Understanding your current position

This section helps you look at how to understand your current position in terms of membership, so that you can undertake a SWOT Analysis.

Here are some areas to consider:

1. Key membership statistics

Tracking your key membership statistics can give you an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your member recruitment and retention processes and enables you to take targeted action where required. The basic membership statistics are:

Retention rate

The percentage of members retained over a period of time:

((# Members End Period – # Members Joined over period) / # Members At Start) x 100

Growth rate

The rate at which membership is growing:

((# Members End Period - # Members Start Period)/Members Start) x 100


The average length of time that a member stays in membership.

Member Value

The average spend of a member during their membership period

2. Examining the current alignment between your mission and your membership

Are your members the right people to help you deliver your mission? This will depend on what your mission is and how you wish to deliver it.

3. Considering the systems you have in place

The systems you have in place may include:

  • Membership database
  • Customer Resource Management system (CRM)
  • Online presence - website, social media
  • Communications tools – newsletter templates

Are these good enough to do the job? Consider what would be the ideal, what you’d like to have and what’s essential – your budget will guide you. 

4. The resource you have available to engage members and keep them engaged

Resources include:

  • Money
  • Staff
  • Venue
  • Reasons for engagement

You need to design your ambitions according to what you can realistically achieve.

HR training

Co-operatives UK offers a number of one-day training courses for co-operatives – find out more.

Updated: 26/03/2019