Foundation Membership Going Greener
In November 2014, we convened a task force to review our membership structure and benefits, and to identify strategies we can use to expand our member base. The taskforce is staffed by current and former Foundation staff members, longtime Foundation members, current and former board members, and experts in the field of nonprofit membership.
It meets once a month and has already hosted numerous focus groups with Foundation members. The key messages we’ve received from our members thus far is that the Bulletin is your favorite benefit of membership, that we need to go greener with our publications and communications, and that we should be using as much of your membership dues as possible to support vital programs in the Arboretum.
Electronic communications: We want to be more responsive to our members and put your money to work doing the things you care about. So, starting in July 2015, we will be shifting to an electronic-only platform for our newsletter. We’ll also be producing the Bulletin in electronic form as well as in print. Starting next year, our Annual Report will also be an electronic-only publication.
New membership structure: Another adopted recommendation from the task force is that we simplify our levels of membership. We will be streamlining these levels from nine down to six. To preserve affordability, our base membership level will remain at $35 per year, but when members join or renew at this level, they will receive an electronic version of the Bulletin. A $50 or higher membership will get you a subscription to the print edition of the Bulletin, but you will also have the option to receive the magazine electronically or in both formats.
Our task force will continue to meet. Next on the agenda will be developing more effective ways to market Foundation membership to the public.