So, what is the largest membership organisation in the UK?
Well, the clever people at MemberWise have researched and created a list of the top 100 membership bodies in the UK. To be considered for this list the organisation needed to be headquartered in the UK and membership had to be optional in return for a membership fee.
Amazingly those in the top 100 have a total of 42.7 million members.
The top 5, which account for almost half of this total, are:
- National Union of Students (7 million members)
- The National Trust (5.75 million)
- Trade Union Congress (5.6 million)
- Unison (1.37 million)
- English Heritage (1.34 million)
This MemberWise top 100 list is an eclectic mix covering trade unions, royal colleges, sports associations, political parties, professional membership bodies and volunteer associations.
Rich Gott the founder of MemberWise says in his blog on the top 100:
“I estimate there are over 8,000 membership organisations and associations based in the United Kingdom (with memberships of over 1,000 individuals/organisations). The figure for smaller organisations (including local sports clubs and societies) is likely to be far higher at approximately 50,000.”
“My calculations indicate that some 14 million British citizens belong to over 450 professional membership organisations (of which 145 are Chartered Bodies) and there are 160 trade unions representing an estimated 8 million individuals (5.6 million are members of unions affiliated to the Trade Union Congress).”
And when you consider loyalty schemes, online groups, subscriptions services, faith groups and the like it seems we are used to being members, to joining and belonging.
Given that the 100th on the MemberWise list has some 45,000 members the trade association/federation sector is not represented but MemberWise are working on this, so expect to see top influencer list for this sector soon.
If you need help in making your association bigger, better or brighter just contact us. We would love to hear from you.