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Seven Membership Growth and Retention Strategies

Companies like Netflix made the subscription/membership model mainstream, and even part-time entrepreneurs like podcasters or craftspeople can employ memberships successfully. But just because it's popular doesn't mean it's easy.


Why Membership Growth and Retention is Important

At its most basic, membership growth and retention is about keeping your project healthy. Since income comes directly from members on a recurring basis, keeping the ones you have is just as important as getting new ones.

Forbes states it will cost "four to five times more" to win over a new member than it will hold on to an existing one, and if you lose more members each month than you gain, the business is unsustainable. 

Side note: If you need to manage users in a membership model, Cause Machine is an all-in-one platform to create and scale your member growth and retention strategy. Set up your trial.


7 Strategies for Membership Growth and Retention

1. Create Amazing Content

Whether it's podcasts, online learning, or a jelly-of-the-month club, all membership-based businesses sell content – so you better make it fresh. Create a membership website that serves your content and value to members. It should be relevant to your audience, unique to you, and above all useful. This makes members feel educated and empowered. Make sure to find the right frequency for sharing content (not too much, and not too little), and consider throwing in extras like downloadable freebies and how-to's.

Key Notes:

  • Your content should give VALUE to members.
  • Optimize your content for sharability and search engines.
  • Deliver content based on your user's appetite.


2. Make Your Membership Experience Unique

As the subscription/membership market booms, consumers can find almost anything they want – so your content and value offering need to stand apart. To optimize membership growth and retention, find an under-served group and cater directly to them. Avoid the temptation of trying to be everything to everyone.

Key Notes:

  • Deploy effective email marketing and nurture strategies.
  • Offer free resources and content as lead generators.
  • Do good market research, and identify how your offer stands out.


3. Build A Community

The ironic part of this hyper-connected age is that people crave actual connection more than ever, and they often seek to satisfy that need with a membership. To get them interested and keep them coming back, make sure your group becomes a community. Strong member engagement is the key. Get the members engaged with great content, and with each other. 

Key Notes:

  • Make members feel like more than customers.
  • Encourage members to make connections at virtual or hybrid events.
  • Create membership tiers so your most committed members get the best experience.


4. Lean Into Creativity

Creativity is a purpose of life, and it should be a regular feature of your member community, too. On top of regularly scheduled content, invest in bonus content relevant to your group and share with no extra charge. Maybe you can turn a frequently-asked-question into a group challenge and offer a prize for the member who wins. Or, bring in a guest speaker who the group would not usually have access to.

Key Notes:

  • Maintain content consistency, but make it a point to surprise members with valuable additions.
  • Create fun challenges out of common questions or concerns.
  • Invite guest speakers or add special events.


5. Library Card

Believe it or not, just making your old content available can drive membership growth and retention. Create a library of past lessons, videos, or whatever your content is centered around, and make sure members can always go back and access it. It sounds simple, but having a bank of resources at their fingertips can inspire some to keep their membership going.

Key Notes:

  • Continued access to past lessons and other resources is a benefit 
  • Create and maintain a library members can come back to
  • Something else here


6. Optimize Member Value

Aside from structuring and executing quality content, another important thing to consider is your membership structure. Most subscriptions run on a monthly payment – but in some cases, a longer-term or annual payment option is better.

Many groups are focused on personal transformation (like healthy living or learning a new language). Since it could take a full year or more to reach the goal, making the commitment up front could dissuade some from giving up half way through.

Key Notes:

  • Select a payment structure that fits the group's focus.
  • Structure value based on each 'tier' or subscription level; higher commitment means more exclusive perks.
  • Become the best in your space.


7. Give Members What They Want

Last but not least, go ahead and ask people what they want. Yeah, it's that simple. Membership growth and retention hinges on serving customers in a way that helps them win and win big! But while you will get rewarded for figuring out how to do that, you don't get extra credit for guessing. First, get to know your members. Then, pay close attention to crucial feedback as you launch new products or phases of your offering.

Key Notes:

  • Find out what your members really want.
  • Pay close attention to feedback on content, at events, or on your platform.
  • Send surveys asking specific questions; fill that need!


The membership model is just as effective as it is popular. You can build a thriving business from scratch, or transition an existing one to a more stable revenue stream. Try these membership growth and retention tips to keep yours running smoothly.



Grow Members with Cause Machine

Starting with a community engagement strategy is the secret to building a successful organization in the long term. Cause Machine helps organizations build the plan of engaging a community well and then begin mapping out the technology to help support that strategy. We're sure that you'll find some great resources and powerful tools in Cause Machine to better engage your community. Learn how it can work for you here.

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5 Best Event Management Tools

As anyone who plans and coordinates events can tell you, a lot of work goes into making a memorable moment seem effortless.

Event management is a time-consuming endeavor, with countless moving parts, conflicting deadlines, and communication obstacles to master. In some cases, you almost need to be a magician to pull things off – but with the right event management tools, you can do what seems impossible.


The Impact of Events

According to Statista, the total size of the "party and event planner sector" in the United States was $4.08 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, and it's still recovering from the major shock of the pandemic. That's a sizable growing market, and with relatively low barriers to entry, it can be a promising industry for entrepreneurs to break into – especially if you have a knack for spectacular brunches or over-the-top birthdays even adults leave smiling. 

One of the major challenges to entering event management has always been juggling all the components of the business – but there's help for that. 


What Needs Do Event Management Tools Fulfill?

Event management tools come in two basic forms, all-in-one or purpose specific. And basically, they can be anything that helps streamline the work of creating and running an event of any scale. 


Some things to consider when choosing event management tools include:

  • Do you need an event website or mobile app?
  • How will you promote the event?
  • Do attendees need to register or get tickets?
  • Will you need to create and update schedules?
  • Will there be exhibitors or vendors? 
  • Will the event be in person, virtual, or a hybrid event?

Once you know what you need, choosing the correct tool or platform will be a cinch. 


The Best Event Management Software

1. Cause Machine

Cause Machine is different from other event management tools. It's an all-in-one platform, allowing you to do everything from managing complex hybrid/virtual events and email marketing to restricted membership content. Cause Machine allows planners to start with a blank slate and build the event management solution that's right for them – all in one place. No need to juggle five different apps or pay for five different services. 


  • Drag & Drop Website Builder.
  • eCommerce Store.
  • Virtual or Hybrid events are easy to run and manage.
  • All-in-one solution for scalability.
  • Online Course Builder.
  • Dynamic event management from registration, email communications, event tickets, and more.
  • Custom membership options.


  • Limited front-end design customization.
  • Setup can take time, depending on the needs.


It's not easy to create and run the perfect event, but with event management tools like Cause Machine, it can go a little smoother. Set up a free demo on Cause Machine.


2. Eventbrite

Eventbrite is one of the best-known event management tools out there. If you've gone to an event that you needed to RSVP for in the last few years, chances are you've used it. The platform makes setting up registration or e-tickets easy, and with automated e-mail confirmations, it can give your small-to-medium-sized event a sense of professionalism. But it's important to note: Eventbrite doesn't do everything.


  • Ease of use and familiarity.
  • Create custom tickets and registration pages.
  • Email reminders for attendees.


  • Eventbrite only helps get plan the event – it's not designed to help with day-of needs. 
  • Relatively high fees.


3. Cvent

Cvent is an easy-to-use event management software that helps manage event registration and engagement. The platform can automate tasks like data analytics, event marketing, event registration, etc. to save time. You can manage attendees and build event reports to navigate every aspect of the event process.


  • Plan and promote your event.
  • Engage attendees.
  • Capture leads and track ROI.


  • Features can be time-consuming during setup.
  • Clunky reporting.


4. A2Z Events

As its name implies, A2Z Events can help you handle almost every aspect of behind-the-scenes event management, from floorplan design and staff coordination to creating exhibitor and vendor portals. Its scale makes it ideal for large events like trade conferences or big weddings, but it's not as useful for smaller events, and does not include any public-facing features. 


  • Create the perfect event layout.
  • Great for larger teams.
  • Good for conferences and other big events.


  • Lacks attendee-facing tools like a registration portal, event map.
  • Overkill for most events.



5. Zoom Events

Zoom Events is a great video-conferencing tool that has taken Zoom's original purpose of virtual meetings to the next level with the ability to run dynamic events. With Zoom Events, you can host virtual/hybrid events, webinars, digital panel discussions, online courses, and more. Most people find it easy to navigate, and e-mail confirmations keep everyone on the same page.


  • Easy and familiar to use.
  • Host multiple virtual sessions at once.
  • Connect your audience.


  • Free version comes with time limits.
  • Limited screen-sharing functionality.


Start Cause Machine

Starting with a community engagement strategy is the secret to building a successful organization in the long term. Cause Machine helps organizations build the plan of engaging a community well and then begin mapping out the technology to help support that strategy. We're certain that you'll find some great resources and powerful tools in Cause Machine to better engage your community. Learn how it can work for you here.

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5 Best Association Management Software Platforms

The vast majority of associations are run by fewer than ten people – small teams who already rely on, or could benefit from, association management software. The truth is that each one of those associations requires a lot of hands-on administration, even if it's small. That administration is expensive and time-consuming and is basically a time suck for the few employees a small association has. 

Despite that, it's still vital work – and association management software aims to help.


What Makes Association Management Software Different from Other Software?

A quality association management software platform can do everything from building a website to running a member database. They can automate email communications, payment collections, donations, event management, and make sure all the financial requirements of running an association are met. In short, they can free your team up to do the things that associations are really meant to do. 

The problem lies in choosing the right association management software for your association, but we can help. Culled from hundreds of association management software options, here are five of the best.


The Five Best Association Management Software Platforms Right Now 

1. Cause Machine

Association management software

Up until now, we've introduced association management software options that are useful in a variety of situations – but Cause Machine is something different. The most versatile option by far, Cause Machine is an infinitely customizable platform that can meet all the needs of an association – large, small, or in between. 

Building a cost-effective and practical web platform to manage your association is key for scalability and experience. You can even create members-only areas with added benefits too. Cause Machine can supercharge communications, help maintain the day-to-day, and even streamline association events. Cause Machine starts by defining your objectives and helps you build the platform to meet your organizational needs. 

Great features include:

  • Tailored software for specific association needs
  • Drag and drop web builder 
  • Free trial and dedicated support
  • Event management
  • Email marketing tools
  • eCommerce, membership billing, managed tiers, and more
  • Dynamic CMS
  • Job Board
  • Launch Mobile Apps
  • Free trial available

Especially for the thousands of small associations that need a practical association management tool, getting off the treadmill of hands-on administration is as easy as trying out the right association management software.

Get a tailored solution to your organization's needs. Schedule a free demo with Cause Machine to get back to doing what your association is really meant to do.

2. WildApricot

association management platform

\WildApricot has steadily become one of the most visible association management software platforms, and that's because it comes with many of the features associations need. From a (basic) website builder to a built-in email system and a mobile app, it can be helpful to organizations of all sizes – and comes with a free trial period.

Great features include:

  • Build websites and member directories
  • Event Management
  • Automate payments and renewals
  • Free 60-day trial


3. GrowthZone

GrowthZone is an association management software option that is focused on what its name implies – growth! The basic plan includes everything that others do as well – including member management tools, financial tools, and the like – but it can be scaled up with marketing solutions and added "modules" as your organization grows, which is ultimately the whole point, right?

Great features include:

  • Website builder with member and event management tools
  • Marketing tools and sales funnel 
  • Payment processing
  • Free demos and monthly payment plans


4. MemberLeap

MemberLeap is an example of powerful association management software that is tailored for one specific segment of the association landscape. Along with all the basic functions of member and financial management, it features a convenient integration with QuickBooks. With 26.5 million businesses using QuickBooks in the US, that could be very useful!

Great features include:

  • Member database with plans
  • Integrates with QuickBooks for accounting 
  • CRM system
  • Starts at $50/month, plus website setup packages from $1,800+



membership management software

With SilkStart, small associations can get everything they need – and the "smooth" transition they hope for. This software is designed to be simple and easy to use for administrators, and its features are designed to get the job done. Features include job boards, donation pages, chapter integration, and mobile-friendly websites.

Great features include:

  • Simple tools for website, members-boards, donations, and more 
  • Event management
  • Job board
  • Email Marketing



Get Started With Cause Machine

Starting with a community engagement strategy is the secret to building a successful organization in the long term. Cause Machine helps organizations build the plan of engaging a community well and then begin mapping out the technology to help support that strategy. We're certain that you'll find some great resources and powerful tools in Cause Machine to better engage your community. Learn how it can work for you here.

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Starting a Nonprofit for Your Cause

Here at Cause Machine, we are all about taking a bold vision and amplifying its message far and wide, and one of the best ways to do that is to start a nonprofit.

Nonprofits are important actors in society, helping motivated people of all kinds serve their communities, further causes they believe in, and generally make the world a better place. As a one-stop shop for building and growing a digital presence, Cause Machine can guide organizations into a custom website platform, customer engagement strategy, email marketing, and much more. 

We offer a powerful, all-in-one tool to put people power into motion, and ultimately achieve big goals – but that comes after the nonprofit is up and running. Starting a nonprofit is a serious endeavor, and today we’ll walk through some strategies to do it right. 


First thing first: Are you sure?

Before getting too far into actually starting a nonprofit, you should first make sure this is the right call. There are many benefits to doing so – the organization’s nonprofit status allows you to solicit tax-exempt donations to achieve broad goals and apply for grants. Plus, nonprofits don’t have to pay corporate taxes, helping put the money raised to good use. 

But, there are monetary, compliance, and time commitments that need to be met. Starting a nonprofit will also mean ongoing IRS scrutiny to maintain tax-exempt status, board meetings, keeping detailed records, and more. 

You should make sure the cause behind your nonprofit idea is one you are truly passionate about – and that it will be something the world truly needs … and that your nonprofit could operate in an effective manner, better than any others which are already in the space. 


Kinds of Nonprofit Setups

Now that you’ve taken a hard look in the mirror, decide which kind of nonprofit is best for your mission. There are three common types, laid out below.

  • 501(c)(3): This is the most common form of nonprofit, ideal for charitable organizations promoting things like education, environmental awareness or medical research.
  • 501(c)(4): This type of nonprofit is best for political action groups or lobbying efforts. Donations to these are not tax deductible, and the goal should be to promote public good.
  • 501(c)(7): This kind of nonprofit is great for social or recreational clubs – things like community groups.


Get Your Non-Profit Started 

1. Do the Research

Starting a nonprofit generally costs between $2,500 and $5,000. That should cover registration fees and any legal costs associated with getting started. You can check with the National Council of Nonprofits to get an idea of all you’ll need to do – which we’ll also lay out next. All along, keep in mind those previous questions, like “Can I really commit myself?” “Are we meeting an unmet need?” and “How are we different?”


2. Ground Work

The next step in starting a nonprofit is getting its foundation set. You’ll need a name, mission, and purpose statements to guide the organization, and a board of directors to run it. Figure out the areas that need attention – financial, community organizing, etc. – and write out the skills that would best meet those needs. Then search for quality people to fill them. Do the same for any staff positions you might need in the future.


3. Get Incorporated

Now it’s time to make things official. By filing articles of incorporation, you ask to be recognized as a business by the state you wish to operate from. Get a federal employer identification number (EIN), and check with the IRS website to read about the process for your state. 


4. File for Tax-Exempt Status

At this point, you have a legal business, and it’s time to apply for the tax-exempt status that makes starting a nonprofit different from other organizations. How you do so will depend on the type of nonprofit you choose to start, but again, the IRS website can explain it all in detail. If you are setting up the common 501(c)(3), for example, fill out Form 1023 or Form 1023-EZ. For a 501(c)(4), it is Form 1024-A and Form 8976.


5. Maintain Your Status 

Despite how hard you’ve worked already, this is the tough part. Your nonprofit will be accountable for every action or non-action it takes, and you must keep thorough and detailed records of all financial transactions. You should create bylaws to lay out the division of responsibility on your board, and how you intend to avoid conflicts of interest. Follow those bylaws and document all of your nonprofit’s activities. State and federal authorities will be looking over every shoulder.

Remember, this may all seem like a huge barrier to starting a nonprofit, but in many ways that is intentional. A nonprofit should only be used to legitimately serve the public interest and the cause it was built for, and these rules and regulations are all intended to keep nonprofits running legally and ethically.

Once you get past those requirements, it’s on to changing the world. And that’s where Cause Machine can help. Schedule a free demo today to find out how.


Get Started With Cause Machine

Starting with a community engagement strategy is the secret to building a successful Nonprofit in the long term. Cause Machine helps organizations build the plan of engaging a community well and then begin mapping out the technology to help support that strategy. We’re certain that you’ll find some great resources and powerful tools in Cause Machine to better engage your community. Learn how it can work for you here.

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11 Best Member Engagement Strategies

Brand loyalty is at an all-time low, and with about 1 in 5 consumers saying their expectations have “completely changed” – it’s not always easy to know how to deliver. That's why a member-based approach could completely change the way you invite customers/subscribers/followers etc. into your story.

It’s no longer enough to focus on just price and quality, thinking you can hook a customer once and keep them forever. Businesses have to keep winning customers over. That's a membership-based experience that serves as the cornerstone of your brand experience. A way for your most loyal customers, followers, and subscribers to get the best, most personalized experience.

Members who interact with your organization are more engaged customers and supporters. Members who are more engaged find value in that back-and-forth relationship. And when you find value in a relationship, you are more likely to keep it going. 


How to Get Member Engagement Right

Doing this right can mean the difference between success and failure. As important as it is, it doesn’t have to be hard. It’s all about finding ways for customers/followers/subscribers etc. to get involved – the more value-driven, the better. That could include digital tools like a great membership website, email marketing strategy, social media engagement, real-life events, and many more. 

It mostly boils down to building strong customer engagement relationships and keeping their attention. Engagement needs to take place throughout the customer journey, not just in the beginning, and when it’s done right it’s not a gimmick. You can add real value to your members’ lives – which if you think about it, is deep down the point of a membership organization anyway.  


11 Membership Engagement Strategies

The thing is, there are literally hundreds – maybe thousands – of suggestions on how to maximize member engagement. Some are more helpful than others, and to a certain extent, each organization will need to tailor their approach to the situation. But, we can help get those custom solutions started. 

1. Build Your Community

Community drives everything. People need it. for your organization, it should come as no surprise, then: when you give people community, they become more than just customers/members/followers – they become believers.


2. Onboarding Perks

The best place to start practicing membership engagement is at the beginning. As soon as someone signs up, let them know they are valued. Make them excited to join. Offer a small gift or perk, right away.


3. Smart TouchPoints

Modern membership organizations need multiple channels of connection with their members. It can’t just be email or in-person interaction. Build a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Reddit – anywhere your people are.


4. Push Notifications/Clear Communication

Studies have shown that creating a mobile app can help a business – but they also show almost half of all apps are deleted within a month. If users have push notifications enabled, they are significantly less likely to uninstall your app, so “push” for that. If you can't make an app, clear SMS and email marketing strategies can keep your members engaged. 


5. Make It Personal

In today’s world of automated everything, it’s more and more rare for customers/members to feel like they are actually interacting with a real person, in a real conversation. Personalizing your communications can help strike that human-to-human nerve.


6. Cancel the Cancellation

Some percentage of members will always leave, but when they do, you can reach out (without being pushy) and see if they can be swayed to stay. It dovetails with making things personal, and at the very least, you can learn ways to improve service.


7. Drive Customer Informed Value

Sometimes member engagement comes down to reminding members why they are involved. After the excitement of joining wears off, reach out with regular updates about what they’ve accomplished by being part of the group.


8. Discounts

Inflation is rough right now, and on top of that, nearly half of all membership organizations increase their dues on a yearly basis. To keep members onboard, consider offering a discounted rate (or perhaps last year’s rate) for renewing their membership early.


9. Word of Mouth

New member referral programs are an old trick in the member engagement playbook – but they still work. Give existing members an incentive or some other reward for getting other people signed up. Put coupon codes to good use for things like this!


10. Turn Engagement Into a Game

One interesting way to boost member engagement is to “gamify” the interaction. You could create a points system for different kinds of engagement, and as members accumulate points, they can trade them in for rewards (like early access and special perks). 


11. Surprise and Delight

Finally, something that can be practiced at any point during the customer journey is simply to make someone’s day. Pick a member at random, and reward them with something special. Then brag about them (and yourself in the process) to the rest of the group. It’s nice to be nice! The good ole under-promise and over-deliver adage.

In the end, smart member engagement strategies are one of the key factors in retaining a strong base of membership. The effort is always worth it – because strong member relationships are at the core of delivering massive value and driving real revenue. 


Get Started With Cause Machine

Starting with a community engagement strategy is the secret to building a successful platform in the long term. Cause Machine helps customers build the plan of engaging a community well and then begin mapping out the technology to help support that strategy. We’re certain that you’ll find some great resources and powerful tools in Cause Machine to better engage your community. Learn how it can work for you here.

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