Membership Marketing

Like many membership organisations, Freemasonry struggles to attract new members and retain existing members.

Within our Lodges and Grand Lodges, we search endlessly for ideas to reverse the decline in membership. Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet.

To successfully attract and retain members, we must continually remind ourselves that membership marketing is a process.

No single ‘super’ idea turns everything around. Until we face this, we continue to repeat the mistakes of the past.

is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results


– Albert Einstein

There are three distinct phases of membership marketing:


First, you must understand your existing lodge membership profile.

Second, you must attract new members into the lodge.

Third, collectively, you must keep both those new and existing lodge members.

Understanding Your Lodge Membership


When building a Lodge Membership Marketing Program to attract new members, getting bogged down in complex marketing theory and fancy ideas is easy.


Before you commit your valuable time and resources, consider three questions:


Who are lodge members?

What problems do lodge members face?

How does Freemasonry solve these problems?


All products and services, including Freemasonry, must provide its customers or members a benefit, a solution to a problem that outweighs the cost.

We must look at Freemasonry, or at least lodge membership as a product that provides a solution to a problem. 

To fully understand this concept, it can, in some cases, require a significant mind shift in the current lodge members. Or at least those who will be undertaking the planning and implementation of a Lodge Membership Marketing Program.


Once you have answered these questions, you can start to understand how to target new members.


There are countless ways of studying the existing lodge membership profile. You can simply begin by asking the question:

What are the demographics of your lodge membership?


Demographic information typically includes some or all of the following: age, income, education, geographic location, title, length of membership and type of membership.

While collecting many different types of information is possible, try to focus on areas to help identify and understand your current lodge members and new potential lodge members.

A common means of collecting such data is to capture this information from lodge membership records.


Next, answer the question: What problems do your members face?


The only way to understand your members’ problems is to ask them. Commercial membership organisations should undertake this task every three to five years as part of their strategic planning process.

Understandably, your lodge members face problems every day.

It’s a simple process to distribute a brief survey each year to your membership. Allow your lodge members to identify and rank issues of concern.

You then adjust your membership marketing program and other activities to reflect the priorities of your existing members.

After determining the problems your lodge members face, begin deciding how to address these issues.

Once you have an accurate demographic picture of your lodge membership, and a strong understanding of the issues they are concerned about, assess whether the priorities, programs and services currently provided by your lodge are consistent with your lodge members’ needs.

Attracting New Lodge Members


There are many different strategies used to attract new members. Tried and true methods include social events, member-get-a-member programs, press articles on the charitable giving in the local papers and so on.

Focus on how your lodge addresses the problems of the potential new members, these fit the profile you have developed. Then, each of these programs will be incrementally more successful. 

Social media marketing offers a new approach to attracting new members. As each post is being created, you should ask yourself three questions: 

  1. Who is this post directed towards? Consider the primary age and or location demographic, will this post inspire potential enquiries from people who have other complementary interests

  1. What is the message? Does it have a clear benefit statement, does the message apply to the emotion, or potential life style values?  Does the message address the problems identified by the survey carried out with the existing lodge members?


  1. What is the call to action? Is there a clear call to action, a simple route for the enquirer to follow?

The following 5-step process can be used to carry out major membership marketing programs.


First, using the information gathered through the lodge membership profile process, establish your current membership status.

What’s your retention rate?

What’s your new member growth rate?

What’s your current financial situation?

The purpose of this step is to identify the current health of your lodge.

Goal Establishment

Using realistic assessments of the market potential and lodge’s capabilities, establish end goals for your Lodge Membership Marketing Program.

How many new lodge members do you realistically plan on acquiring during the length of the program?

This goal provides a target by which to measure the success of your program.

Strategy Development

Your marketing strategy is the defining means to acquire new lodge members.

Will you focus on value or offer new opportunities available nowhere else?

Will the quality of your education be superior to other competing organizations?

Often, once you have analysed your membership, the strategy for success is obvious.

If not, test several strategies on an incremental basis before you invest significant resources on an overall program.

Task Development

Many marketers say that a successful marketing program is 10% strategy and 90% execution.

Your goal should be to create a lodge marketing program that your lodge members can competently achieve based on their skill sets, financial and time resources.

Be realistic, though. Break down the major tasks associated with your lodge marketing plan.

Identify the individual components.

Task Assignment

Review the major tasks necessary to achieve your lodge marketing objectives.

Assign these tasks to lodge members based on the current skill sets and time resources.

Allow lodge members to review the entire plan, so each individual member who is involved, is familiar with the overall strategy and the end goals.

Work with lodge members to identify interim measurements to allow you to track success.

This gives you the information necessary to make strategy or program changes.

Retaining Your Existing Lodge Members


A common mistake lodges can make is to focus on attracting new members and forget about member retention.

New member marketing is exciting and appealing. You get to develop marketing plans, create digital brochures and write fascinating sales copy.

Existing members, while far more beneficial to the lodge, can get left behind.

Your lodge should invest more of its resources on lodge member retention than attracting new members. The goal of the lodge should be to increase the affiliation of these lodge members.


How do you recognize declining affiliation?

You discover the number of members attending meetings is decreasing.

Your member retention rate is falling.


Each of these are symptoms the lodge is no longer maintaining a relationship with the current members.

There are two areas which take priority to retain existing lodge members:


First, the lodge must continue to adapt to the changing needs of its members.

Use the strategies outlined above to continually re-educate yourself on the problems and issues faced by your lodge members and how Freemasonry solves them.


Second, focus on improving your member service.

The quality of your member service is one of the primary factors influencing the decision to retain a membership.


A significant element of Freemasonry is about the personal interaction between the lodge members and the lodge.  Therefore ask, is this interaction enjoyable or convenient?

The lodge should commit to these activities and build on these initiatives to the extent lodge resources allow. As the positive interaction between lodge members and your lodge builds, their affiliation with the goals and programs of the lodge increases.

The bottom line? As stated earlier, there’s no silver bullet.


You must pursue the lodge marketing process methodically.

If your lodge makes a commitment to this process, the reward is to watch a busy fertile lodge grow and all members can enjoy the results.


Association Laboratory:  A national consulting firm specializing in R&D of marketing and organizational strategy for associations.


YourMembership:  Part of Community Brands, the leading provider of cloud-based software to associations, non-profits, faith-based groups, and K-12 schools. Organizations adopt Community Brands solutions to manage memberships, career centres, learning, accounting, fundraising, donations, admissions, enrolment and events.


Article by: Nicholas J Broadway

njcholas broadway

Nicholas was initiated into Freemasonry in 1989 in Stonewell Lodge No. 9137, Essex England (UGLE) and was Master in 1995, 2011 and 2016. He also joined other UGLE craft Lodges and is a PZ in the Royal Arch Chapter. 

He acquired the title of The Square Magazine in January 2020 and oversees the technical running of the digital publication.

Recent Articles: membership

Progression through the Degrees; a Rite or a Privilege?

Exploring the layered journey of Freemasonry, Matt DA Fletcher probes the essence of progression—whether it's a mere rite or a privileged path. Delve into a nuanced perspective where every degree is not just a milestone but a fraction of a grander continuum.

Quantity vs Quality within the world of Freemasonry

Dive into the compelling debate of quantity vs quality within the world of Freemasonry. Discover the transformative focus on attracting members aligned with the institution's values, promising not only growth but quality growth. High-value individuals assure sustainable development with their commitment to serving the brotherhood.

Are we really Freemasons?

Maybe Freemasonry has opened its doors too wide. Perhaps some have not understood that the survival of Freemasonry in order to achieve its sublime purpose lies not in the number of members it has, but in their quality. Maybe we need less members and more Freemasons. Less men in Freemasonry and more Freemasonry in men.

What is ritual and why is it important? P1

Delve into the profound world of Freemasonry rituals and their significance. This insightful piece unravels the underlying importance of rituals, their impact on participants, and the transformative power they hold. Uncover why these centuries-old traditions remain integral to Masonic practice today.

Could Freemasonry be helpful for young men?

Unravel the Masonic Brotherhood: Could Freemasonry be the antidote to modernity's challenges for young men? Dive in as we explore the Masonic world, its principles, camaraderie, and how its traditional rituals could help forge stronger identities in an increasingly complex world.

Lodge Meetings & Wellbeing

Discover the remarkable benefits of Lodge Meetings on your well-being. From fostering connections to combating stress, learn how these male-oriented gatherings offer an antidote to anger, hunger, isolation, and exhaustion. Dive into the power of shared experiences, understanding, and camaraderie. Your key to improved mental health awaits inside.

Tutorial for a Worshipful Master

Unlock the Secrets to Leadership Mastery in our Worshipful Master's Tutorial! Brother Antonio Biella shares step-by-step guidance for Masonic Lodge leaders on honing their roles, duties, and future vision. Discover how to drive growth and engagement in your Lodge, setting ambitious goals and inspiring member participation.

Freemasonry for University Students

What are social skillset challenges facing students when they graduate from university ?
As they graduate and enter the workforce, university students may encounter a variety of social skills issues. Following are some examples of how freemasonry can teach valuable life skills.

Freemasonry for Entrepreneurs

How the Core Values of Freemasonry; Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth Can Be Applied to Improve Productivity For Entrepreneurs

Why I became a Freemason: a personal journey of self-improvement

Salik Tariq shares his reasons for becoming a Freemason – a journey of self-improvement, finding a community, and personal growth.

Freemasonry: Coming out of the Cloisters

This paper examines the fundamental tensions on the lines of religion, gender and political ideology that exist in some jurisdictions of Freemasonry. It is on the first of these, religion, on which he makes an initial and exploratory focus. - by Gerald Reilly

The Relevance of Freemasonry in Contemporary Society

The role of Freemasonry in contemporary society is an indispensable one. Despite the challenges and misconceptions it faces, the organization remains steadfast in its humanitarian pursuits and commitment to personal growth and self-betterment. Through its efforts to evolve and adapt to the changing needs of its members and the world, Freemasonry continues to be a vital force in shaping a better future for all.

Reviving a Slumbering Giant

Has Freemasonry managed to revive and thrive after the darkness of the Pandemic? Robert Lomas gives us some (promising) insights.

21st Century Freemasonry – a Sign of the Times?

A recent article in The Times of London highlighted the dilemma 21st Freemasonry is facing. In this article one Master Mason shares his views of the strengths, and the challenges of modern Masonry.

Freemasonry and Teamwork

A concept that is both based on our Freemasonic rituals and what we understand as teamwork. This article by Chris Batty examines why teamwork in the lodge is the network that binds us.

Freemasonry in Lebanon

Lebanese Freemasonry has been both witness to and sometimes participants in turbulent events and forces, which shaped and influenced their world.

Is a Masonic Tradition Necessary?

Dealing with Masonic tradition is a complex subject that requires careful analysis in order to reach a balanced point on the best etymological definition and the set of discourses and practices, which often end up being presented as such, without, however, presenting bases that support them, often serving only as a discourse that restricts and controls the masses. Fernando Rodrigues de Souza debates this complex subject.

New Year's Resolution with Benjamin Franklin's Personal Improvement

Are you ready for a new year's resolution challenge ? To accomplish his life’s goals, at 25 ( around 290 years ago ), Benjamin Franklin developed and committed himself to a personal improvement program that consisted of 13 virtues. You are invited to join me in practicing his daily routine for 2023.

Freemasonry and Education

The Alberta Masonic Higher Education Bursary Fund is to help the next generation of Albertans, our children and grandchildren, to obtain the education they need to lead successful lives and contribute to the welfare of mankind. As you can see from this little lesson of our history, education is truly a Masonic obligation.

To be a Better Citizen of the World: Step 4

A value proposition for Pure Ancient Masonry as defined in terms of Citizenship; the allegories, symbolism and lessons are a blueprint for all Freemasons to be a better citizen of the world.

To be a Better Citizen of the World; Step 3

A value proposition for Pure Ancient Masonry as defined in terms of Citizenship; the allegories, symbolism and lessons are a blueprint for all Freemasons to be a better citizen of the world.

What is an Egregore?

In connection with recent article about Freemasonry in the metaverse, we look at how an Egregore applies to Freemasonry in a digital world

To be a Better Citizen of the World; Step 2

A value proposition for Pure Ancient Masonry as defined in terms of Citizenship; the allegories, symbolism and lessons are a blueprint for all Freemasons to be a better citizen of the world.

Brotherhood and Freemasonry

There are many brotherhoods in the world, and Freemasonry is one of the most significant and successful of them all. This article will be the focus two questions: the importance of brotherhood ? and is there room for improvement in Freemasonry?

Intergenerational relations in Masonry: challenges and possibilities

Backed with scientific research, Professor Luiz Neto and Professor Alexandre Braune investigate the Intergenerational relations in Freemasonry and explores the challenges and opportunities.

To be a Better Citizen of the World; Step 1

A value proposition for Pure Ancient Masonry as defined in terms of Citizenship; the allegories, symbolism and lessons are a blueprint for all Freemasons to be a better citizen of the world.

The Masonic Temple

The Masonic Temple is a platform where both Freemasons and non-Masons, enthusiasts of real art and spiritual growth, connect to the new world of the metaverse. A Freemasonry in the metaverse project, based regular freemasonry principles.

Opportunity to fix the Sussex fudge

Is there a value proposition for members, that under English Constitution Freemasonry, we have a 4 part offering; Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft , Master Mason and Companion, conducted in a single craft lodge ?

Value Proposition of Freemasonry

In addressing declining lodge membership and lack of attendance, we need to assess the value it offers to members. What is value, and what does it mean to you?

Millennial Masons - Response

What is a 'Millennial' and what do they want from Freemasonry? You'll be surprised at the answers.

Rethinking Masonry

Let us help answer a fundamental question, from a confused newly raised brother asking “What does it all mean and where do I go from here?”

The Candidate

Written in 1930, much of the advice is still relevant today - although some may provoke further thought or debate!

Product Life Cycle of Freemasonry

An inconvenient truth about the product life cycle of Freemasonry

Be a Unifier

Freemasonry is local. This is where we need to start. We start with our Facebook friends, our neighbours, our colleagues, our lodges…

Freemasonry in the time of pandemic

The Rule of Six. Localised lockdowns. Second wave? What do we do now?! The answer is simple - engage with members, promote Masonic education and get thinking outside the lodge.

What Future for Freemasonry

The current functioning of the Masonic movement has some positive aspects and others that are blatantly backward and counterproductive.

Millennial Masons

What is a 'Millennial' and what do they want from Freemasonry? You'll be surprised at the answers.

Membership Marketing

How to improve your Lodge Membership Marketing Program.

The Anti-Social Impact of Social Media

The 'dark side' of social media and its negative effect on our mental health

Sunglasses Ritual Amendment

If Freemasonry cannot meet, is this an opportunity to make a change to how we do things?

Unknown Candidate - part 3

Has your lodge accepted an unknown candidate from the internet? Third in a three-part series looking at the process to accepting candidates via the internet

Brother of my Brother

Is the brother of a brother a brother ? Rights to visit - recognition and regularity re-evaluated.

Unknown Candidate - part 2

The second article in the Unknown Candidate series - Outlining the social media marketing process to attract the unknown candidate to make that first enquiry

Making Good Men, Better

Ask a random Freemason the purpose of Freemasonry and the likely response will be to “make good men, better”. Research undertaken by James Justin Davis Pennsylvania Academy of Masonic Knowledge.

Unknown Candidate - part 1

Has your lodge accepted an unknown candidate from the internet? First in a three-part series looking at the process to accepting candidates via the internet

Mental Health & Freemasonry

Mental Health - Raising its awareness and how we as Freemasons throughout the entire UK can help our fellow brethren and their families when they need it.

Share One Thought...

Share one thought why freemasonry is relevant today - Open question posted on Facebook with a very wide range of responses from Brethren across the globe

The Tipping Point of Freemasonry

Why do brothers lose interest in Freemasonry and what can we do to get that spark back? At what moment did our own thoughts begin to waver?

masonic knowledge

to be a better citizen of the world

share the square with two brothers

click image to open email app on mobile device

Tubal Cain

Masonic Aprons NFT

Each Tubal Cain Masonic Apron NFT JPEG includes a full size masonic apron and worldwide shipping 

Share this article ....