Having the ability to communicate effectively with members is an important characteristic of high-quality membership management software. This need is especially true for nonprofit associations which communicate in many ways to solicit for Events, Fundraising, Dues, and Selling Products etc. In this article, I cover the impact areas of communication features in membership management software for nonprofits.
Communication Features in Member Management Software
In order to retain members, you must keep them informed and engaged. The top nonprofit membership management software provides user-friendly methods for you to communicate with members via email marketing and standard snail mail. Certainly, it is paramount today to have simple ways to capture (online forms), store (in member’s profile record), and send emails & mail to your entire membership community for a variety of use cases.
Within the communication features of Membership Database you should be able to segment your members into various levels of granularity. For Example, you can divide members into tier-based categories and send different information to those groups. This allows you to send specific messaging to targeted groups. If you can’t, then you may want to investigate a third-party email marketing service provider (a topic for another day).
How does the features of Membership Database Software impact your organization’s ability to communicate with members in various way? Here are several areas that the communication features become so essential in your search for a solid Membership Management software solution.
Members want to be updated on the activities of organizations they support. In order to keep members and donors informed, you need to consistently update them about the accomplishments and goals of your organization. This increases members’ confidence and trust. Further, it allows for your members to remain engaged and perhaps want to participate with your organization more frequently.
Fundraising requires proper communication. As stated above, having the ability to separate members into specific categories gives you the advantage of targeting specific groups. For example, your high-level donors may receive more frequent fundraising communications or they may receive special offers, etc.. Your low-tiered donors may have things to offer other than financial support. Perhaps you want to ask these individuals to volunteer their time rather than money. Whatever the case, targeted communication is a key factor in successful fundraising.
Events are an essential function of almost all membership based organizations. In most associations, events revenue represents more than half of the revenue for the year. When considering a proper membership database, it’s important to consider the impact on staff time in sending out all your communications for events.
The email communication feature can be used to prospect and educate attendees on the value of the events and training classes being held by your organization. While I realize that most associations may be using a third-party email provider like Constant Contact or MailChimp, having your communication capabilities integrated to the membership software database is absolutely necessary. Uploading lists, Downloading lists, & losing key reporting aspects found in delivery of the email is leaving money on the table. If the membership software does this well, it will save your association time, money, heartache.
The Persona of Your Nonprofit
Your organization’s personality is expressed through communication of all types. This allows members to experience the human side of your Nonprofit. Quality membership management software should assist you in creating and distributing information that portrays your organization’s personal qualities. It provides a platform to connect with members on a human level via your website, email receipts, and even down to membership renewals.
Without standardization of email communication methods with the use of templates or word merge functions found in your membership management solution, it can hurt your brand. And, not knowing what your membership prefer to have sent to them, can impact your persona too. A membership database can and should be able to help you and your staff do a better job with your website, email, and regular mail activities. All communication vehicles which may impact your persona.
Understanding the significance of communication features in your software selection priority list should not be understated. The right membership software for your nonprofit will be found in matching your priorities with the software vendors strengths. And, communication features of the platform could be a factor in defining success in your membership database. Take time to evaluate your communication needs and ensure the software you choose provides adequate features which helps all facets of your membership organization ability to communicate well.
If you need a little help in getting started in your search or finishing it up, Contact us for more information and assistance. Until next time, keep SmartThoughts in mind.