• Centre for Association Management

Here’s how to build and retain your membership


Building a member base is an important part of growing an association, taking it from a small gathering of like-minded individuals to a state level body that can affect real change.

Everything starts small and while small membership databases are easy to manage, especially when you may know everyone by name. However the fun quickly ends when the number increases drastically. While a list of a dozen, perhaps even a hundred members might easily be kept in a spreadsheet, when an association’s membership reaches into the thousands, a database is required. Once the database is developed it will require regular maintenance, email updates, new addresses, additions and all sorts of changes. An out of date database is an incredibly pointless thing and a great deal of time can be wasted trying to make up for lack of maintenance.

There are many programs for membership databases, unfortunately some of the better ones are also the least friendly to those people who have not been training in using them. While they may print out clearly outlined details as a final result, the process of feeding them information, details and updating can be incredibly time consuming. Allowing someone with little to no experience with complex database systems can result in the loss of information and details.

The simple solution to the difficult task of constantly updating and maintaining membership databases is to get someone else to do it for the organisation. The Centre for Association Management (CASM) offers the maintenance of association membership databases as one of their many services. This ensures association newsletters and notifications are being sent to the correct addresses, membership fees are paid and of course, a current list of association members is always accessible. Nothing would be worse than paying a large amount to provide newsletters to fellow members only to find that many postal addresses had not been updated for many years, or worse yet, many new members had no yet been included.

For organisations like the English Teachers Association of Western Australia, whom have a membership of over one thousand, it is important for them to keep the database updated. Since engaging the services of CASM, the association’s membership has increased greatly, as a result of their financial experience and consultancy, however the influx has not been a problem due to the fact that CASM has that in hand too.

With CASM assisting with the management of their membership database, the English Teachers Association of Western Australia has no need to worry about badly updated or out of date membership lists. Instead they have left it to professionals and can take a weight off their mind.

If you would like to know more about how CASM can assist your association, please contact us on 08 9427 0800 or email Ron Adams at

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