Spring has (finally) sprung! Last weekend, I opened all the windows in my house and gave it a good scrubbing and de-cluttering. There’s something about a good clean up that can feel so inspiring. And many of the same principles can be applied to your organizational well-being.
Here are 12 tips for spring cleaning for your association:
1. Get Organized: Re-locate all of your data to one source.
Association management software (AMS) is critical to working efficiently and providing greater benefits to your members. If you don’t utilize an AMS or it doesn’t integrate everything you need to run your organization (communications, ecommerce, non-dues revenue, events, finances and website), consider getting rid of disparate systems.
Even if you have a powerful and integrated AMS software where you track and store your data, you probably have some data that just isn’t in there. Whether it’s a conversation with a member you had at an event or a phone number you jotted down and were going to update later - it’s time to get organized and create a common space for all your important information.
2. Review Q1 and reprioritize.
We’re already more than a quarter of the way through the year. So, how are you performing compared to your goals? Schedule a meeting to highlight key organizational accomplishments and top initiatives from the first quarter, as well as review priorities for the months ahead. Make sure that all members of your staff are included and are made aware of how their unique contributions are providing value to the organization and its members. Additionally, ensure that everyone is cognizant of how the team can collaborate and enhance/improve performance and results where needed.
3. Start sharing.
Where do you keep your presentation files and other documents? Are they on your computer where no one else can access them? Consider using a service like Dropbox to store files online and easily share folders with others. You’ll be able to efficiently remove all of those files off of your desktop and access what you need any time and any place.
4. Reevaluate your website.
Your website is the face of your organization. Because existing members will utilize this tool when seeking information, and most prospective members will visit your site prior to joining, it’s crucial that your website’s user-interface is friendly and easy to navigate. Take an inventory of your site structure, pages and content. If you have old pages with outdated information, remove them. Also, take a look at the media, including images, videos and widgets, on each of your pages and consider updating them for a refreshed look that communicates your organization’s personality.
If your website is difficult to update or no longer serving your needs, consider upgrading to a website management system that makes it easy to add pages, content, photos and videos.
5. Think about your processes.
Process and order is key to success. Do you have processes that are outdated or could be made more efficient? Or are you lacking structure and could benefit from the documentation of processes? Either way, make sure key processes are documented and consistently shared with staff.
6. Update social media.
As social media continues to grow in popularity, and serves as a cost-effective tool that can be utilized to efficiently communicate with your target audience, it should be an integral part in your marketing strategy. Go through your bios and about sections on all of your social networks and make sure they are updated. Furthermore, maximize your social online presence with an updated Twitter background and Facebook profile image.
7. Conduct a survey.
Use tools such as SurveyMonkey to create surveys designed to find out what programs are no longer valuable, what members want more of, and how they want to be communicated with. Stop doing what’s no longer working and clean up your list of to-dos by concentrating on what your members value the most.
8. Dig in.
Run a member lifetime value report and learn what types of members generate the most revenue for your organization. Segment and analyze your data to find your most loyal members, and identify the key characteristics and/or attributes of these members. Subsequently, you can utilize the data to clean up your database and refocus your and prioritize your efforts.
9. Check in and know when to ask for help.
Whether it’s your boss, staff, or a peer, touch base. Ask them how you can better serve them. Is there a better way for you to communicate and share information? Ask what you can do to help them do their job better, and ask the same from them.
10. Go to lunch.
When's the last time you caught up with that long-time member, vendor or important partner? Schedule a lunch meeting on the calendar and reconnect. Nurturing these important relationships is important and should be done routinely.
11. Review expenses.
Are there any services or vendors you should reevaluate? It may be time to revisit or quote out services that you haven’t assessed in a while.Are there changes you need or options you should consider? Can you get better pricing? Ask yourself each of these questions and conduct the necessary research you need to answer them.
12. Clean. Literally.
Just like you do at home, get out the duster, wipes, and start de-cluttering. A clean, organized work space increases your efficiency, reduces stress, and gives you a sense of accomplishment.
Do you have any spring cleaning tips of your own? Share your ideas in the comments below.