Are you using the right tools to manage your Association?
By Membes | 4 October 2023
There are so many tools on the market that have specific jobs to make work easier – you wouldn’t try to use a hammer to screw in a screw so why would you use the wrong tool to manage your Association?
There are many Associations still relying on Excel spreadsheets or WordPress plugins to manage their databases, and systems like Campaign Monitor/MailChimp to manage your email lists – however these are putting you at a significant disadvantage. They aren’t built specifically for Associations who have a very unique set of needs, which means they fall short of actually providing a useable system that gives you the results you need to meet demand and compete in the market.
Association Management Systems, like Membes, are by far the most appropriate option for Associations as they have been specifically designed and tested by Associations to ensure they can effectively manage your multi-faceted organisation by streamlining/synchronising processes and reducing the amount of resources required.
Below are just some of the reasons why Association Management Systems are superior and if you’re not already using one, why you need to be:
1. Centralised Member Database
Having your data all in one place is so important because it allows you to have a true and accurate understanding of your organisation, and it makes it much easier for your team to source the right answers. Management systems allow for streamlined control of data as updates to member profiles only need to be actioned once and they will be filtered throughout the system.
What sets management systems apart from Excel or basic databases in terms of managing data is its ability to connect in with different parts of the business and automatically update member profiles – for example if you use an integrated event registration system, a member’s personal information can auto-fill, so they don’t need to type in all the details; saving them time.
2. Save your team time with automation
Associations often work with lean teams so being able to automate and streamline processes wherever possible is essential for their success. There are so many parts to Associations from managing membership renewals, to organising events (CPD, Symposiums + Conferences), to advocacy work and so much more!
Automating simple but time-consuming tasks such as renewal notices, invoices, new member communications and event reminders is a great benefit to the organisation. Management systems are key for the seamless automation of simple tasks, and with the ability to integrate with other platforms, it makes it easy to complete a wide range of tasks without the need for staff intervention.
3. Give your members the power
Association Management Systems allow your members to access and update their personal profiles via a member portal – making it easier for them, and also your team.
You can even set up easy prompts in different areas of the business to ensure you have the latest member information on file, for example if you’re creating a registration form for an event, you can add a custom field confirming their best contact phone number and if it is different to what is on file it can be automatically updated.
4. Gain access to more accurate data
Reporting is an essential criteria for an Association’s success, especially for the Board as they need to see a clear picture of what is happening in the organisation to help them better guide the future direction. Due to the one-stop-shop nature of management systems it is so simple to pull a comprehensive report on key facets of the organisation.
Whether its membership numbers, event performance, engagement with communications or basic financial numbers it can all be reported on by your system.
This saves the team time by avoiding the need to look across different systems or manage offline documents such as Excel spreadsheets.
5. Give your Association the ability to grow
All Associations have the goal of growing their membership and representing the lions-share of their industry, so it is vital to have the right tools to allow that growth to be seamless. If you are relying on offline management support, you are limiting the speed at which you can grow as not having access to the most accurate information instantaneously can quickly become overwhelming for your team.
Management systems can meet you where you are today but also easily scale up as your Association grows. When choosing which system is best for you, it is important to review what it offers and how it can grow with your Association.