The Membership Guide is a tactical, practical guide to membership models in news published by the Membership Puzzle Project in partnership with The Lenfest Institute for Journalism. The Guide was supported by the Google News Initiative.
The Guide itself is like a little course in membership. It takes you through key steps. It identifies best practices and warns of common mistakes. And it gathers into one place all of the lessons people have learned as they have built successful membership programs — including, of course, the errors and wrong turns that are part of any experiment.
It’s a lot to cover, so we offered a few ways to use it – including the one you’re likely here to sign up for: a self-guided newsletter course that takes you through each section of the Membership Guide and tells you what’s most important in each section.
If you head to the Guide, you’ll also see that you can navigate by what stage you’re at in your membership journey by hovering over “Handbook” and choosing “Getting Started with Membership” or “Making Membership Stick,” for example.
Or, you can jump straight to a topic, such as “Choosing your membership tech stack.” If you want to start with case studies instead, you can filter them by newsroom type (such as “Legacy” or “Digital native”) or by relevant topic, such as “Making the business case for membership” or “Adopting a product mindset.”
And now we’re adding the self-guided newsletter course as a new way to access the information and learn the most useful details in each section.
In total, you’ll receive two emails a week over the next several weeks. By the time you’re finished with the course, you will have a clear roadmap for how you can most effectively use the Membership Guide to launch, grow, or iterate on your membership program.
Each issue will walk you through strategies for how you can apply the lessons in your newsroom, offer exercises or worksheets you can utilize with your team, and highlight actionable case studies to learn from others who have tackled similar challenges.
Sign up below to get the first lesson delivered to your inbox. Want to start right away? Check out the Guide’s introduction to brush up on how membership differs from subscription and donation models, and what members want from organizations they support. (If you received an earlier version of this course via the MPP newsletter list, this will look very familiar. Please feel free to sign up, but you will have already received most of the lessons.)
Thanks, and we can’t wait to learn together.