Fixed or Rolling: Optimising Membership Renewals for Trail and Bike Organisations

For mountain bike clubs, bike parks and trail associations

Which is better fixed or rolling?

TL;DR Hivepass recommends rolling memberships. Currently 95% of organisations on the platform have adopted this model.

Read on for a breakdown of the pros and cons of both approaches.



Choosing the right membership structure is a pivotal decision for trail organisations, directly impacting both their operational workflow and their member experience. In this spotlight, we'll explore the ins and outs of fixed versus rolling memberships, guided by the data-driven insights from Hivepass.

🚴 Fixed Memberships: The Solid Path

  • Administrative Efficiency: Simplifies administrative processes with a set renewal period, making it easier to manage bulk renewals and communications. Tying events to membership renewal can boost attendance and engagement.
  • Predictable Budgeting: Facilitates financial planning and budgeting with a predictable revenue stream at specific times of the year.
  • Member Numbers: Typically reduced member numbers as members don't sign up in the last few months due to less perceived value.
  • Financial Impact: A significant portion of the year's revenue is tied to a single period, which can affect cash flow stability. A weather event or change in the economy around this period may greatly affect sign-ups.
  • Timing Challenges: Choosing the start date for a fixed membership year is crucial. Aligning with the calendar year could mean a drop in northern hemisphere sign-ups during colder months, or nearing the end of the riding season in the southern hemisphere. Additionally, syncing with your Annual General Meeting (AGM) is essential to ensure robust membership attendance and participation.

🚴 Rolling Memberships: The Dynamic Route

  • Member Numbers: More sign-ups as members enjoy a full year's benefits regardless of joining date. Typically people will avoid becoming a member in the last 3 months of the membership year and there will be reduced numbers for the last 6 months.
  • Steady Cash Flow: Provides a more consistent cash flow throughout the year, as renewals and new memberships are spread out.
  • Perceived Fairness: Can be seen as fairer by members since their membership lasts for a full year from the date they join.
  • Administrative Automation: Easier to manage with automated systems that track individual renewal dates, reducing manual tracking efforts.
  • Member Engagement: It may be more challenging to align membership drives or engagement campaigns without a single renewal period.
  • Renewal Delay: Renewal procrastination can reduce overall revenue. If average renewal time is 12.5 days that is a 3.42% loss in membership revenue.
  • Platform Migration: Shifting to a different membership system might be more complex due to staggered renewal dates.

Let's compare the financials

Analysing the financial outcomes of fixed versus rolling memberships presents challenges due to limited data. Most organisations on Hivepass have switched to rolling memberships, which coincided with an overall 45% membership increase—though not solely due to the membership model change. Precise impacts are still being evaluated as we monitor organisations that recently transitioned.

For now, based on available data:

  • Average renewal time with a single automated renewal reminder: 12.5 days
  • Average renewal time using Hivepass renewal reminders*: 5 days
  • An estimated 5% increase in membership numbers is reported by organisations switching to rolling memberships, although this figure is provisional pending more data.

Consider these hypothetical scenarios:

Organisation A (Fixed Membership): Starts with 1000 members. Experiences no change in member numbers. No loss in revenue from delayed renewals. Total Membership Revenue: $50,000.

Organisation B (Rolling with Hivepass): Begins with 1000 members. Sees a 5% increase to 1050 members. Renewals averaging 5 days* lead to a 1.37% loss in revenue** due to delays. Total Membership Revenue: $51,780.75, marking a 3.56% increase.

Organisation C (Rolling with Single Renewal Reminder): Also starts with 1000 members. Enjoys a 5% increase to 1050 members. Average renewal time of 12.5 days results in a 3.42% revenue loss** from delays. Total Membership Revenue: $50,704.50, a 1.4% increase.

These examples highlight the nuanced financial dynamics between fixed and rolling membership models and the potential benefits of using a system like Hivepass to streamline the renewal process.

*Hivepass renewal reminders and early renewal option: Organisations can configure up to 8 reminders that over several weeks that will be automatically sent to expired members via email or push notification. When these were implemented in Hivepass we saw the median renewal time decrease from 12.5 days to 5 days.
We have just implemented an early renewal option that allows renewal up to 1 month before membership expiry and the median renewal time has started to decrease even more.
** Revenue loss is calculated median renewal (days) / 365 e.g. 5 / 365 = 1.37%


Hivepass recommends rolling memberships. Currently 95% of organisations on the platform have adopted this model. Even if members take an average of 18 days to renew we estimate there is still no loss in revenue due to the estimated 5% increase in memberships plus there is an increase in perceived benefit/fairness by members.

We have articles on increasing membership, a membership management platform software buyers guide and more.
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Written by
Flon Mackenzie