THAT is a Hair-En-Fuego Kind of Problem!

Jul 29, 2020

Hair-En-Fuego (“hair on fire”).  

I laughed and jokingly told my client I was stealing her phrase as soon as I read it in her email. Those three little words convey so much more urgency than simply saying something is urgent or critical.

Fortunately for both of us, she was saying that her current situation was NOT a hair-en-fuego problem. We had time to solve it.

That’s not always the case. There are certain problems that membership organizations face that MUST be solved, with urgency…and sometimes the situation is so dire, that it really IS a hair-en-fuego moment.

From my perspective, there are 3 such mission-critical, important-above-all-else, hair-en-fuego kinds of problems that membership-based organizations MUST solve immediately, if these problems exist.

  1. Not Enough “Members Who Pay” 
  2. Not Enough “Members Who Play”
  3. Not Enough  “Members Who Stay

When your business model is very much dependent on members joining (that’s the “Pay”), members engaging in what you offer (that’s the “Play”), and members renewing (that’s the “Stay”), you’d better be pretty darn certain that you have those 3 things dialed in.

Your metrics will tell you – with very little room for quibble – if you need to be paying more attention to any of the 3 hair-en-fuego problem areas.

  • How many new members are joining each month?
  • Is your new member attraction trending up or down?
  • How do the new joins compare to the number of members lapsing?
  • What percentage of your members participated in your various programs/benefits in the last 30 days/60 days/90 days?
  • What percentage of members have had ANY engagement with your organization since their most recent renewal?
  • What’s your renewal rate?  
  • Is your renewal rate trending up or down?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!  Shoot back a reply and let me know. I personally read every response.

Hey there.  I’m Joy Duling, Founder and CEO of The Joy of Membership.

Clients hire me to help them design and deliver exceptional member experiences. If you lead an association, trade group, or membership-based nonprofit, you can find FREE resources to help you run and grow your membership organization by visiting here:

I look forward to connecting with you there.