Engagement and Retention Strategies for Your Community Organization That Actually Work
Leaders of community organizations need an active group of engaged members for their programs to be a success. However, retaining members can sometimes be a struggle, especially when it feels like there is a new community opportunity appears very second!
The true secret to retention is engagement and investment: the more involved your members are with your organization, the more “skin in the game” they have, and the easier retention is going to be.
You might have incredible content, activities, and instructors, but if they are a “nice-to-have” and not a “need-to-have” it might be hard to get that engagement and retention where you want it.
The post below will help with:
"How to improve retention at my community center?"
"How to reduce churn at my civic organization?"
"How to keep members at my community organization?"
Top Strategies to Retain & Engage Your Community Members
Give Members Responsibilities
Delegating responsibilities to members of your community program can improve loyalty and retention. Assigning tasks like event organization and member enrollment to seniors can be a successful way to engage with those members, and can also keep new members more interested when they see someone similar to them passionate about their community!
Here are some tasks you can delegate to members:
Maintaining mailing lists and email lists that target local organizations and agencies.
Emailing local organizations that provide senior services.
Planning real-world and virtual events for other seniors.
Finding new members for upcoming events.
Televeda's all-in-one digital event management platform powers communication with your community members. You can use our live streaming solutions to make it easy to host your own virtual events (we provide the scheduling, calendaring, reminders system, and more).
Give Out Gifts and Prizes
Handing out gifts and prizes to members of your community organization can also increase engagement and loyalty. Give out a gift to new members as a "thank you" or distribute prizes to members who win competitions and games during virtual events. (For example, reward the winner of an online bingo game, as long as you’re in accordance with the law).
Here are some gift and prize ideas that won't break the bank:
Personalized t-shirts, mugs, or pens
Books & notebooks
Box of chocolates
A bottle of wine
Package so they can participate in a future class, like bingo cards, art supplies, or yoga mats
The gifts and prizes you give to seniors will depend on your budget, but incorporating these incentives into your programs will improve engagement and reduce "churn."
One of the best ways to improve engagement among seniors is to ask them about your program. Feedback surveys provide you with valuable insights into your membership base and let you assess whether seniors are engaged or disengaged.
Your surveys don't have to contain hundreds of questions. Instead, send a short questionnaire to members via email and collect responses on a spreadsheet. Here are some questions to ask members:
What is your favorite thing about being a member of this organization?
What is your least favorite thing?
How long have you been a member?
Are you a member of any other community organization?
What would make this organization better?
Take a look at these answers, and start thinking: how can you implement these suggestions to improve engagement? Not a fan of data analysis? Don’t worry. At Televeda we automatically assess attendance levels, provide surveys after every event, and make our own recommendations for you.
Collecting data about senior members (with their permission of course) lets you understand them better. The result? More successful community outreach outcomes. Here is some data you can collect from members:
Community utilization ratios, which measures how seniors use your organization's services
Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures the experiences of members
Member satisfaction scores
Member happiness and well being scores
You can also collect data on attendance levels, churn rates, retention rates, and more. Once you have collected this data, use it to create custom hybrid virtual events that resonate with your members.
Sometimes, a poor experience makes members want to leave your community program, whether the programming is virtual or in person. But with virtual programming for adults being a necessity these days, it's essential to invest in the latest tech. Live streams that take ages to load or don't connect to servers properly can make it difficult for seniors to engage with your organization.
Using a robust and senior-friendly streaming platform, for example, improves the member experience and prevents churn. Televeda's accessible UI/UX live streaming platform suits seniors of all mobility levels (we’ve gotten RAVE reviews from our attendees). Plus, you get access to human support via email, live chat, and phone if you ever have a technical problem.
Final Word on Engagement & Retention for your Community
Of course, there’s no perfect solution to these questions, and what works for one organization might not work for another. What you really want to be asking yourself is: “What is making members come back?” and “How can I replicate that in other current, or new members?”
From asking these questions and trying these strategies, you might realize what your community offers isn’t the exact thing you thought it did, which will in turn influence your marketing, offerings, and growth.
Televeda is an event management platform designed to improve member engagement specifically for older adults. With a wide range of data reporting tools, community outreach features, and live streaming technologies, you can enhance hybrid virtual events at your senior center, recreation center, or civic organization.