Why Do Our Members Walk Away?

Do you ask them?

With overall chamber retention rates ranging from 70% - 90% percent, the list of lapsed members is a group of members we need to understand why they walked away.

And remember, they’re your warmest leads!

If you’ve done the survey, you’ve probably received the following responses:

  • Not in the budget this year, cutting back on subscriptions and dues;
  • Didn’t attend any events or programs this past year; or
  • No value.

It’s time to dig a little deeper.  Do some focus groups.

Invite six members who recently dropped their membership, take them to lunch and ask some open ended questions.  Then, just listen.

As the CEO, it’s important you get the facts.  One more thing!  Don’t ask them to rejoin at this luncheon.  Just thank them for their time and honest feedback.

Reach out three or six months later.  Send the “we want you back letter.”  Incorporate their feedback on how you’ve addressed their issue/s in your letter and attach an invoice at their last dues point.

Ask.  Listen.  Respond.

That’s a recipe for success!

For a previous blog post on needs assessment tools to determine your members reasons go HERE.


In today’s world being transparent is expected.

Don’t hide behind closed door sessions, private meetings, and this goes for staff and volunteers too.

If everybody can see the big picture, everybody should be able to support the organization and its mission.

This is especially true when something goes wrong (i.e., a program or event loses money) or certain members aren’t paying what they should.

Can we all say scorecards?  See previous post on scorecards HERE.

Transparency is about filling out a plan on what the chambers challenges and opportunities are and setting a proper course of action to deliver value to your members.

Remember, your members are business people and make business decisions every day.

If a program is not working, being a transparent organization is a great way of shining a light on that loser, or sacred cow, and kick-it to the curb.

Past post on sacred cows can be found HERE.

Be transparent, your chamber will be better off for it!