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Approaching Membership Renewals While Closed

Membership renewals are an important source of revenue for many organizations. However, adjustments may need to be made to the renewal process if your organization has suspended programs due to COVID-19.


Your organization should identify a plan of action prior to sending out the next round of renewal communications. If renewal emails or letters are automated, consider pausing them until your team can implement your plan.

Here are three easy options your organization may want to consider.

1. Suspend renewals until programs resume.

During these uncertain times, you may want to simply suspend renewals until it becomes clear when your organization is able to resume normal operations. If you choose this option, send a communication to current members informing them that they will not receive renewal notices and automated renewals will not be processed until further notice.

2. Continue renewals with a membership extension.

Another option is to continue renewals with the caveat that memberships will be extended for the amount of time your organization was closed. For example, if your operations end up being suspended for 2 months, the membership expiration would be moved to two months after the original date.

3. Continue renewals as scheduled.

Alternatively, you can continue with renewals as previously scheduled and include messaging that explains the impact their membership fee has on your organization and its continued operation. Members are some of your most highly engaged patrons and are most likely to continue their support during this time even with the lack of traditional programming.

However you proceed, the language in your membership communications should be authentic, transparent, gracious, and reflect the atmosphere of the time.


Would you like to brainstorm on how your organization can communicate and engage with members? Book a time on my calendar and I’ll be happy to chat. We're here to help.

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