Is your organization experiencing growing pains? If so, congratulations are in order. But, you also deserve a little sympathy if you contend with manual spreadsheets or an entry-level membership management system.
As your growth brings size and complexity, it becomes clear a more sophisticated membership management system is needed. Otherwise, your efforts to grow your membership won’t produce your hoped-for results or an enhanced flow of revenue.
Growing your membership.
Every organization wants to grow its membership. If you don’t put in place a solid system after you achieve some success, it’s more difficult to accommodate the needs of members, or even bring new ones onboard. If you aren’t responsive to members during growth, you stand to lose them when it’s time to renew their membership.
With that in mind, here are three signs growth of your organization can lead you to switch membership management systems.
Sign #1: You’re at max capacity!
Membership applications start to pick up pace. Perhaps, it’s the result of a recent membership drive or word of mouth from happy members. This success causes you to reach – or just about reach – your member limit using your current system.
If you use manual spreadsheets, you hit a point where you no longer effectively manage your members. If you use a membership management software, your growth can lead you to reach the maximum number of members allowed. So, now, what do you do?
Upgrade to a different system, and it will help you streamline processes. For example, you should use your system to track both members and prospects. You don’t want to lose access to people with lapsed memberships just to make room in the database for new, incoming members.
Remember, your marketing efforts can increase the number of people who apply in unpredictable ways. This is especially the case when email is involved. Satisfied, loyal members who respond to your emailed request to share details about your organization with their colleagues can lead to an avalanche of new applicants. Your membership management system must be ready to absorb all the new details.
If you aren’t responsive to members during growth, you stand to lose them when it’s time to renew their membership.
Sign #2: Time to increase non-dues revenue.
Your board and you determine your organization needs to boost non-dues revenue. While raising dues is off the table, diversifying revenue sources is key. What options do you have to increase offers? For many growing organizations, here’s the answer: Set up an online store to accept donations, event registration fees and/or products, such as educational resources or merchandise.
The best of today’s membership management systems can create a virtual storefront to increase revenue channels, while easily managing inventory, promotion codes, tax and shipping.
For example, members who want to express pride in their organization will purchase clothing, such as shirts and hats. So, you should consider including these in the online store. Merchandise can be everyday items. Branded water bottles, pins with your logo, or something practical, such as a flash drive or a physical notebook emblazoned with your motto.
You should use your system to track both members and prospects. You don’t want to lose access to people with lapsed memberships just to make room in the database for new, incoming members.
Sign #3: You need new ways to reach members.
Communication—one of your organization’s most important responsibilities to engage members. Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to manage the timing and the method how you reach out.
You can leverage the power of a social mobile app as an extension of your communication and marketing efforts. With members constantly on the go, they rely on their mobile devices to stay informed. Why should your association act any different? Through the power of feeds and push notifications, you can send information to members instantly—all with a single click.
A mobile app for your membership management system enhances the member experience in many ways. For example, members can use the app to access the latest news and updates from your organization within a single feed.
Part of your organization’s mission includes connecting members with like-minded individuals. And, social channels tied to your mobile app accelerate the process, building a new network of connections. More ties between members means increased engagement and deepened member loyalty.
It’s clear as your organization grows, the software with which you track membership must be flexible and robust with features to serve you well. The better you meet your members’ growing needs, your organization will experience more growth.
Now, learn more about the cost of a new association software solution (AMS). Download “The Ultimate Pricing Guide.”