Your members are the lifeblood of your organization—so it’s crucial to keep them happy. Plus, retaining your valuable members can pay dividends. According to Bain and Co. research, increasing retention by only 5% can boost profits anywhere from 25% to 95%.
It’s easier to retain members when they feel valued. Acknowledging them via dedicated member appreciation efforts can help communicate that your organization recognizes their participation. And one way to demonstrate your appreciation is with a personalized membership certificate.
What is a membership certificate?
A membership certificate is more than a piece of paper. It’s a tangible item to award members when they join your organization or renew their membership. Members can display their certificate in their home or office to proudly show their involvement with your organization.
While design tools like Canva or Venngage can help you create a basic certificate, you may not have the time or inclination to build something from scratch. To give you some options, we’ve put together 14 membership certificate templates that are easily customizable for your organization.
But before we dive into exploring those templates, let’s examine the crucial components of a membership certificate.
The Essential Elements of an Effective Membership Certificate
Although membership certificates will look a bit different from one another, all of them possess a few common details. Any certificate (including our templates below) include these elements:
- The logo and name of your organization
- A brief description of your organization’s mission
- A blurb expressing your gratitude for this person’s involvement in your organization
- The member’s full name
- The date their membership took effect
14 Free Membership Certificate Templates
Depending on how (and when) you’d like to recognize your members, there are a number of different types of membership certificates you can customize. Whatever your need, we have a template below for you to help make your members feel special.
Whether you’re an association that needs to personalize a more basic version of a membership certificate, a nonprofit that wants to designate board membership, or a chamber of commerce that wants to honor long-standing members on their anniversary, we’ve got you covered with these 14 templates.
1. Generic membership certificate (horizontal)
This generic membership certificate is a basic building block—you can completely customize it for your specific purpose, or just keep it simple. Use this template to acknowledge new members for any type of organization, whether you’re a chamber of commerce or a club that meets sporadically.
2. Generic membership certificate (vertical)
Now, let’s take that simple membership certificate and literally turn it on its head. This second certificate template is a vertical version of the first template.
3. Professional association membership certificate
Professional associations should provide new members the opportunity to proudly display proof they belong to your organization. A certificate is a perfect way for members to show off their membership, whether it’s framed in their home or office or using it as documentation to prove their membership for employment or networking purposes.
4. Nonprofit membership certificate
With this nonprofit membership certificate template, you can show your appreciation for everyone who is involved with your organization. Send personalized certificates to brand-new members or people who have recently upgraded their membership level. You can also add designations of each membership tier—for example, bronze, silver, gold—to indicate the person’s level of involvement.
5. Chamber of commerce membership certificate
Businesses that are members of your chamber of commerce deserve recognition as well. Provide them with a token of your appreciation with this personalized chamber of commerce membership certificate.
6. Sports club membership certificate
Take a moment to recognize new and current members of your athletic organization with a membership certificate.
7. Board membership certificate
Because board members are in leadership roles, they’re expected to help drive the direction of the organization and weigh in on crucial decisions. Show your gratitude for all their important contributions to your association, chamber, or nonprofit with a board member certificate.
8. PTA membership certificate
When parents and teachers team up, they can make positive changes in the lives of students. That’s the overarching mission of parent-teacher associations (PTAs), where parents and teachers come together in their free time to try to address issues within their school. Provide parents and teachers certificates of appreciation to recognize their passion and hard work.
9. LLC membership certificate
If you incorporate your business as a limited liability corporation (LLC), you’ll need to provide membership certificates to everyone who has shares in your business.
10. Church membership certificate
If your religious institution offers a membership program, reward your loyal members with a certificate. Or, if your supporters are involved in specific projects or initiatives sponsored by your church, provide personalized certificates to recognize their efforts.
11. Honorary membership certificate
For individuals with prestigious accolades, some organizations will award them with honorary membership to recognize their achievements and make them a representative of their organization. To make their honorary membership official, create a customized certificate.
12. Alumni association membership certificate
Generally, when students graduate, they’re often invited to join their alma mater’s alumni association to stay involved with their school and network with other alumni. Alumni associations can recognize the hard work and involvement of graduates of their college, university, or other program with a certificate.
13. Honor society membership certificate
Getting inducted into an honor society in high school or college is no small feat—it takes dedication and commitment from students to achieve consistently high grades. Reward your honor society members and acknowledge their achievements with a certificate they can display.
14. Membership anniversary certificate
While it makes sense to thank brand-new members of your organization with a membership certificate, you can also show your gratitude for long-established supporters. For those members who are hitting anniversary milestones (i.e., one, five, 10, or 25 years of involvement), send them a certificate to honor their time with your organization.
How to Distribute Your Membership Certificates
Now that you have multiple options to create a membership certificate of your own, you’ll need to nail down how you’d like to get them to your members. Depending on your members’ preferences, you have a few methods you can use to deliver your certificates:
- Snail mail. Simply ship out those personalized membership certificates to your members’ home or office address.
- Via email. Save a version of your certificate as a PDF and email the document to your members. They can then download the digital copy and print at their own leisure.
- A ceremony. Host an event where you award your certificates to celebrate your newest members.
- In-person. At your next regular meeting, you can distribute your certificates to all the members in attendance.
Moving Forward With Your Own Membership Certificate
When it comes to showing your appreciation to your members, the little things do matter. Whether it’s taking the time to honor a brand-new member or a long-established one on their anniversary, a membership certificate is a small gesture that can go a long way to show your appreciation.
To learn about other methods to retain your members, check out our tips on improving your member experience. And if you’re looking for ways to streamline your processes, read more in our guide for membership management in 2021.