Tag Archives: Geodemographic profiles

Building Membership Relies on Research

Curate Your Own Membership at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Curate Your Own Membership at the Whitney Museum of American Art

The November/December 2013 issue of Museum, the magazine of the American Alliance of Museums, includes two helpful articles on membership, which is typically the fundamental fundraising program for historic sites.

In “Join the Club,” Daniel Grant describes several museums that have successfully broken the traditional “give more/get more” membership structure.  The Whitney Museum of American Art nows offers a Curate Your Own Membership program, which includes Continue reading

Profiling Your Members Will Improve Engagement

This week I’m teaching a workshop on historic house museum management with George McDaniel for the American Association for State and Local History.  It’s great fun working with people from all over the country because we learn so much from each other.

One of the most popular sections is membership (who doesn’t want more supporters?).  George uses his experience from Drayton Hall to demonstrate some techniques in the tour for showing “membership dollars at work,” which gets visitors so excited that many join at the end of the tour.  With members in more than 7,500 households in all 50 states, Drayton Hall must have one of the nation’s largest membership programs for an historic site, so their techniques work.

I provide a complementary perspective, using profiles to understand member motivations and interests.  In an exercise, I have the class combine a mission statement with a member profile to develop a membership program or activity.  I’m always surprised by Continue reading