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As the country faces reclosures and the holiday COVID-19 surge, community centers across the nation are being forced to think creatively on ways to gain and retain revenue in the new year beyond the regular January joins. 

Below are three steps to drive new revenue and increase retention to secure and grow your financial base in the coming months.

Cross-sell to loyal members

In November, active membership numbers were 74% back to normal when compared to 2019. Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a loyal base of members remaining active even through closures and limited capacity restrictions.

Your team should be fostering relationships with this group and leveraging data on their interests to cross-sell other services in order to expand your wallet share per member. Since childcare and programs have been a consistent source of revenue recovery, consider a marketing campaign targeted at active family memberships not enrolled in childcare.

Does your team have a plan in place to consistently peruse prospects? Research has shown it can take up to eight touchpoints before someone converts. Make sure to establish a process to automate prospect messages, foster relationships with hot leads and capitalize on member interest quickly.

Explore timely membership offerings

As this year has progressed, member behavior and expectations have shifted. Virtual check-ins continue to increase month over month with an 11% increase in November, proving that virtual content is not going away. Your team needs to ensure that you have the digital infrastructure in place to engage with members online and continue engagement from afar.

Beyond adapting to serve member fitness needs, many associations are reinventing how their community financially invests in the YMCA. For example, the YMCA of Greater Houston has begun offering a new Impact Membership model which enables community members to financial support impactful and purposeful work in the community. Check out the webinar, C Suite Roundtable – Changing How the Y Changes Houston, where they discuss their new vision for community impact.

Streamline billing processes

While expanding revenue sources can help you adapt and thrive, identifying inefficiencies in your billing process is a necessary task to retain revenue.

In 2019, over $14 million in membership revenue was declined due to expired or invalid cards, many of which could have been prevented if updated proactively. Your team needs a plan in place to proactively update invalid cards, resubmit declines due to insufficient funds (NSF) and reach out to members with declines due to other reasons. While this can be time consuming, not having a plan in place to manage these declines will result in revenue loss in a time where every dollar counts.  

As you look to gain and retain revenue in the new year, stay on top of industry trends impacting your organization and the movement at large to see new opportunities to serve your community and expand your portfolio.

Christy Brown

Christy Brown is the director of Enterprise Marketing at Daxko. She can be reached at cbrown@daxko.com. Learn more about Daxko’s mission to power health and wellness through comprehensive technology solutions at daxko.com.  

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