You know it’s time for new technology. But does your board? Help them understand the challenges your small association faces and how new technology can help you reach your acquisition, retention, and engagement goals. Here’s how.
It’s a familiar story. Your association has goals around membership growth, retention, and engagement. And every day, your outdated technology stands like a roadblock between your association and these objectives.
There’s no question about it. It’s time for new membership management software.
But one more hurdle stands between you and the technology you need to move forward: your board. One of the best ways to convince them that it’s time for new technology is to spell out your challenges and how they’re keeping your association from reaching its goals.
Step 1: Highlight your association’s progress compared with your goals.
Set the stage with a simple presentation of your organization’s progress. It’s hard to argue with numbers. So show your board that your association isn’t reaching its goals. For example:
- Our membership growth rate is X, versus our goal of Y.
- Our retention rate is X, versus our goal of Y.
- Our engagement rate is X, versus our goal of Y.
Step 2: Explain in detail the top challenges your organization faces in reaching your goals.
Here’s your chance to paint a picture for your board. Give them specific examples to help them understand what challenges exist. For example:
Membership growth – the challenge: It’s a struggle to recruit new members. Sending recruiting email messages is time-consuming, taking up to X hours per email to segment our list and build, test and send an email. In addition, we do not have a way to easily provide content to non-members, such as an online member community or online job board, with limited access for non-members to give them a preview of the benefits of becoming a member.
Member retention – the challenge: Our member retention efforts are limited by our technology. We need a system that allows us to implement modern member retention efforts like:
- Assign an online member community “buddy” to new members to help welcome them to our organization and get them oriented right off the bat.
- Use automated emails to send personalized messages that remind members of the benefits they have taken advantage of, the benefits they haven’t taken advantage of but still can, and the upcoming events and opportunities they’ll miss out on if they do not renew.
- Offer auto-renewals to avoid lapsed membership when members simply forget to renew.
Member engagement – the challenge: Many of our day-to-day member management efforts are highly manual and time-consuming. We spend significant time managing member data in spreadsheets, homemade databases, and multiple systems. We need a system that allows us to:
- Automate highly manual member management tasks, allowing us to spend more time developing programs that engage members and deliver member value, which in turn leads to increased growth and retention.
- Bring together all member data into one system so we have a more complete view of members and their interests.
- Set up an online member community that connects members with personalized content, career and learning opportunities, and member benefits that are specific to their needs and interests.
- Automatically offer up recommendations, such as job postings based on a member’s certifications or continuing education course completion. Let members know important information and reminders, such as when event registration opens.
Step 3: Explain the risks of not moving to more modern association management software.
Drive home your points by pointing out the risks of not taking action now. For example, not only will you continue to fall short of your goals, you may experience risks including:
- Member frustrations with slow, manual processes and outdated technology.
- Missing out on the efficiencies and other benefits of technology advances.
- Appearing outdated, and falling behind your competition.
Learn more about how to convince your board it’s time for new association management software during this on-demand webinar.