The Cherry in CRM Membership Software is Engagement & Participation!

Best Membership Software for Nonprofits helps Engagement and Participation

Do you have the right membership system in place now to handle your goals? If you are a membership based nonprofit (Church, Museum, Association, Society) you likely have big plans for outreach and growth in order to keep your nonprofit on track to accomplish its mission. And, chances are member engagement is at the top of the list of priorities in years to come too. In this article, we tackle how Membership CRM software may help with participation and engagement.

The Benefits of Engagement in Membership Software

Maximizing engagement with members and boosting their involvement with your association has become increasingly important over the past decade. According to the 2017 Membership Marketing Benchmark Report, the majority of associations consider engagement to be their most important goal, followed closely by membership retention.

Could a Membership System help? To know, you may find value in asking yourself the following questions:

  • Do you spend much of your precious time digging through databases and spreadsheets looking for the right information?
  • Do you feel like you never have a full understanding of what is going on to help plan for your association’s future?
  • Do you wonder if you’ll ever have more time for revenue-generating, member-focused activities?
  • Are the systems you have in place now allow you to put forth a solid effort in meeting your member needs?

This may sound odd for some nonprofit executives. But, there are still many nonprofits diligently putting forth an effort to serve their members needs with outdated systems. In fact, it’s amazing for me to find many associations still loading their member data on a spreadsheet. It’s a shame!

Today, Membership Software, can help in so many ways. But, one of the key benefits is helping take member engagement to the next level, by streamlining association processes to make your organization more efficient and easier to manage for sure. But, also keeping track of participation and engagement too.

Today, one of the wonderful benefits of “cloud technology” is the fact that the “cloud” has made strong membership management tools available for even small associations. In the past, perhaps you were limited by options. In fact, you maybe still living in that “pre-cloud” reality but may not realize the value of integration and the possibilities for better engagement with an integrated database and website.

The Power of Integration & Engagement in Membership Systems

I have seen some pretty interesting methods to keep track of members, dues, donations and event registration. These methods range from a Bob Cratchit (remember Scrooge’s clerk?) pen-and-ink ledger to a combination of the aforementioned spreadsheet and database (and hope for the best) approach.

A Membership software solution can “house” all of an organization’s information in one centralized database — from member email addresses and postal updates to social media profile information, preferences, and history. Without the right AMS, associations can end up with a disjointed, incomplete view of their members. With an AMS, though, you gain a 360-degree view your members and the ability to make informed decisions.

Today, an AMS executive dashboard can even offer instant snapshots of member participation, so Executive Directors can answer fundamental questions about what members are doing and capitalize on new opportunities for the association. With actionable integrated business data they can be confident information is updated and accurate. From there, they can make smart business decisions regarding the association’s future, and identify and develop best practices for the organization that align with industry trends including engagement.

The Possibilities of Capabilities in Membership CRM Software 

With membership software today, it may help in so many ways to increase engagement. Here are several quick examples:

  • Provide engagement because it is one central data entry and output location for your membership information.
  • Contain a strong content management tool for managing personalization of content.
  • Seamlessly connect with all existing software applications you use and eliminate duplication and data errors.
  • Manage your entire database and membership website. Integrating the database with your organization’s website is key when trying to present a consistent experience for members resulting in better engagement possibilities (From event registration and membership renewal to dues payments and social networking).
  • Allow your constituents to update their own files, collaborate, & participate with others.
  • Increase engagement because they are now available by members in a mobile environment.
  • A membership system allows Executives to focus on the bigger picture.
  • CRM Software for membership manages allows one to easily gather data on and share information with committee members (whether it is event updates, the latest documents, or day-to-day reports) in order to keep everyone up to date.
  • Taking advantage of reporting tools ensures that associations are given the proper feedback to continually provide meaningful content to members while eliminating the content that falls short.
  • By building events through the central database, communication management can invite members, collect registrations, and even poll attendees for post-event feedback all through one system.

Membership Activity Tracking to Facilitate Engagement 

Tracking the ways in which members are engaging with your organization isn’t just useful for reporting and business intelligence.

Using your membership system to collect these interactions on a per-member basis allows each member to do some of the following:

  • Receive targeted and relevant information consistently.
  • Your marketing and communications team members are able to use a membership system to automate member interactions and ensure that members are presented with events, campaigns, and offers that directly relate to them based on their previous interactions with the association.
  • Through Single Sign On capabilities, marketers are able to reach out to members on all active channels, in one system—making a notable difference in membership engagement.

The output is all about using your member data in meaningful and useful ways – reports, workflow, etc. That output greases the skids to making your association vastly more efficient, productive and successful. And, equally important increasing participation and engagement.

We can help you decide which software tool is best suited to lead your organization into the future.

Contact us and we’ll help get you there. Until then, keep SmartThoughts in mind.

Online Membership Software for Engagement

The Value of Event Planning With Membership Management Software

The Value of Membership Management Software on Events Management in Nonprofits

Nonprofits have the best of both worlds, according to TheMuse, They’re changing the world in bold, interesting, and inspiring ways, and they’re also amazing places to work, full of passion, smart people, and even cool perks.” Even so, non-profits need good business tools to do these bold, interesting and amazing things, especially in the area of event planning. In this article, I discuss how membership management software can make a difference in how your nonprofit manages events.

How Membership Management Software can Enhance Event Management

Non-profit events, which can range from fundraising, seminars, trade shows to membership drives, are about building relationships with your non-profit and its cause. More important than the money raised or the number of people involved is the fact that well-planned and successful events can lead to long-term awareness and loyalty to your non-profit. While major events can raise significant revenue and recognition for non-profit organizations, these events require careful planning and preparation.

The Task of Events Required in Membership Management Software 

The actual event is the tip of the proverbial iceberg, meetings involve calendaring, to-do lists entail creation, assignment, and dissemination, registration information requires capturing, confirmations necessitate sending and follow-up surveys need reviewing.   Using membership management software, automating your event from beginning idea, through last-minute changes and future event timelines, allows everyone involved to stay on top of the important events that keep your non-profit in business and working smoothly.  An event management module in your non-profit membership management software is advantageous in more ways than one.

The Benefits of Events Management Within Your AMS 

  • Guest Registration and Data – manual registrations require staff time that might be better used elsewhere. Guest lists are complete and names are not duplicated, payments are processed securely and accounted for, rosters and name badges are easily drawn up, the list goes on and on, plus the data is all at your fingertips, not on several spreadsheets.
  • Manage Volunteers and Employees – collaboration is paramount in successful event planning. You need to be able to take advantage of people’s strengths, disseminate to-do lists and calendar timelines, making sure that everyone has access to the information they need and in a timely manner.
  • Track Vendors, Meeting Space, and Requirements – Do you need a projector in the room? How many chairs and microphones are required? Are there several exhibitors that need space? All the data regarding these requirements can be easily accessed with an events module of your non-profit membership management software.

At SmartThoughts, we realize that one size does not fit all. And, while not every nonprofit is the same, many require the need to manage events. The question seems to be, “Can we satisfy our needs with just Membership Management Software“? Or, “Do we need a best of breed Event Management Software solution”?

And, the answer is,”It Depends”. However, with a little time we can advise you about the benefits of each approach and help find the software best suited to your non-profit needs. “Software should not be like buying a box of chocolates,”  so if you are overwhelmed with the choices available or simply need an objective opinion, contact us. We are here to help you find the exact software for your exact situation.

Until next time, keep SmartThoughts in mind.

Free CRM Membership Database Software Guide