FAQ: Here’s how to renew your annual LION membership

Please follow the below instructions to renew your annual LION membership if you or your organization are a current member. 

December 1, 2021 by Cassandra Balfour

Image via Unsplash
Image via Unsplash

Please follow the below instructions to renew your annual LION membership if you or your organization are a current member. 

Step 1: Log in to your organization’s Memberful account to confirm your annual membership’s renewal date. 

Step 2: Complete LION’s updated membership renewal application form 15 days before your membership renewal date. (For example, if your renewal date is Jan. 31, 2021, you need to complete the renewal application form by 11:59 p.m. local time on Jan. 16, 2021.) 

You and your organization will receive specific reminders about when your annual LION membership is set to expire and when your membership renewal application is due as your renewal date is approaching. 

The information that you and your organization provide allows LION to learn more about how your organization has evolved over the last year and how our organization can best serve your needs. 

Step 3: On your membership renewal date, your credit card on file will be automatically charged for your annual LION membership based on your organization’s annual revenue. However, your member benefits will not activate until you have successfully filled out the renewal application form. 

You can check the status of your membership and view payments made by logging into your Memberful account here

Please read the below FAQ detailing answers to frequently-asked questions about our renewal process. 

  • How is LION’s membership pricing changing?

As LION continues to bolster its membership benefits to boost revenue and directly lower operating costs for LION members, and as we allocate additional resources toward building out our membership program, we are raising our membership rates for the first time since LION Publishers was founded nearly 10 years ago.

Beyond the improvements already made to LION’s membership program, we have also upgraded our membership software, Memberful, to allow any employee of our member organizations to access our members-only resources, which will soon include access to a suite of on-demand resources and training modules to help our members build sustainable businesses.

We are also shifting our membership tiers to be based on an organization’s annual revenue rather than on the number of an organization’s full-time employees. This adjustment to rely on annual revenue as the standard for determining dues payment reflects a similar dues structure to membership association Institute for Nonprofit News

Please read this post for more information about our price increase, and see the full breakdown of our updated pricing and tiers here:

TierAnnual RevenueAnnual Membership Cost
Aspiring EntrepreneurN/A$70
Small$500,000 or less$210
Medium$500,000 – $1.1M$280
LargeOver $1.1M$550
  • I currently have an Aspiring Entrepreneur membership. What do I need to do to renew my membership?

The Aspiring Entrepreneur membership tier is a one-year membership offering and is specifically for news entrepreneurs who want to launch a publication or have begun work on a publication that is in beta and/or has not built a substantial audience. 

After completing one year of the Aspiring Entrepreneur membership tier, you can apply to become a LION Member Organization under our current criteria. LION will be in touch with all Aspiring Entrepreneurs who are due to convert to be a LION member organization in order to support your next steps. You can also check out the GNI Startups Playbook for resources that could be helpful when it comes to implementing different journalistic policies and practices that we require our member organizations to follow. 

If you’ve had an Aspiring Entrepreneur membership for one year and you’re not yet ready to become a LION Member Organization, you can apply whenever you are able to meet our criteria and stay active with LION as a non-member in our News Entrepreneur Community on Slack.  

  • What if our organization is facing financial difficulties and can’t afford to pay our membership dues? 

LION recognizes that there are publications that would benefit from membership, but may not be able to afford dues. LION extended dues forgiveness for any organization that requested it during most of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving forward, our policy allows small publications (with 2 or fewer full-time employees) that earn less than $4,200 in annual revenue to request dues forgiveness. If your organization fits this criteria, please check the appropriate box in the LION membership renewal application to request dues forgiveness.

If you don’t fit the above criteria, but would still like to be considered for dues forgiveness, let’s have a conversation! We recognize LION membership provides real value, which is why we charge dues. We also recognize how difficult the road to sustainability is, and we want to ensure our network is an inclusive, vibrant and diverse community. Please reach out to me directly at [email protected] to discuss further.

  • What if I just applied for membership recently? Do I still need to fill out the renewal application? 

Yes. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and LION has adjusted our renewal process moving forward to ensure this does not happen in the future. From now on, you will only need to provide LION with updated information about your organization on an annual basis ahead of your annual membership renewal. 

  • How do I use my Memberful account?

We also recently upgraded our membership software to Memberful, allowing LION to shift from supporting only one founder at a member organization to supporting all staff of our member organizations. 

Now, multiple members of your organization can have direct access to member benefits by creating an account in Memberful, logging into their account and checking out our member benefits via the members-only section of our website here

  • My membership lapsed, so my organization is no longer a current member. Should I fill out the application as a new member, renewing member or expired member?

Please fill out the membership application as “renewing an expired membership.”

  • How will LION use the data that I provide in the membership application?

All information submitted via the membership application will be kept confidential. The participating news organizations will never be identified externally without permission. LION reserves the right to anonymize and disaggregate the data collected and use it for internal analysis across projects, reporting to funders, and as benchmarks to share with LION member organizations.

  • I still have questions about the renewal process. How can you help me?

LION will host weekly office hour sessions on Zoom to help members through the renewal process and answer any questions you might have. 

You can register to receive a link to the Zoom office hour sessions in the links below. You can drop in at any time into the Zoom during the designated times below. If multiple members drop in at the same time, we will give members an estimated wait time while they’re in the Zoom waiting room. 

If you’re not able to make any of the scheduled office hour meetings, you can connect with LION’s membership programming manager, Cassie Balfour using this Calendly link.  Finally, please email the membership team directly with any questions or concerns at [email protected]

December virtual office hours:

January virtual office hours: 

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