I recently received an e-mail from a friend with a chamber of commerce in Tennessee. The subject line of the message immediately caught my attention. It read: “Tired Membership Dues!”
The old fair share formula is truly the “tired” dues schedule in most chambers of commerce and associations. In research for a course that I teach for the Institute for Organization Management entitled “Dues & Don’ts,” I discovered that the fair share formula has been around for a long, long time… and for a long time, members have questioned, “what’s fair about it?” Whether you realize it or not, a large number of your members do not like the fair share formula and wonder why you “give away the store” to solicit a new member that will end up paying less than it costs the organization to service that member account. That is why so many organizations are moving to the “Tiered Investment Schedule.”
Let me encourage you to begin researching and reviewing the “Tiered Investment Schedule” based on member benefits and values, not on the number of employees a business may have. Businesses want to invest in an organization that is providing meaningful value and a true ROI. Several years ago, the Yale University School of Management conducted a study for the New Haven Connecticut Chamber of Commerce (established in 1794) that indicated the chamber was leaving significant investment dollars on the table by continuing to use the old, worn out fair share formula.
Are you leaving dollars on the table? I recently worked with the Chamber SWLA in Lake Charles, Louisiana on their new “Tiered Investment Schedule”. We test drove the new schedule with five of their current members. The chamber realized a net increase of over $6,000 from those five visits. The beauty of the “Tiered Investment Schedule” is that it can work for you. And remember, change equals opportunity! Seize the future!