By Rory Beall, Membership Management Executive
When is the last time you reflected on your association’s membership management technology? Have you ever? Frequently, associations find themselves too busy preparing for the next big event, looking to add their next member or keeping existing members happy to do a thorough self-assessment of how they maintain their most important asset, their association membership database. Event history, financials and profile information of members, non-members and prospects should play a key strategic role in how your association formulates its long and short term goals. Below are a few key elements to consider when evaluating your current membership management software.
Multiple locations for your membership information
Too often, associations rely on many data sources to track their member information. Event history, financial data and member interactions are kept in independent data silos which limit the association's ability to quickly and accurately report, interpret and act on this critical information. Additionally, this will often lead to staff members within an association also keeping independent lists, further compounding the information gaps that exist when membership data is not housed in one centralized location.
Lack of Integration
Have you ever had a sense of déjà vu when you are working with membership database information? Multiple entries of the same information is an indication that your association is utilizing disparate systems throughout your organization and not only is this inefficient, but it can lead to membership data inconsistencies. The most common areas impacted by this are association financial software packages and a lack of association website integration with member directories, association event management and members only components.
Lack of useful reporting
Information is the lifeblood of any association, but it is only impactful if it can be harvested and analyzed to allow leadership the insight to make decisions that will help drive new membership, membership retention and member engagement. While surface level information can be useful, it often paints a distorted picture or does not unearth details that support sound business decisions for the organization. Typically, this leads to staff spending hours upon hours exporting, sorting and compiling this information, if it’s even available.
While there are many other factors to consider based on your specific association, these are very common amongst small to mid-sized (1-6 staff) and surprisingly even some much larger associations. Big Data is a term we all hear a great deal these days, but don’t let the phrase scare you. As long as you have the right tools in place to collect, report on and examine this data; you have removed inefficient hurdles that stand in the way of your association reaching the next level.
If you find yourself in one or all of the categories above, we would welcome the opportunity to show you how WebLink’s all in one solutions have been a facilitator for associations just like you to excel!
Tell us- when was the last time you reflected on your association’s membership database technology? If you're ready to reevaluate, check out Travis Tetrault's blog on questions to ask for Association Software Success or contact us for a free demo.