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Knowledge Base

Building & Retaining Membership

  • Commit to a year-long membership retention and recruitment plan in writing. Your IFMA staff liaison is a great resource for best practices and ideas on membership recruitment and retention. Remember, it is far easier to retain the members you currently have by offering relevant benefits than to recruit new members.
  • Get new members involved as soon as possible. Active members renew at a much higher rate. Participation can include attending educational, social or other events; exchanging industry dialogue through listservs or discussions on the Online Community; purchasing educational products or services through IFMA's online bookstore or professional development department; or assisting in small projects that require minimal time commitments.
  • Get your chapter, council or community name in local newspapers or industry publications. IFMA headquarters can assist you with media lists for your local area or industry as well as press release templates and other ideas for gaining publicity.
  • Obtain prospect lists from local chambers of commerce. IFMA research has shown that companies with at least 100 employees usually have a full-time facility professional on staff. For council leaders, this provides a method to recruit new members from a specific industry within your local community.
  • Maintain a current calendar of events on your website and in your newsletters. Your members are busy. Knowing in advance what the topic of a program will be and who will be speaking will allow them to manage their schedules.
  • Promote the benefits of upcoming programs. What will members take away and be able to apply to their jobs by attending/participating? Include specific learning objectives in your meeting and program announcements.
  • Send personal invitations to events and functions. This could be as simple as using a mail merge to send personalized emails or letters. If time permits, arrange a phone tree to call and remind members of upcoming activities.
  • Make them jealous! Send follow-up correspondence after events to let prospective and current members who did not participate in an activity know what they missed. Examples would be newsletter articles recapping events or phone calls asking members why they didn't attend and reminding them of the next program or event.
  • Solicit feedback often from your membership through informal conversations, phone calls or online surveys. Your staff liaison can help with online surveys.
  • Tie the benefits of IFMA headquarters into your messaging. Include information about IFMA’s World Workplace and Facility Fusion Conference ​and Expo events​; FMJ magazine​; Insider e-newsbriefs​; ​WIRE e-newsletter; CFM®, SFP® and FMP® credentials, online learning opportunities and research in your regular communications and social media outlets.
  • Take advantage of IFMA's membership marketing efforts. Examples include using IFMA branding for a consistent look and message and partnering with headquarters on membership campaigns.
  • Make sure your potential members are listed in the IFMA headquarters database. Potential members in the association database receive regular communications from headquarters on IFMA products and services. You strengthen your message to them by exposing them to information on member benefits available at the international, local and industry levels. This provides more opportunities for them to become involved in the association.