Checking on the health of your Association
By Membes | 4 October 2023
Associations are specifically important in representing an industry and connecting a community of like-minded people together to share their passion, learn and build their network.
Given their vital status to members in leading their industry, it’s important to check in on the organisation and ensure it is performing well to keep delivering for their community. This is where reporting comes into play – Associations need to have access to the latest data and a record of historical data to make comparisons and better understand trends.
Reporting can be incredibly time intensive if your data is disjointed i.e. not held on an integrated Association Management System. With these systems, like Membes, you have access to real time dashboards which can help you gauge the health of your association at a glance and you can also diver deeper into different areas.
Want to maximise your use of the dashboard? See some handy ways it can help you below:
For the majority of Associations, memberships are the number one revenue stream so ensuring your numbers are healthy is vital for your longevity.
Association Management Systems can provide you with extensive information about your members from total numbers, retention rates, growth periods (i.e. renewal time), member locations, and more. This information can be used to help you understand areas for improvement e.g. if membership renewals are declining – maybe it’s time for a campaign focused on communicating the value you deliver.
The information you can pull really depends on how you set up your data and the different tags/fields you add to it so it’s important to think about what information you need now and what would potentially be handy to know in the future when setting up your system.
Events are an essential part of all Associations; how often are you evaluating their performance and making changes based on what the data is showing?
Associations can sometimes get in the habit of running similar event programs each year – this may work for some Associations, but you won’t be able to tell unless you explore the numbers by asking these questions when reviewing the data:
Are registrations at a consistent number? Are they growing or declining? How do they compare from previous years? What are members saying about your events? How many people registered for the event vs how many people actually attended the event?
Regularly checking in on your events and conducting audits after large events such as conferences is key to ensure you are delivering value to members and also improving your return on investment.
A dashboard is crucial for reporting due to its ability to visualise data, offer real-time updates, consolidate data from multiple sources and monitor performance against goals. It will help you to make data-driven decisions quickly and efficiently all within a single platform.
Associations can configure the layout of their dashboard so it shows the numbers that are most important to you at that time e.g. if you’ve re-vamped your events program you will want to monitor it closely.
Management systems should also offer the ability for you to integrate with financial management platforms for comprehensive financial reporting, however the systems themselves have basic functionality to give you an indication of where money is coming from (i.e. events, membership renewals, shop purchases). This is only an indicator to be used as a guide – it is not a complete overview of your financial position, however, is a fantastic quick-look to see where you stand financially.
An association management dashboard is a powerful tool for assessing and improving the health of your organisation ensuring you can make decisions based on data in real time.
In a dynamic and ever-changing environment, a well-utilised association management dashboard can be the compass that guides your organisation towards success.