You only get one chance to make a first impression.
This isn’t just for people, it’s for organizations as well.
And that’s why it’s so critical to set your dues at the correct level right out of the box.
In my mind, there are three things to think about in setting dues levels.
First, consider what you’re trying to accomplish. You want to make sure your organization is adequately capitalized for the task at hand. Put another way, don’t build a dues model that gets you halfway across the ocean on a transatlantic flight—you need to make sure that you have adequate funding to accomplish your mission, or the members that do join will leave as quickly as they came.
Second, do some research. Take a look at comparable dues for other organizations. Just as critically, take a look at dues levels for organizations that your target members are part of. For example, if you’re going after Spacely Sprokets, find out what they’re paying to be part of other organizations—that’s critical intelligence.
Third, beware of “downshifting.” People—and organizations—tend to seek out the least expensive way to join an organization. If, for example, your individual memberships carry the same rights as corporate members, you can expect that some possible corporate members will join at the individual level. “We’re sorry, Facebook won’t be joining, but Mr. Zuckerberg will…”
Above all, give the process a great deal of thought. Your organization’s future depends on it.