It sounds like one of those bad dreams. You have a road map to make your association successful right there in your hands. But, you never look at it or you don't realize how important it can be.
Fortunately, this is one nightmare you can put an end to. Your association management software is the lifeblood of your organization. Remember, it contains all key contact information, annual billing, past transactions, related individuals and companies, events management, committees, certifications and much more.
And yet with so much information being added TO your membership database, too many association leaders don’t take information FROM their database to help them drive better decisions.
Spending a little time with the data can pay huge dividends as you look at your membership in different ways. You’ll get a better understanding of how members, companies, or industry segments contribute to your organization’s health. And you can better understand the aspects of the organization that your members value the most.
It’s easy to uncover the powerful data that’s at your fingertips with your association management software. It helps to understand what reports are available and what they offer. While each association might like to slice and dice that data for their own uses, there are some common reports every association should be using on a regular basis.
5 Reports You Need To Use:
Members Joined – If you can’t get this information from your current membership management system, stop reading right now and call the WebLink office at 877-231-4970.
Your system SHOULD have this report and it should include key information such as account name and dues amount at a minimum. Even better would be company/industry type, reason(s) for joining and employee count. That way you can monitor any trends that develop over time with the types of companies that are joining your association. Having a system that allows you to create your own tracking codes, modify reports or export data for additional analysis is key for your association to get more from your data.
Members Dropped – This should contain the same information as the Joined report at a minimum. Associations who are making data-driven decisions will also modify the report or create a new version to include the members’ reason for dropping. You should set up tracking codes in your association management software to track why members drop their membership. Reasons may include: No time to participate; Saw no value; Disagreed with political stance, Out of business and many more. Tracking these reasons can help you identify potential at-risk members who may be similar to the companies that are dropping each month.
Retention – Track which members renew by units and by dollars. You may be tracking retention as a function of member units, but are you also tracking it by lost revenue? Many associations have tiered dues where members pay different amounts based on the level of benefits their receive. You may have a 95% retention rate in units but only an 80% retention rate in dollars. You need to look at retention both ways to truly understand the impact on your association. And, you'll probably want to extract the data from your retention report to monitor how retention rates vary by each different type of member.
By tracking your member retention in both units an dollars each month, you'll have a better understand of how renewing members impact your association's finances.
Segmentation Reporting – Yes, each member of your organization is different. But you can make informed decisions for your association by grouping your members into major categories and looking for trends. Your association management software should allow you to segment your members by dues amount, length of time as a member, NAICS code, number of FTEs and more so you can truly understand the make-up of your membership.
For example, you may have 5% of your members in one segment, but they represent 25% of your dues revenue. Losing just one of those members would have a big impact on your business.
Example from image above: Over half of this organization’s members have between one and nine employees. It is worth the effort to create custom messaging focused on small business issues to help demonstrate your value to these businesses.
Lifetime value of membership – Do you know which members are the most valuable to your organization over the life of their membership? What if you could go get more members like them? That’s what a Lifetime Value of Membership (LVM) Report can do for your organization. By looking at current and dropped members and reviewing their dues and non-dues revenue for your association you can see the type of members who generate the most revenue for your organization.
By breaking out your members' revenue in dues and non-dues over the life of their membership, you can determine which members bring the most value to your association each year.
With an association management system that’s intuitive to use, you’ll be armed with insightful reporting to help you manage your business. You’ll be able to make better decisions with hard data that’s already hiding in your systems.
What reports does your association find most useful?