women on boards
A network of aspiring and serving non-executives, Women on Boards was set up to support, predominantly, women achieve their non-executive aspirations. It was a freemium model with a range of paid-for tiers giving different levels of access and support. When Madeleine Milne joined in 2018, the community was c. 20,000 strong, a percentage of which were paying members.
On joining, Madeleine found that most of the activity of the organisation (events, content and connection) was being devised and produced by the internal team. As a small organisation with limited budgets, this was not scalable. Although the organisation had been set up to help people get their first board role, now 6 years in and with more and more members achieving board success, it was clear that there was a rich seam of expertise within the membership base. Involving members more fundamentally in the organisation's offering was a big change for the founders so we started slowly and grew from there with the community-led initiatives. The first was to devise and introduce an ambassador programme of some of the most involved and committed members. Ambassadors helped spread the word about what Women on Boards was doing, they brought other potential members to events, they spoke at events, they gave support to other members (advice and guidance) and they provided content for the website and newsletters. We then introduced WhatsApp groups for members to connect and ask each other questions on how to manage certain elements of board recruitment processes. Finally, we also introduced peer support groups for members to work together and support each other. These were led by the groups themselves and they were separated into groups according to their stage in their board career (starting out, developing a portfolio career or in the boardroom).
By the time she left, 3 years later and despite there having been no increase in the marketing spend (minimal, Google ad words only) the community had grown by 200% (now +40K), membership income increased by 191% and event revenue increased by 94%. Member retention increased by 126%. NPS scores were consistently above +80.