Open Forum

 View Only
  • 1.  Membership Fees vs Charitable Donations

    Posted 08-05-2019 06:38 PM
    For those of you who have both membership fees and separate charitable donation opportunities, how have you found is the best way to educate donors on the difference -- i.e. that not every donation gets them a membership. 
    We do our best to delineate the two, but it seems lately there has been confusion, and we are just looking for ways to improve.

    Madison Bush
    Annual Fund and Membership Manager
    Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture - Eastern Washington State Historical Society
    Spokane WA
    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more

  • 2.  RE: Membership Fees vs Charitable Donations

    Posted 08-06-2019 11:54 AM
    Edited by Dana Hines 08-06-2019 11:55 AM
    Madison,  This is always a challenge in member and donor programs that are under one roof.  In annual appeals, it is possible to use language that states, "we are asking for a donation to support our organization that is in addition to your membership support."  And in your membership appeals, the IRS wants everyone to tell their members how much of their membership is tax deductible based on your program and their guidelines. However, no matter how clear we in this field are in our communications, I really believe that people are always going to be confused, and we just have to be ready to have that conversation when they call you in March when their membership is due for renewal, and they call you and say "but I just wrote you a check in December."   And you explain that that gift was for the annual appeal.  People don't read our appeals and letters in full, nor do they live in "Development Land" and think in the same way we do, nor do they know we put money in different buckets!

    Dana Hines​

    Dana Hines
    Vice President Membership Marketing

    Membership Consultants
    Saint Louis MO

    AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo, Baltimore, May 16-19, 2024, click to learn more