July 23, 2019

Membership is all about you

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In case we haven’t said it lately, you’re terrific.

Every day we see you change the world for the better. Whether it’s big public wins or incremental changes behind the scenes, NTEN members go to sleep having made the world just a little bit better than when they woke up.

Members are the heart of NTEN. But we’ve come to a realization. By focusing on organizations to lead staff’s professional development, organizations have grown to be the center of our membership program. Today we’re announcing how we’re correcting that.

NTEN members enjoy a membership that gives them deep discounts on courses, professional certificates, and the NTC, as well as free access to informative reports and content. But many of these memberships were obtained through their employer. Their organization purchased an org-wide membership and made a bunch of people members. Some people used their membership frequently, but if we’re honest, a lot of people had no idea they were members.

In our early days, technology mostly meant computers, servers, and lines. It was a significant cost which often meant large and long-established organizations were the only ones who could afford the investment. This began the centering of large organizations in our membership.

But as cloud computing and apps became widespread, high costs were no longer a barrier to deploying technology. We began to notice that grassroots organizations, some under fiscal sponsorship, were becoming members for the first time. It was a reminder that as great as most organizations are, it’s the people who are learning the skills, doing the work, and changing their communities.

Starting this October, all memberships will be individual memberships. Your organization can still pay the annual fee on your behalf, but the membership will be in your name and not your organization’s. This means that if you leave your job for another, your membership will follow you.

For most of you, nothing is changing. The price of annual membership is staying the same at $99. But we’re introducing a sliding scale so that members can pay as little as $25 to receive all the benefits of membership. We’re confident this will encourage continued growth in members from new and grassroots organizations. And on the other end of the slide, well, there is no end. Members from large organizations can choose to pay more than $99 as a show of their support. The organization’s cost will likely stay consistent as they’ll pay more for individual members while no longer distributing unused memberships among employees. The organizations we’ve spoken with support this change.

Organizations will continue to be visible within the NTEN community. Additionally, for-profit companies, vendors, and agencies will move to a new Community Partner program that will maintain their visibility and demonstrate their continued investment in the NTEN community.

For those of you who have always paid the membership fee yourself, you’ll be happy to learn that we’re rolling out monthly installments. For the first time, you can spread out the cost over twelve months. And we’re also rolling out auto-renew, so you’ll never accidentally lose your membership again.

Redefining membership is the latest exciting step in our continuing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Over the last two years, we’ve shared how we’re examining and transforming our policies, scholarships, and NTC session evaluations. We’ve held conversations around these commitments and changes with the NTEN board, longtime members, new members, organizations, and vendors. Their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, but we acknowledge that work is far from done. Today’s announcement is a public reaffirming of our intention and ongoing work.

In the coming weeks, we’ll share specifics as the fall is when the bulk of our members usually renew. For now, we’ve started an FAQ that may answer any immediate questions you have. And please join us for a community call on August 14 when we’ll talk through these changes, what our process was leading to the decision, and how we engaged the community for input.

And we’re always interested in your feedback about your membership. Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts in this survey. You’ll help shape future membership planning and be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card.

Thank you for supporting this change, and a huge thank you for everything you’ll accomplish today.

 

Jude Koski
Jude has dedicated his career to serving marginalized communities through work in the nonprofit sector since 1996. He has helped youth experiencing homelessness access education, advocated for LGBTQIA+ youth and families, worked to reform foster care policy, and helped preserve urban open space and community gardens. Before joining the NTEN staff, he served on the NTEN Board of Directors and participated in the NTC since 2012. Jude holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. As a transgender professional, he has experienced the NTEN community as particularly welcoming and supportive. As membership director, he is deeply committed to ensuring everyone experiences solidarity within this important and unique community.
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