Tuesday, 18 January 2011

New membership trial: Area membership (18th January 2011)

One of our ambitions this year is to get to the end of it and have more Ramblers members than we started.  More members means more campaigning impact, more resources, and a bigger pool of potential volunteers.  You may have noticed that we are trying out a range of new initiatives, to get a better understanding of what motivates people to join and to renew their membership.

For two months from 1st February, new Ramblers members joining online via the main website will be given a clearer option of choosing to be members only of their local Area rather than a Group. This will be in addition to the existing options of asking to be allocated to a Geographical Group automatically by postcode, or choosing a Group from the dropdown list. The default will remain as automatic allocation to a Geographical Group by postcode.

We hope from this to get a better understanding of what new members want.  We currently dont know enough about how important the local group is to their motivation for joining.  For example, how many people join the Ramblers to support our campaigning work and dont want to get involved in their local group?  Are we wasting resources in sending them local walks programmes that they are not interested in?  The pilot should help us to answer these sorts of questions.

In the pilot, we will be looking at:
- the proportion of new online joiners selecting this option;
- responses from Areas and Groups;
- and in the longer term, any differences in renewal rates between those who join a Group and those who don't.

More details are available on the volunteer section of the website: http://www.ramblers.org.uk/Volunteer/News/On-line-Area-membership-to-be-piloted

As this pilot will only affect those joining through the Ramblers website, not via printed application forms, the numbers involved for any given Group are likely to be relatively small. As always, any member, at any time, may change their Group allocation by contacting the Membership Services Team.

Tom Franklin
Chief Executive
Follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/RamblersTom
Follow my blog for Ramblers volunteers at http://www.ramblers.org.uk/Volunteer/chief+executives+blog


The Ramblers’ Association is a registered charity (England & Wales no 1093577, Scotland no SC039799) and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales (no 4458492). Registered office: 2nd floor, Camelford House, 87-90 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TW.

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