Member-driven organizations all share a problem. As membership grows, the work required to manage your members grows faster. Acquiring more members requires your dedicated focus – but so do all your existing members. Finding the time you need to achieve the growth you want gets more and more difficult.
One of the reasons this happens is because, as their organizations grow, membership managers adopt tools in order to solve specific problems, but soon these ‘solutions’ create problems of their own. Excel spreadsheets helps you store and manage member information, MailChimp helps you manage communications, EventBrite helps you create and manage events – but when one task requires you to use all three tools – work becomes inefficient and frustrating.
Membership Management Software spares you the headache of juggling multiple platforms by consolidating all your data, and offering all the tools you need to access and use it. Tailored to the needs of member-driven organizations, membership management software helps you streamline administration, allowing you to scale consistently without the worry of juggling growth-related tasks ontop of a full plate of work.
Here are some of the benefits you can expect by switching from multiple software systems to a consolidated membership management platform.
1. MMS gives you control of your time
When your day is full of processing applications, renewals, communications, etc. from your existing members – very little is left to focus on actually growing your organization.
This is a textbook problem that member-driven organizations run into.
A common solution is to simply hire more membership managers. Sharing the load will free up more time to focus on growth, but only temporarily. As more members sign on, the burden grows once again to the limit of your teams ability to manage, and another growth plateau is hit.
Hiring even more membership managers is one solution, but an expensive – and unsustainable – approach to growth. Adding more members to your team also puts an organization at risk. One bad renewal season could be all it takes to send you into the red!
Membership management software (MMS) solves this problem by giving your organization a much more flexible approach to scaling. Instead of adding more people to your team to handle inefficient management processes, MMS makes the processes more efficient, and in some cases entirely automates them!
When an application or renewal takes 3 seconds, instead of 10 minutes, the productive potential of a single membership manager is multiplied. This makes scaling without adding team members possible, and in the event that you do hire another member to your team, MMS guarantees you’ll get far more value!
2. Data gives insight into member behavior
Using multiple, different software platforms can help you solve specific problems, but they don’t help you form big-picture understanding of your members needs, wants, expectations, and behaviors.
Excel will help you keep track of their contact info. EventBrite will help you manage their event registrations. MailChimp will help you get in touch with them.
MMS will do all of those things, but it will also track their interaction across each engagement effort, and give you an at-a-glance understanding of how their engaging – and help you identify opportunities to drive their engagement even further.
By tracking email opens, event interactions, member portal logins, fundraising donations, etc – and consolidating that info into one picture of engagement – membership management software hands you the value of data. Instead of having to dig through multiple software systems, membership management software shows you everything you’d like to know and more, at a glance.
3. You can focus on creating value, not just maintaining it.
One of the problems with growing member-based organizations is that, once your work is mainly consumed by managing your existing membership, work is no longer about adding value so much as it is about maintaining it. Instead of being able to focus on getting more members, you’ve got to struggle to simply keep the ones you’ve got.
Take simple email management for example. Standard systems like Outlook or Gmail will give you the basic ability to see, respond, and organize them, but these tools are not designed for the unique work of membership management, so it’s more difficult to stay on top of things. Multiple software systems require you to open and navigate a labyrinth of siloed tools to complete even simple tasks. If responding to an email requires you to check open invoices, change member portal permissions, access contact info, etc – simply responding to an email eliminates time that could otherwise be devoted to growing your organization.
Membership management software, on the other hand, puts all this information a click away. Simply clicking your contacts name in an email will bring you to their contact record, where you can access all the information and management tools you need to quickly close open issues!
4. Integrated tools makes your organization more responsive to member needs.
Lets look at the task of building a directory.
Directories are at the core of many member-driven organizations, but with sub-optimal software, a living nightmare to manage.
Building them requires you an initial monetary investment in directory software, but also an on-going investment of time and energy from a membership manager to keep updated.
Building a directory in the first place, when membership managers rely on a complex toolkit of different software and services, requires one to manually find and copy contact information from a spreadsheet to directory software. Depending on the size and complexity of your directory and spreadsheets, this can take several hours at least, and several days at most.
Once it’s finished, a directory also requires maintenance in order to be useful to members. Out-of-date contact information doesn’t help your members connect, so you’ve got to update it! This means you’ve got to go back-and-forth between your spreadsheets, emails, and directory software to simply update a members directory listing.
When using membership management software, building a directory can not only be done in minutes, but the process of updating and managing your directories is completely automated.
Simply designate the information you’d like accessible in a directory, and membership management software will generate it automatically! As members update their contact information, you can expect this information to be automatically updated in their directory listing.
Growth with Membership Management Software.
Membership Management Software not only eliminates many of the hurdles that lead to growth plateaus for member-driven organizations, but also equips membership managers with tools they can use to get even more growth from their newly available time.
Keeping data accessible, automating routine administration tasks, streamlining once-complex work makes work straightforward. Instead of having to navigate a complex labyrinth of programs and processes, work is easy, and your time is available.
With membership management software, you can access tools that help you multiply the impact of every second saved. With more time to grow your membership, and tools that help you do so more efficiently, you can grow with confidence!