10 Essential Items To Include in Your Membership Welcome Pack
Successful membership drives lead to enthusiastic new members. The welcome pack for a new member of your organization is like the onboarding plan for a new employee of a business. It is your first chance to introduce a newcomer to the workings of your organization. When done right, the new joiner feels welcome and ready to tackle your mission. In this article, we explain what to include in your packet and how to send it.
- What is a Membership Welcome Pack?
- Why Build a Membership Welcome Pack?
- 10 Essential Items To Include in Your Welcome Pack
- Sending Your Welcome Pack
- Final Thoughts
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What is a Membership Welcome Pack?
A welcome pack is a collection of important supplies you give to a new member of your organization. From a welcome letter to a member directory, this pack contains everything a new member needs to understand how to integrate into the nonprofit.
Traditionally, organizations sent physical welcome packets through the mail. However, more nonprofits are transitioning to digital ones. Digital packs are more affordable because you do not have to pay for paper or postage. You can also take advantage of the digital format by linking to resources on your website.
Corinne is deciding if she wants to use a physical or digital format!
However, a digital format does not work for every member base. Some target audiences may appreciate something physical instead. After all, who does not get excited about opening their mailbox and finding a letter addressed to them?
Why Build a Membership Welcome Pack?
As the name suggests, the primary purpose of a membership welcome pack is to welcome a new member to your nonprofit. A new member has a general understanding of what your organization does. I mean, they would not have joined it if they did not. However, they need more information to understand how they can benefit from the membership.
Though creating a welcome pack takes some effort upfront, it actually saves you time in the long run. You can reuse many of the materials from new joiner to new joiner. You also avoid emails, calls, and visits from new members because you answer all of their questions proactively in the packet. This can be especially helpful if you do not have a dedicated person to handle memberships.
A welcome packet has another benefit: promoting engagement. When a new member joins your organization, they are likely as excited about your mission as they ever will be. Take this opportunity to tell them all of the ways they can get involved, whether that is through personal donations, higher membership tiers, paid events, or other products or services.
10 Essential Items To Include in Your Welcome Pack
There are numerous pieces of information and swag you can include in your welcome pack. Start with these 10, and add on as you see fit.
This is the first thing a new member sees when they open the packet. It is addressed to them and signed by a high-ranking official, such as the membership director. Treat the first part as a thank you letter for joining, and end with a little information about the organization to prepare them for the loads of resources they are about to encounter in the rest of the packet.
Provide a detailed history about when the organization started and how it evolved over the years. Your website should also have a page dedicated to this information. You can link to this page if your welcome pack is digital.
Pro Tip: Make your history visually appealing by formatting it like a timeline. Start with your founding date on the left side, and add important dates to the right of that. You can even personalize it by ending it with the date the new member joined. Of course, you will not be able to reuse the same history from new joiner to new joiner if you do that.
Provide each new member with a calendar of upcoming events. This calendar can be for just their first month if your nonprofit hosts numerous events every week. A quarterly or annual calendar may make more sense for an organization with an event once a month or once every few months. For digital packets, link to the events page on your website so that new members can read more about particular events or find more events.
If a new member is receiving your welcome pack, they already know how to sign up for a membership. However, provide them with their tax receipt if their membership is tax-deductible. You can also use this time to talk about how to make donations.
If a new member has a question, they should be able to contact someone at your organization without digging through your website for the right contact. If you have a large organization, provide the name, email address, and phone number for each department. These departments may include:
Finance and accounting
If you only have one person running one or more of these departments, you can list their name, title, email address, and phone number instead.
What can you offer your members? Maybe your benefits include discounts on industry publications or job boards for finding new positions. Whatever they may be, list them in the welcome pack, and describe how members can use them. If you offer numerous benefits, include the most noteworthy ones, and direct members to your website to learn about the others.
Member Rules and Regulations
When you decided to start a membership-based organization, you should have prepared a list of rules for your members. These regulations not only tell your members what to expect, but they also advise you on how to proceed should one of your members break these rules. Provide a complete copy of these bylaws with the welcome pack.
Pro Tip: Take the time once a year to revisit these rules and the other documents in your welcome pack. Make sure they are up to date so that you are providing new members with accurate information.
Depending on if your other packet materials are physical or digital, provide either a paper, plastic, or digital membership card. You can put whatever you want on this card, but we recommend the member’s:
Anthony is confident in the design of his organization's member cards!
Use this card for brand marketing as well by including your association’s name and logo.
Who does not love free stuff? Get your new members excited about the organization with gifts. You can put the nonprofit’s logo on:
Other items that tie into your mission
Whew! After all of this information, your new members are going to need someone to talk to about it, so tell them how to contact your association’s other members. The easiest way to manage member information is by compiling it into a database. In the welcome pack, include instructions on how new members can find this database.
Pro Tip: If you are in the process of redoing your membership welcome pack, get feedback from veteran members on what they liked and disliked about the current one. That way, you can change, add, or remove information based on what you know many members want and do not want.
Sending Your Welcome Pack
The timeframe for sending a welcome pack depends on whether it is digital or physical. Since physical welcome packets go through the mail, try to send them within two weeks so that they arrive within one month. Make sure the information is relevant as of when the new members get the packets as opposed to when you send them out. What good does an August events calendar do if the packet does not arrive until September?
If you are going the digital route, try to send a welcome email within 24 hours. Follow up later in the week with the remaining welcome packet materials. You will have to send any free gifts you are offering to the member’s home separately.
Congratulations on growing your organization with new members! These individuals should feel valued and informed right off the bat. You can achieve this by sending them a welcome packet soon after they join. Customize the pack based on what makes sense for your organization and member base, but don’t forget the welcome letter, events calendar, membership card, and other essential items.
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💡What is a membership welcome pack?
A membership welcome pack is a packet of information you send to your organization’s new joiners. It contains basic information about your nonprofit and their membership. Find out more.
🔑 Why should I create a membership welcome pack for my nonprofit?
The membership welcome pack is your first chance to communicate directly with your new members. You can control the narrative by providing them with the information you want them to have on what the organization has done in the past and will do in the future. Find out more.
📝 What are the most important items to include in a membership welcome pack?
Every organization includes different items in their membership welcome pack. We recommend starting with a welcome letter, an organization timeline, an events calendar, payment details, contact information, a membership benefits list, membership rules, a membership card, free gifts, and a member directory. Find out more.