a membership dues increase after not doing so for over 20 years. Recognizing the need for transparency, the association aimed to effectively communicate the justification for the increase to its members, according to an article by ASAE.

The board, amidst the recovery from the pandemic, realized the importance of growing revenue and initiated a thorough analysis of the association’s financial history. Shockingly, there was no record of dues changes for over two decades. To make an informed decision, VPPPA staff compiled data covering ten years, illustrating the stagnant growth in membership revenue compared to increasing expenses.

A key shift in communication was the rebranding of “membership dues” to “membership investment.” This change emphasized the value members receive in return for their financial commitment.

The board eventually voted to implement a 10 percent increase in the annual membership investment starting July 1, 2023. The association’s staff took a proactive approach by initiating a three-phase restructuring process: preparation, development, and implementation/evaluation.

To effectively communicate the increase, VPPPA developed a comprehensive six-week email and social media campaign highlighting the benefits of membership investment. Each benefit was outlined, emphasizing its perceived value. The final message announced the increase’s implementation date and reiterated the benefits, aligning them with the association’s mission of advancing health and safety excellence.

Remarkably, the association received no negative feedback, and renewal rates remained consistent with previous years. Members, previously unaware of the full extent of benefits, expressed satisfaction at the annual conference.

The success of this initiative emphasized the importance of clear communication, member education, and framing membership as an investment in a positive future. Ultimately, the association demonstrated that justifying a price increase involves explaining the reasons behind the change and emphasizing the value members receive in return, thereby reframing membership as an investment rather than a cost.

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