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.
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 But, there are still many nonprofits diligently putting forth an effort to serve their members needs with outdated systems.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.