Don’t have many millennial members? Maybe you aren’t offering a membership program that millennials actually want.
If millennials (folks born between 1980 and 2000) are the largest generation in human history, why don’t they make up a vast majority of members for cultural organizations? Today’s Know Your Own Bone Fast Facts video dives into research about the kinds of membership benefits that this generation actually wants.
If you think that millennials just don’t want to be members to cultural organizations, think again. IMPACTS data reveal that millennials report more interest in joining many cultural organizations as members than do their Generation X and Baby Boomer predecessors. Here’s the data (regarding zoos, aquariums, and museums in this case) courtesy of the National Awareness, Attitudes and Usage Study:
Interest in membership among millennials is actually on the rise. Notably, interest in memberships among baby boomers is on the decline.
In terms of potentially engaging millennials as members, this is great news! But the findings would be even more promising if more organizations knew what it is that millennials want from a membership to a cultural organization. We looked into this question on behalf of a large (annual visitation >1million people) aquarium client with a conservation mission. We found that what millennials want from a membership is a tad different than what older generations want. Take a look:
Notice that, with the exception of free admission, the primary benefits of membership according to millennials are less transaction-based than are the responses from preceding generations. Millennials care about “belonging,” “supporting,” and “impact.”
This information should inform how cultural organizations go about creating and marketing membership programs to these audience members. If we keep focusing on the benefits that millennials don’t truly value – and miss opportunities to highlight our mission impact – then it may be difficult to create long-term relationships with these young supporters. These responses from millennials may not come as a surprise. After all, in today’s world, an organization’s mission matters – and carrying out that mission is critical for an organization’s solvency.
Want to attract millennial members? Make sure that you have the types of memberships that millennials value.