Enhance Your Association With Exit Interviews for Members

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July 5, 2023

Do you ever wonder why members aren't renewing year after year? Need to know how to retain those numbers and attract more industry professionals? Getting feedback from exit interviews could be exactly what you need for member retention and growth. 

Exit interviews can be a valuable tool for nonprofits and associations. They give your organization insight into why members may be leaving and what they would like to see changed within the organization. They can also help determine if there is something wrong with your membership and sponsor structure or program offerings that need to be addressed to retain these essential industry professionals.

Why is this important to have?

Exit interviews are a great way to gather information from members who are leaving your organization. This can be especially helpful if you have lost multiple individuals within a short time, or if you're trying to figure out why people aren't staying for longer periods of time.

The feedback from exit interviews can be used in many areas of your organization, such as refining programming or improving customer service practices. It will help you see where there may be gaps in communication between staff, volunteers, and members so that these relationships can be improved upon before it causes further issues. The benefits of exit interviews are robust, as they can help your organization:

  • Understand what members want, why they are leaving, and how to better serve those who remain.
  • Identify ways to improve your organization.
  • Find out what members like about your organization, which is equally as important as knowing what they don't like.
  • Keep in touch with former members who may have moved away or left town for other reasons; by reaching out via a survey you can stay connected and possibly bring them back into your organization at some point in the future.

What should be asked in an exit interview?

An exit interview aims to gather information about why someone left and what you can do better in the future. It usually takes place in person or over the phone, although some organizations use email surveys. No matter the avenue you take, it’s important not to make the exit interview feel like an interrogation. The goal is to let members know you care about their experience and will use the information they provide to improve your organization’s services.

Here are several examples of exit interview questions:

  1. What made you decide to leave?
  2. Were there any issues in particular that led to this decision?
  3. What was your favorite part of being a member?
  4. How could we improve our services so they’re more valuable to you?
  5. What originally led you to join our organization?
  6. How did your time in our organization contribute to your overall well-being and growth as a person/professional?
  7. Is there anything else you would like us to know?

If there are specific things that could be improved upon, listen closely and note them so that everyone's experience with your organization can be even better.



Exit interviews are a great way to get feedback from your members and sponsors, and they don’t have to be time-consuming or costly. By asking the right questions and being prepared to adjust, you can gain valuable insights into your organization’s strengths, as well as areas that need improvement. This information will allow you to decide how to move forward with your organization based on current, relevant trends, rather than guesses or assumptions.


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