• Her acceptance of this role has…given enormous pleasure to the membership —B. Grant, 1990.The use of membership to mean ‘members collectively’ (e.g. of a trade union) was noted by Gowers (1965) as ‘now rife and corrupting other words’. Its use is normally restricted to official or reporting contexts, and in general use membership most commonly retains its traditional meanings ‘the status of being a member’ (I must renew my membership) or ‘the number of members in an organization’ (Membership is down by 15%).
Modern English usage. 2014.