How much is a New Member Worth?

How much is a New Member Worth?


By David Allen, Development for Conservation

I want to start this week’s post with a request.

Land Trust Alliance has published its presenter deadline for the 2018 conference as February 20th.

I’d like to do a session this year about the value of membership, and investing in building membership. You can help, and I’m asking that you do.

Here’s what I need:

  • First, isolate the members and donors you have who made a first gift to your organization at some point – any point – during the calendar year 2013.
  • Now add up what that group has given to your organization – as a group – since then.
  • Send those two numbers to me – the number of donors and the total amount they have given. The email address is David (at) DevelopmentForConservation (dot) com.

That’s it. Pretty simple.

I want to use the information I receive to calculate what each member has been worth to you over a five-year period – in this case, their first five years.

While you’re at it, you might also want to record your First Renewal Rate (See The Importance of Recruiting First Renewals). And you might want to split out how your first-year donors performed by source code, but that’s too much detail for what I need.

I can’t actually promise that I’ll get the chance to share all this information at Rally this year. But I will share it with you!


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My Three Words for 2018 are Core, Generous, and Water.

For those of you new to this idea, blogger Chris Brogan started using a concept of three theme words instead of a New Years Resolution some years ago, Three years ago, I picked it up and I still like it a lot.

For a fuller explanation, here’s Brogan’s post: My Three Words for 2018.

My three words 2018 are:

  • Core: As in fundamental, basic, foundational. It seems to me that as we each chase our own versions of bright shiny objects, what we need to do more of is return to core. Our core mission, our core discipline. It’s not always sexy, but it is our primary source of real strength. This year, I want to strengthen my core.
  • Generous: I believe that generous is a frame of mind. It’s too easy to attach generosity to giving of stuff – money, goods, and so on. But what about generosity of attention, of time, and of perspective? So many decisions are little decisions that I will make this year. I want to make many of them keeping Generous in mind.
  • Water: First of all I don’t drink enough water, and I need to change my habits here. Then there’s the conservation of water and the enjoyment of water in lakes, and streams, and pools. And fishing!


What would your three words be this year?






Photo by Martin Jernberg courtesy of


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1 Comment
  • Stacy Harbaugh
    Posted at 11:26h, 24 January

    Template: I made a website in SquareSpace and I love it. I can show you what I did over coffee if you’re interested. But I wish I was more experienced in Word Press…