I’ve spoken with a number of Directors of Member Relations at various associations. One of them was one of an eight-member staff. Another works with 17 other people, and a third works with more than forty staff members in the corporate headquarters of an international organization. Their member engagement goals for 2016 vary, and their strategic marketing initiatives are vastly different, but the one thread that connects them all together is the need for a more focused member retention strategy. The ways they’ve done it before – sharing responsibilities between staff with already-full plates, sending out email reminders that may or may not get opened, or bringing on part-time temps or interns for targeted, short-term campaigns – are simply not as fruitful as they need to be. The result is associations bleeding members at a faster rate than they can recruit, which means annual revenue falls, budgets get squeezed, and strategic initiatives get bottle-necked, sending them on a year-after-year downward spiral.