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Membership Manager at Americans for the Arts

The Membership Manager is a member of the Local Arts Advancement Department, and is responsible for recruiting, retaining, and serving the members of Americans for the Arts. You will drive membership growth throughout all phases of the member lifecycle, including prospecting and recruitment, welcoming and orientation, ongoing engagement and renewal.

If you’re the right person, you’re a perfect combination of an outgoing public face to our members—capable of connecting members to our programs and staff, as well as to each other—and an intelligent data-miner and marketer energized by the puzzle of increasing recruitment, retention, engagement, and perceived value over time. We’re looking for someone who has done membership retention and growth work before—someone who has creatively strategized around membership issues, who has been able to get other departments on board with change, who knows how to work with personalities ranging from the highly creative to the deeply analytical, and who has a curiosity, ingenuity, and intelligence to attract a dynamic and diverse membership, increase earned revenue dollars, and provide high-quality customer service to members on a variety of fronts.

In short, Americans for the Arts has a membership program of about 3,500 organizations and individuals, from a full universe of easily double or triple that number. We’re looking for the rockstar who is going to have the ideas, the political savvy, and the practical abilities to build our membership numbers, increase perceived value, and deepen our connections in communities across the country. Is that you?

At Americans for the Arts, we deeply believe in the relevance of the arts in America, and we want others to also. We want to pursue healthy, equitable, vibrant communities by empowering local arts agencies, artists, and administrators through a broad set of programs and services—all of which combine to strengthen and validate and advance arts, culture, and artists at the local level. Everywhere we can, we bring to bear Americans for the Arts’ unique strengths in research, policy, professional development, visibility, advocacy, and strategic partnership, all in an effort to help communities thrive, transform, and grow through the arts.

  • The nitty-gritty: our membership program serves about 2,000 organizations and about 1,500 individuals each year.Inside those organizations are about 4,500 people getting membership benefits, so we’re currently serving about 6,000 members each year. We’re looking for someone who has tackled, maintained, and grown a similarly-sized membership program, and who is willing to tackle raising that number by 20% by the end of 2017.

  • More nitty-gritty: our membership program generates about $350,000 in annual revenue each year. We want that to be $400,000 by the end of 2017. You need to show us that you’ve got the chops and ingenuity to make that happen.

  • Be an eager, primary generator of ideas and strategies—but also someone who can turn those ideas into action and make them happen. We’re particularly looking for people interested in innovating around professional membership marketing efforts (recruitment and retention), including identifying target markets, planning and implementing annual campaigns, working with state and national level membership partners, anddeveloping value-added affinity programs.

  • We want to continue to be known for our incredible customer service—our members come to us when they’re in crisis or in need, and you’re going to be the first point of contact for a lot of them.

  • What is working with our current systems and what isn’t? That’s what we want to know from you—so bring your best analytic skills and your deep knowledge of how membership works today to assess what we’ve got, recommend changes, and run with it once those changes are signed off on. We want our current members to stay, and we want new people and organizations to be unable to resist what we have to offer.

  • You need to be media and social media savvy, and willing to get into the thick of conversations—we want you to seek out people and organizations wherever they are and evangelize like crazy, whether that means on a computer, on a phone, or face-to-face.

    • You will be the face of membership and Americans for the Arts at the Annual Convention, NAMPC, Arts Advocacy Day and other events as necessary.

  • We’re looking to you to provide easy-to-understand, data-driven updates that look at how we’re doing now versus last year, how different efforts are going, etc. We’re a department that runs on assessment and data to figure out what to do the next time around—we aren’t afraid of failure, but we can’t abide not knowing why something didn’t work afterwards. Data geek? Maybe, but at least a desire to pay attention.

    • We use NetForum for our database—you will need to demonstrate a strong ability to use the data in there to generate new leads, ideas, and campaigns.

  • You’ll need to maintain detailed files—mailing and fulfillment samples, schedules, reports, contracts and invoices for all campaigns. You know the stuff.

  • You’ll be making a lot of different parts move at various times throughout the year, so to keep us all sane we’ll need you to develop and maintain a calendar of membership activities and campaigns.

  • You are the membership evangelist, and that’s as important internally as it is externally.So we’re looking for you to be an advocate for the inclusion of all membership promotions in program development, events, promotions—basically anything we do, we want you to be saying “what do members get out of it?”

  • Be the person at the nexus of members, database, accounting, and the programming staff, and make sure that our procedures, forms, records management, databases, etc are all in top shape.

  • Maintain appropriate sections of the Americans for the Arts website. Post, tag, track, and engage on our Drupal-powered website. No coding required—we’ve got a web team for the more technical stuff—but you do need to know how to write copy, navigate an input process, and respect workflow and timelines.

  • Develop, maintain and account for program budgets and short-, mid- and long-range planning documents for the membership program in conjunction with the Vice President of Local Arts Advancement.
    • We want to grow the membership (and revenue) by at least 20% in two years!

  • Collaborate internally to assist with the providing member benefits, such as webinars, council elections, annual awards, listservs and members-only content.

  • Supervise and mentor the membership and data associate who is responsible for membership records and smooth delivery of membership benefits including scholarship programs, Councils elections, award nominations, and Job Bank, and will assist in delivery in other Local Arts Advancement programs.

  • Support other projects as needed.


  • Support the mission and vision of Americans for the Arts in all interactions with colleagues and staff
  • Coach and develop direct-reports
  • Develop, in consultation with the Vice President of Local Arts Advancement, the program areas’ budget and maintain it accordingly with direct staff
  • Provide ongoing performance feedback to employees
  • Administer mid-year review of performance goals and annual performance review
  • Operate within and support Americans for the Arts personnel policies and practices
  • Develop and update employee job descriptions as necessary
  • Support and carry out management decisions


  • Previous medium- to large-scale membership program management experience, particularly at an arts- or culture/humanities-focused association, required

  • Curiosity, willingness to take responsible risk, a desire to innovate, and a willingness and patience to bring others along with you

  • Knowledge of current practices for marketing membership and engaging both new and existing members, and a strong desire to use new methods to engage new members

  • Some analytical and assessment background, particularly around membership and marketing campaigns

  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in developing and implementing membership campaigns

  • Knowledge of membership databases, membership marketing, member services, strategic planning, and budget process

  • Strong interpersonal skills and an outgoing personality, and an earnest interest in providing good customer service to our members and partners

  • Strong personnel, project management, written and oral communication, and customer service skills

  • Autonomy and ability to prioritize and assign multiple projects

  • Knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

  • Knowledge of NetForum, MagnetMail, Adobe Connect, and Drupal a plus

  • Ability to maintain good interpersonal relationships, and to (where needed) gracefully manage both up and down

  • Travel required

  • A commitment to advancing the arts in America

Employer Name:
Americans for the Arts
Job Title:
Membership Manager
Job Submission Requirements:
Apply to the Job at this link:

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