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Tiered memberships give your members the power to choose what plan best fits their needs rather than sticking them into a plan they may not like. Knowing this, the YMCA of South Collier — Marco YMCA in Marco Island, Florida, offers a variety of membership options.

Deborah Passero, the director of activities and membership at the Marco Y, said they are aware that around 50% of their population is seasonal, so they need a membership option that fits those needs.

The Marco Y offers a seasonal membership that runs for one to eight months. They also have a year-round membership that is a minimum of nine months, and allows members to freeze the membership for the summertime when most residents leave for vacation.

The average age of a typical resident in their area is 54 years old. The Marco Y is trying to appeal to the younger generation by offering a membership called “Night Owl.” This membership allows 24-hour access at a discounted rate so people working late can come in whenever and use the facility.

Offering a variety of membership options can also be beneficial to facilities. “The biggest benefit of tiered membership is people feel like you truly understand who they are,” said Passero. “When we started tiered membership options, we noticed an increase of overall memberships.”

Passero explained that in today’s society, family homes look different. Whether it’s a single parent home, two adult brothers living together or an adult living with their parents in order to take care of them, community rec centers should have membership options that are inclusive to all.

Another way the Marco Y ensures they are being inclusive is by offering financial assistance. Passero explained they don’t want to turn anyone away for financial reasons, so they work closely with those who need it to find a membership option that works best for them.

If your facility is considering tiered memberships, Passero’s advice is to look at your surrounding demographics, see what your potential members’ needs are and look at how to best serve them. “The membership options that work for Florida may not best serve the people in Minnesota,” she explained.

Above all, Passero said having multiple membership options can open new doors and get new members into your facility. “Keep in mind that things are always changing, so stay alert and make changes when needed,” she said.

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor of Community Rec Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com.

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