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When someone does something nice for you, you thank them. But when a chamber member renews is that a time to show appreciation? If chamber membership is an investment in their business, should you thank them?

Businesses show appreciation for customers but places that are doing something for the benefit of their customers (like doctors and dentists) often don't. So should you thank renewing members or not?

And if you do, what are some meaningful ways to do so?

It Never Hurts to Express Thanks

If you're wondering whether your chamber should thank renewing members or not, don't lose sleep over it. While membership is indeed an investment in the businesses of the members, it's common to acknowledge and appreciate their commitment to your chamber and the community it serves. Thanking renewing members helps strengthen the relationship, fosters a sense of belonging, and encourages continued engagement and support.

A thank you is always the polite thing to do. However, polite doesn't provide value. Thanking your members is an opportunity to make an impression, make them feel good about membership, make them feel valued and important.

But how do you do that? 

Chamber pros from around the country rang in and shared how they show their members some appreciation.

Saying Thank You, Showing Value

Expressing gratitude for renewing can be done through various channels, such as personalized emails, letters, or even public acknowledgments at chamber events. It's a way to recognize the value each member brings to the chamber and to highlight the collective impact of their investments on the local business community.

This appreciation can contribute to member retention and enhance the overall positive perception of the chamber among its constituents. Here are a few ideas that won't break the budget:

  • Personal visits: Do you give members decals or plaques showing their current membership? Then you can do what St. Maries Chamber of Commerce does.  Executive Director Aaron Nelson shared, "I personally visit them and install their current member decal/cling. It’s a great opportunity to ask what they need from you."
  • Written thanks and then some: It would be difficult for the Burlington County Regional Chamber of Commerce to get to all of their 500 members. President/CEO Kristi Howell shared their appreciation practice, "We send them a thank you from me; board members also get assigned to thank them. They get a discounted ticket to the general membership lunch where they are recognized and given a gift."
  • Lottery tickets: Here's a fun idea--lottery tickets. One Chamber Pro shared that they send a lottery ticket with every invoice with a cute message that reads, "We hit the jackpot with you as a member."
  • Chamber bucks: The Greater High Desert Chamber of Commerce sends a letter of thanks along with chamber bucks befitting how many years they've been a member. Those bucks can be used toward any chamber event.
  • Social media shout out: At the Lake Guntersville Chamber of Commerce, they give their renewing members a shout out on social media and a quick thank you email.
  • Thank you inquiries: Saying thank you is great but you never want it to come across like you're only appreciative of the money. Sherri Wagner, from the Wyandot Chamber of Commerce shared their approach. "Our ambassadors split the membership list and send thank you’s in the first half of the year. The second half we remind them of some events and let them know we are here if they have any questions or concerns."
  • Newsletter shout out: Social media isn't the only place you can spotlight renewing members. Your newsletter or magazine is a great place too. Calling attention to renewing members can serve as social proof for the chamber and can encourage fence sitters to become members.
  • ​Show them the money:  Again, thanking members is a nice touch but showing them how their contributions are making a difference in your community makes those shows of thank you all the more memorable. You could put together an infographic on what projects the chamber supported with their help or include your end-of-year review to show what was accomplished through their investment.
  • Tasty snack: There are hundreds of thank you snack ideas on Pinterest. The Fayette County Chamber of Commerce & CVB presents a packet of microwave popcorn with a cute graphic that reads, "Just poppin' in to say thank you for being a chamber member."
  • Recognition events: Hosting special events or recognition ceremonies dedicated to renewing members is an opportunity for creating memories and showing how much the members are valued. The events can be a small gathering or an exclusive dinner, allowing for more intimate interactions and networking opportunities. For long-standing members you could publicly recognize each member's renewal and present them with a certificate or plaque as a token of appreciation. The Alameda Chamber & Economic Alliance hosts a free member appreciation event each year. One year it was a BBQ event.
  • Member stories: If you're a smaller chamber and you're doing a member shout out, you could not only mention them by name but also tell their story as part of the highlight.
  • Exclusive perks: Create a sense of exclusivity by offering special perks or discounts to renewing members. Discounted event tickets, access to premium content, or priority registration for chamber programs are all possible ideas. Demonstrating tangible benefits enhances the overall value of their membership renewal.
  • Collaborative Thank-You Videos: Get creative by involving chamber staff, board members, and even other members in creating thank-you videos. Each participant can express their gratitude in a unique way, whether through testimonials, musical performances, or heartfelt messages. Share these videos on your website, social media, and in personalized emails to members.

Renewing chamber memberships is a pivotal moment in maintaining a thriving business community. By implementing these creative ways to say thank you, chambers can strengthen their relationships with members and create a positive atmosphere that encourages continued engagement and support. Remember to personalize your approach, stay consistent, and express gratitude authentically to foster lasting connections within your chamber community.

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