If your organization has a membership program and considers members and donors to be two distinct categories of constituents, you should set up your database to keep track of members. Use these tools in Bloomerang to get started:

  1. Using Appeals, Campaigns, and Funds
  2. Custom Fields and Creating New Members
  3. Reporting on Membership
  4. Best Practices on Renewal Notices

Using Appeals, Campaigns, and Funds

Appeals, campaigns, and funds can be used with membership tracking. Feel free to review how to create these tools in your database if needed.

Appeals

Appeals are the most useful tool for tracking how individuals become members of your organization. Use appeals for your membership cultivation efforts so that you can report on successes and areas to improve on later. Some recommended appeals may include:

  • Front Desk - for tracking memberships obtained on-site.
  • Mailing - for tracking memberships obtained via mailed solicitation.
  • Email - similar to mailing, but for email solicitation.
  • Renewal - for tracking memberships that have renewed.
  • Online Membership Form - used when members join via an online form.

Note: If you’re creating an online form for membership registration, be sure to add the email address of the person you want notified in the Notification Email section, and the appeal in the Fund, Campaign, and Appeal section.

Campaigns

If you have membership drives that occur over periods of time, creating a campaign can help. For example, you may have a renewal campaign that takes place over a period of months or a year, but the solicitations for renewal can occur via the front desk, mailings, or any other appeal. Use campaigns if you’d like to track how well a membership drive succeeds.

Funds

Funds can be used with membership tracking if membership revenue is used specifically for one purpose. Revenue generated via membership is often unrestricted, however, so creating a fund specifically for membership is not always necessary.


Custom Fields and Creating New Members

Custom fields can be used to quickly distinguish a member in your database from a donor.

Make a new constituent custom field category by clicking Gear icon > Constituent > New Category. Name the new category Membership and click Save. Then, create custom fields in that category to keep track of your members in Bloomerang:

  • Membership Type - use this field to denote the type of membership for your constituent. Some examples might include Individual, Individual Plus, Family, Family Plus.
    • What kind of data goes in this field? Choose Text.
    • How do you enter data in this field? Choose Pick 1 value from a list. Click Save and add your types when prompted.
  • Membership Expiration Date - use this field to track how long a membership is valid and for renewal purposes.
    • What kind of data goes in this field? Choose Date.
    • How do you enter data in this field? Choose Type it in.
  • Member Since - this field is useful for tracking and recognition of a constituent’s continued membership.
    • What kind of data goes in this field? Choose Date (Year Only).
    • How do you enter data in this field? Choose Type it in.
  • Special Membership Type - this field can be used to track options like Gift Membership or Multi-Year Membership.
    • What kind of data goes in this field? Choose Text.
    • How do you enter data in this field? Choose Pick multiple values from a list. Click Save and add your types when prompted.

Creating a New Member Workflow

Once a constituent becomes a member of your organization, update the Membership custom fields with their membership information. Create a new constituent account if they are not in your database yet.

Next, create a new donation for the constituent to denote the membership fee. Be sure to include the appeal. 

If a member joins via an online giving form, the donation is created automatically. However, remember to update their constituent custom fields.


Reporting on Membership

Create reports to keep up with how members are engaging with your organization. Start a new constituent-based report and add a filter to include your Membership Type custom field. You can filter by specific membership types or all of your membership types, depending on which members you would like to report on.

Below are the reports that you should consider creating along with the purposes they serve:

  • All members - an all members report can show you every constituent that is considered a member in your organization. Include a filter for Membership Type is any.
  • New members - this report can be used for sending a welcome packet. You can also use it to ensure that you update the custom fields for new members joining via online forms. Make a copy of your All members report, then click And… to apply a Created Date filter, and check the report regularly.
  • Upcoming expirations - use this report to keep track of memberships that will be expiring soon, so that you can contact these members for renewal. Start with an all members report and add an include filter for Membership Expiration Date, setting the filter parameters to During > Next number of days > 60 days (or your preferred timeframe).
  • Membership recognitions - use the Member Since custom field in this report. Track members that have stayed with your organization over specific periods of time, so that you can acknowledge them.
  • Engagement Level - add a column for Engagement Level and see how active your membership is with your organization. Group by this column to organize your report by Engagement Level.

You can save and schedule these reports to automatically arrive in your inbox at regular intervals by using scheduled reports. This will save a lot of time and you'll always be up-to-date!


Best Practices on Renewal Notices

Retaining membership is vital to the health of your organization. Keep track of expiring memberships and act accordingly to keep members involved. 

Use an upcoming expirations report, mentioned in the previous section, to find out whose membership will expire within the next 60 days. Schedule the report to show up each month so that you can notify members to renew. Notify members that their membership will expire 6-8 weeks prior to their expiration date, and then again at about 2-3 weeks prior. When you contact your members, remind them of all the benefits of membership to encourage them to renew. 


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