Three Membership Numbers to Watch

By: Erik Schonher

Keep an eye on these metrics to gauge your association's health.

In the world of membership marketing, we use basic metrics to measure our progress. Here are three fundamental formulas to keep in mind:

Renewal rate: Measures the number of members that you keep over a specific period of time, usually 12 months.

  • Formula: (Total number of members now - new members gained over the last 12 months)/Total number of members last year
  • Example: (10,000 - 2,000)/9,500 = .8421 or 84.21%

Average tenure: Measures how long a member stays.

  • Formula: 1/(1 - renewal rate)
  • Example: 1/(1 - .8421) = 1/.1579 = 6.333 years

Lifetime value (LTV): Measures the average anticipated revenue from a member.

  • Formula: (Dues + nondues revenue) x average tenure = LTV
  • Example: ($125 + $100) x 6.333 = $1,424.92 LTV

Erik Schonher is vice president of Marketing General Inc., Alexandria, Virginia. Email: [email protected]

Online Extra: Blog Posts

Interested in more membership metrics? Schonher blogs frequently on the topic. Here are a few of his posts on metrics:

"Now is the time to start using a Membership Dashboard"

"How High is High and How Low is Low? Steady State Analysis is Your 'Early Warning Advisor'"

"Membership Basics: It's In The Numbers"