Select Page

Your members have high demands for privacy and data security. But they also want personalized member communications. What’s your small association to do? Here are four tips.

We hear a lot about data privacy these days. It’s a hot topic with consumers.

In fact, the Community Brands Digital Evolution Study shows that 71 percent of members of professional associations say they worry about data privacy and security. On the bright side, this concern doesn’t prevent most of them from sharing information if they feel it’s secure and/or for their benefit.


Data points from the Community Brands study

At the same time, the Digital Evolution Study shows that members are interested in receiving personalized content from their associations. Seventy-nine percent say it is very or somewhat important that their organization provide targeted, valuable content.

It may seem like an impossible dilemma for associations with small staffs: How do you gather and use the data you need to provide personalized member communications when your members have high demands for privacy and data security?

Here are four tips on how to balance data privacy with personalization to provide a better member experience.

1. Keep your members’ data in one safe place.

First and foremost, you need a single place to keep you members’ data safe. As your small association grows and collects more member data, it’s time to move away from spreadsheets. When your member data is housed in many different places and staff members are sending spreadsheets back and forth, it’s tough to collect and share data safely.

Moving your member data and management into association management software (AMS) puts all of your member data in one, secure place. There are many AMS solutions in the marketplace today, with varying levels of data protection. So, be sure your AMS vendor values security and offers the following functionality to protect your member data and reduce risk.

  • Transparency into security and performance status
  • Data recovery to safeguard your data from data storage errors, catastrophic failures, and everything in between
  • Compliance certifications to validate security

Talk with your technology vendor to ensure they use best practices to prevent unauthorized access to data. For example, multi-factor authentication increases data security by requiring your AMS user to enter a unique code upon entry of admin login credentials. Only when the valid provided code is entered will that user be granted access. Tokenization enhances the security of customer credit card and electronic payments for recurring transactions, such as membership dues or donations, through a secure digital identifier.

TECH TIP: YourMembership AMS allows you to manage member processes and data in one, secure system.

2. Re-think your approach to data privacy and security.

Develop a data governance strategy that includes policies for what type of data you collect, how long you keep data, and how you use it. Make sure your members know you have data privacy and security standards and precautions in place. Explain how the information you collect will be used for a better and more personalized experience, and your members in turn are more likely to trust you. That trust will then translate into a better member experience and, ultimately, greater member loyalty.

3. Collect and use member data to deliver a more targeted, personalized experience.

The Community Brands Benchmark Report on Small-Staff Associations shows that fewer than half of small associations target information and content to members based on their preferences. This points to an opportunity for small associations to catch up with the expectations of members.

Use your AMS to collect and analyze data about your members’ career stages, interests, and behaviors to provide them with the personalized benefits they’re seeking. For example, based on your members’ interests and preferences, recommend new industry reports or new services offered by your organization.

TECH TIP: YourMembership AMS offers multiple ways to personalize the member experience through targeted online community content, recommendations for job opportunities, personalized event registration paths, and more.

4. Set up a preference center to gain and track consent and preferences.

Providing a personalized experience for your members requires giving them an easy way to let you know how and when they want to hear from you. That’s where a preference center comes in.

A preference center is an online portal that gives your members an easy way to control what communications they receive from your organization and how often they receive them. It also gives you another way to gather more of the data you need to improve member communications.

Your preference center also serves as a key means to comply with data privacy laws. Be sure your preference center tracks the data you need to comply with regulations including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

A NOTE ABOUT GDPR: If your association has employees, members, prospects, or customers residing in the European Union (regardless of their citizenship), you’re required to meet GDPR standards. YourMembership and Community Brands have taken steps to fully comply with these regulations, and ensure association customers are ready for this data privacy regulation by providing the following resources:

Personalization and trust go hand in hand. Showing your members that your association understands, and is keeping up with, their expectations is a great way to provide a better member experience and develop loyal members.

As your association strives to balance members’ expectations for a personalized experience with their concerns about data security, be sure you have in place a thoughtful approach as well as modern technology that supports your efforts.

Learn more about how YourMembership helps you keep your member data safe while providing a great member experience. Explore YourMembership AMS