Membership in nonprofit organizations is often considered the most important earned and support revenue because it serves as the foundation for building relationships with people most interested in the organization. Lower level members (individual and family categories) are usually value driven, interested in benefits and discounts but they also want to feel that they support the mission of the organization and are a part of a group that shares their passions - a step that can lead them to become future doers. A strong member base offers an important avenue to communicate, test, and receive feedback from customers, recruit volunteers and develop potential board leadership.
People who make gifts to the capital initiative would autimatically receive a one-year membership. Tis would effectively kick off the program and it is far easier to renew memberships than to generate new ones.
Explore membership models that fit the community, including a co-operative where members make equity payments, give time and have a voice in the organization in addition to receiving benefits.