Looking Back to Move Forward With Member Data
How one organization is using historical data to shed light on current challenges
Good leaders know that you often have to look back in order to move forward—an approach that’s been called “going forward in reverse.” The Entomological Society of America recently undertook this kind of exercise to reconfigure its engagement and retention strategy for young members.
On Saturday, ESA published a study analyzing historical membership data from the last decade. The report, Analyzing ESA’s Membership Using Life Tables and Modeling, focuses on several membership trends, including a key finding that indicates high drop rates for student and young professional members.
“Through this research paper, we were able to identify that we really need to focus on younger members,” says Debi Sutton, ESA’s director of membership and marketing. “Those members come in and go to our meeting, present research, and for whatever reason, maybe they don’t stay in the science or don’t get adequate funding, so they may or may not come back next year.”
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