For associations and other member-based organizations that depend on member dues as their lifeblood – and manage them with multiple software platforms- renewal season is a mess of spreadsheets, phone calls, email campaign managers, and payment processors.

This approach is inefficient, and costs associations more than they often recognize.

  • Time spent managing spreadsheets is time lost driving member engagement.
  • Paying for a separate email campaign manager, CRM, and online credit card processor is inefficient spending.
  • Not sharing data between your spreadsheets, email campaigns, CRM, and Financial Tools costs you the opportunity for improved renewals.

It doesn’t make sense to manage your association in 2018 like it was in 2008, let alone 1998 – but every renewal season, thousands of membership managers worldwide continue to operate the way they have for decades.

This article is meant to show you the alternatives available, and demonstrate the impact they can have on your organization.

How You Could Be Working

It doesn’t make sense to manage your association in 2018 like it was in 2008, let alone 1998. Yet every renewal season, thousands of membership managers worldwide waste time, energy, and opportunity for increased engagement by doing so.

Time Spent: Today’s Tactics vs. Yesterday’s

How much time does it take you to process the average member renewal?

Include all the time spent:

  • Navigating spreadsheets to identify members requiring renewal.

  • Finding and copying their contact data to a list.
  • Taking this list and importing it into an email campaign manager.
  • Building, sending and managing your renewal campaign.
  • Processing renewals via credit, cash, and check, and managing associated invoices with financial software.
  • Making another list from those still yet to renew.
  • Chasing down those members for their dues payment.

From the start of the process to the end, you’ve invested several full workdays into simply managing member data. With the exception of the content in your email campaign, and perhaps the odd phone call to solicit renewal, you have devoted your time exclusively to managing member data.

Consider how this process might have worked if you were using better tools:

  • Click a button to automatically generate a list of members likely to churn this year (Based off of engagement data collected from email campaigns, events, portal behavior, your website, and more).
  • Click again to share this list with an integrated email campaign manager.
  • Select your renewal campaign, and allow your to members complete their payment through a link in your renewal email.
  • Watch as invoices automatically update and complete as payments roll in.
  • After a period, click again to make another list of still-yet-to-renew members. Consider drafting a new campaign, or export all their phone numbers and make a few calls!

Both the above examples are simplifications of what renewal processing looks like – so your mileage may vary – but no matter how you do it, having access to better tools and technology drastically cuts down the time it takes to complete renewals and other administrative processes.

Stop Spending Money on the Wrong Tools

The day-to-day administration of an association naturally requires subscription to digital tools and technology.

  • Office to manage spreadsheets.
  • MailChimp to administer email campaigns.
  • EventBrite for event management.
  • And more..

Paying for all of these separately is the norm for most associations, but there are far better and more cost-effective solutions available. Membership management has developed in the past decade. If your membership management processes haven’t, it’s worth investigating the opportunity available to your association, if only for the cost savings.

Association Management Software (AMS) offers all the functionality of the above platforms, and more, on a consolidated platform. Combining CRM, Email Campaigns, Event Management, Financial tools, and more – one monthly fee paid by your association can replace multiple.

More than just saving you money, consolidating your management tools on a single platform means they share data without struggle, which not only makes work more efficient, but can help connect your association and it’s members with insights extracted through data analytics.

Better, Smarter Work

Above, we saw that using the right tools is the difference between managing members, and managing their data.

With time saved through the automation of regular tasks, your work becomes less focused on spreadsheets, and more focused on member needs and how your association can address them. By investing in a single platform optimized for your needs, you’ve reduced the expense of money as well as time, and in the processes empowered your ability to connect with members through data and analytics.

Your membership management tools ought to empower you to connect with your members. If yours don’t, you ought to investigating the opportunity to spend less and work better by updating to a modern AMS platform.