Why Membership Matters


Whether it is exhibition openings, lectures, symposia, special programs, trips or fund-raising galas, membership is the core audience for everything you do—the people you can count on first. Diane and her team bring their expertise in database analysis, strategic membership business planning, national membership trends and benchmarks, and experience managing frontline sales teams and back-of-the-house infrastructures to support membership success.

Beyond the numbers, they assist staff in thinking strategically to determine opportunities for long-term growth or explore new membership models. These systems have proven successful at museums, zoos, public gardens and historic sites nationwide.

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Diane Ward

Diane Ward is a leading expert on membership development for non-profit educational, environmental and cultural institutions across the United States. With over 25 years of experience in membership assessment and database analysis, Diane understands both sides of the membership equation.

She seamlessly combines findings of the membership assessment with experience-driven best practice recommendations in membership marketing, on-site and online membership sales, staff training, and renewal and upgrade trends to help build solid, financially-viable, self-sustaining and growth-oriented membership programs in organizations, and programs, of all sizes.

Diane founded Membership Matters in 2000 after serving as Director of Membership and Admission at The Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia and as Vice-President of EMC Consulting, were she was responsible for strategic planning for newly emerging and expanding non-profits.

She is frequent lecturer and workshop leader at professional conferences nationwide, including the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), American Museum Membership Conference (AMMC), Association of Children’s Museums and American Public Gardens Association. She has taught membership development at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University.

Diane lives in the Philadelphia area. She and her husband have hosted over 50 home-stay foreign students from around the world while learning about diverse cultures and experimenting with international cuisines with them.