Four Tools to Improve Your Association’s Membership Retention


A large component of your association’s membership retention strategy is having a top-notch association website.

Your website is where current members (and prospects) go for information and insight, interact with each other, register for events, and contribute donations.

In other words, there is a lot riding on your association website, which means you’ll want to make every visit as engaging as possible by encouraging action and providing members with value.



In this post, we’ll cover four tools to incorporate into your website:

  1. Online Communities
  2. Regularly-Updated Blog
  3. Private Pages
  4. Donation Tools

To offer these and other membership engagement tools, you’ll need to start with a powerful website builder. Check out Morweb’s list of top membership website builders to begin exploring your options. From there, you’ll be able to effectively advance your membership retention tactics.

Let’s begin!

1. Online Communities

Online Communities

People join associations because they enjoy connecting with like-minded individuals who share a passion for the same field or cause. Create these connections by developing an engaging online community for your members.

Establish online communities by leveraging the following website tools:

  • Online forums: Create a discussion board to allow members to share personal experiences and collaborate on ideas to promote association growth.
  • Social media tools: Add social media sharing buttons and incorporate social media live feeds on your website to encourage people to interact with your organization on different platforms.
  • Contact form: Offer a contact form on your website to encourage direct communication between members and your team.

Opening the door for communication is a great way to establish a positive spirit among your members and demonstrate the value in belonging to your organization. This can directly impact member acquisition and retention.

2. Regularly-Updated Blog

Regularly Updated Blog

A blog is an excellent tool for creating member-centered content on a regular basis. When you’re posting about things that truly affect and interest your members, they’ll be able to use it as a reliable source of information.

Getting Attention’s guide to nonprofit storytelling offers the following excellent tips that can easily be applied to association blog posts:

  • Post about compelling characters. Focus on individual stories. Give your “characters” a face, name, and voice, and make sure they’re characters that your members can relate to.
  • Relate each story to a specific goal. What is your organization trying to accomplish with each blog post that you share? Whatever your goal, make sure your stories drive people toward it.
  • Use impactful visuals. Photos, videos, and infographics are excellent tools for creating engaging blog posts. They have a way of engaging your audience and helping them to feel emotion that can inspire them to act.

A regularly-updated blog can get your association’s members visiting your website frequently. To ensure that you’re posting valuable content on a regular basis, we suggest creating a content calendar that you can use to stay on track.

3. Private Pages

Private Pages

To be able to offer members-only content, you’ll need to restrict access and privatize pages so that only members can view them. With the right association website builder, you’ll have the tools you need to manage user permissions and offer password-protected resources.

Consider featuring the following content in the members-only area on your site:

  • eLearning opportunities: Put industry knowledge within your members’ reach by offering educational resources. Interactive content like insightful webinars, online courses, and articles can help your members build marketable skills and deepen their engagement.
  • Member directory: Sort and categorize members into a directory so they can search for others to connect with. Make sure to only list the information that members want made public to other members!
  • Event pages: If you want to offer a members-only event, a secure event landing page can be a great asset. Include event information, registration forms, waivers, and more, all in one place.

Providing members-only resources will add an element of exclusivity to the membership experience. This exclusivity encourages members to continually renew their memberships to preserve their access to these resources.

4. Donation Tools

Donation Tools

For the most part, you likely rely on membership dues, event registration fees, or grants to fund your association’s operations. However, including a well-designed donation page on your website and directing your members to it is also a great fundraising habit to build. 

Here’s what to prioritize when designing your page:

  • Secure payment processing: Look for a website builder that allows you to create custom forms directly on your website with payment processor integration so people feel secure while giving.
  • Branding: Brand your donation page with your organization’s logo and colors, creating a more consistent donor experience as people navigate between the pages on your website.
  • Offer recurring giving options and suggested giving amounts: Recurring giving options enable you to secure long-term support, while suggested giving amounts provide people with an idea of what a “typical” donation might look like.

The right donation tools will enhance the donor experience. By effectively turning your members into donors, you’ll know you’ve successfully enhanced their experience and can be confident that you’ve secured long-term support.

The Gist

By leveraging association website best practices and including the essential tools on your site, you’ll be on your way to increased member engagement and retention. Remember, though, improving your retention strategy is more a marathon than a sprint. By taking a careful approach to the online resources you’re offering, you’ll set yourself up for success in the long run.

Action steps you can take today
  • Invest in a website builder created with associations’ needs in mind. This kind of website builder will provide all the tools you need to engage your members.
  • Create online communities among your members using online forums, social media tools, and contact forms. You should also regularly post valuable content on your organization’s blog.
  • Private, members-only resources and a well-designed donation page can help you deepen engagement with your members and improve your association’s membership retention.