Club Management – How To Manage Price Increases

club management

Price increases, sadly, are an inevitable part of running a club. Inflation, running costs, low member numbers, large or unexpected outlays, are all factors when it comes setting club fees, and will continue to impact the figure set.

It goes without saying that the fees you charge need to cover your club outgoings and expenses, all of which can rise without warning at any time. And an important part of your club management is the ability to cope with price hikes.

The aim of this post is to help you manage price increases and how to communicate an increase to your members.

New Membership Software For The New Year?

Membership Software

Hopefully by now your festive hangovers have cleared and you are ready to implement all those new year resolutions you made. The start of a new year is often a good time to reflect on where things can be improved. Not just personally, but professionally as well. The same is true of your club or member organisation.

For many organisations, the new year begins with a raft of resolutions such as increasing member numbers, retaining existing ones and raising funds. Two key areas most will want to improve are administration and payment collections. Both of which can often be achieved through the adoption of membership software.

In this post we will look at why implementing such software should be top of your list and how it can help you better manage your membership.

Confused About Membership Software?

You may already be familiar with it, perhaps you researched providers before. Or you may be completely green. But it can be easy to become confused, especially as this software comes in different guises. Sometimes called subscription management software, membership management software or database software, you will notice different providers offer different features and functions. What they do have in common is they will enable you to manage your member information and manage dues.

You or others in your organisation may be asking why the need for change? Will switching to this software really benefit us? Will it help us grow and improve our efficiency in key areas such as new member applications, renewals and payment collections? Often the answer to these questions is yes but if you want to understand more about why your organisation should switch to membership software read this blog post from October.

Key Benefits

Of course the main influencing factor will be the benefits to your organisation. After all, you are unlikely to convince the committee to switch your administrative systems  if they cannot perceive any real value in doing so.

Many providers will offer:

  • Database features for managing member information
  • Payment options for collecting member fees
  • Email features for sending out member communications
  • Reports and accounting tools

Other features you will come across include:

  • Fundraising and donation tools
  • Automated renewal notices
  • Event management tools
  • Marketing and social media tools
  • Application form widgets you can add to your website
  • Multiple administrators allowing other organisation officials to login whenever they want

The benefits to your organisation will depend on those areas you identify as needing improvement and it is recommended you carry out a full audit of your existing process to determine what these are. This is especially important as not all providers or software are created equal, with pricing and inclusive features varying widely.

For most organisations the key benefits come down to:

  • Time saving features like automatic payment reconciliation and passing the responsibility back to the member for keeping their information up-to-date.
  • Improved payment collection rates because members have the option to pay online and your organisation has better audit ability through tools designed to keep track of who owes what.
  • Improved retention rates as renewal notices are automatically sent out.
  • Improved member communications with integrated email tools and the ability to segment members into groups for the purposes of sending personalised group specific notices.

Making The Right Choice

No one wants to sign up to a system which quickly proves ineffective, unreliable and fails to meet your needs. Not only does this cost you time and money but it can upset your members too, especially if they are unable to login to their accounts on a regular basis.

Having identified the key areas for improvement, you will need to evaluate different software providers. It is always a good idea to test the software before you sign up so look for free demo’s and/or free trials so you can test several providers before committing yourselves. Another key area to look at is what is included for the price. Some providers may offer a flat rate for all features, while others will offer packages based on features and/or the size of your organisation. Be careful of signing up for packages with features you will never use or a small membership package which you will outgrow very quickly – consider predicted member growth in other words.

For more tips and advice on evaluating software and making the right choice, take a look at the following posts:

Taking your organisation administration and member management online can be the best thing you could do this year to help improve growth and drive your organisation forward. But it is not without its pitfalls and you will need to do your homework carefully. Why not begin with us and take a free demo to see all PaySubsOnline.com could offer you?

 

Membership Management Tips: Attracting Younger Members

membership management

How much focus are you giving to younger members? Has your organisation included recruiting and engaging with younger people in their membership management plans? While it is easy to say ‘but we are open to all’, when it comes to recruiting new members and engaging existing ones, there is definitely not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Especially when it comes to those younger than 30.

In this post we will explore the reasons why you need to adopt a different approach when it comes to marketing to younger members. And why Generation Y are integral to the future success of your organisation.

PaySubsOnline.com Membership Software – Product Update November / December 2014

Membership software - product update

After the madness of the early autumn months, the relative calm of November and December allowed us to focus on some new enhancements to the our  membership software.  Here’s what we’ve been up to . . .

Cancelling Pre-authorisation 

As we know, members can pre-authorise the system to collect money from them when payment becomes due.  This is typical for rolling renewals and members opting to pay by instalments.  In the case of instalments, it’s useful for the administrator to have the ability to cancel the pre-authorisation agreements that were in place for the previous membership year so you can ‘start a fresh’ when you come round to requesting membership fees for the new membership year. We’ve now added that option in several places:

In the payment reports where you can filter on members that have pre-authorised, select them and cancel their pre-authorisation using the option on the tool bar:

Membership software - cancelling PA from payment reports

 

From within the members record (at the bottom above payment history):

Membership software - cancelling PA from members record

 

And from within the Members section where you can cancel pre-authorisation for an entire group/category or the entire master membership list without having to pre-select the members first:

Membership software - cancelling PA from members section

 

Cancelling pre-authorisation agreements works for both PayPal and Gocardless.

Online Club Management: Are You Making The Most Of Your Club Website?

Online Club Management

How’s your club website looking these days? Are you still running the free site you threw-up several years ago? Have you even looked at it lately? While it seems you have-to-have a website for your club these days, are you really making the most of it?

In today’s post we will look at the value of having a club website and how it can help your club management, as well as aid member recruitment, communications and retention.

Are You Considering Adopting Membership Management Software in 2015?

membership management software

At time of writing 2015 is fast approaching, and no doubt your organisation’s thoughts are turning to what the New Year might bring. I’ll take a guess that improving membership management is high on your wish list, along with increasing numbers and improving engagement throughout the organisation.

Adopting membership management software is one way you can help meet all three of these goals, so it makes sense to put this at the top of your New Year To-Do list. However, convincing everyone it is a good move, might take some work.

5 Membership Management New Year Resolutions You Need To Keep

membership management

New Year resolutions – not the first thing you would consider planning for your membership organisation. Usually we associate them with personal goals and targets for the coming year. But resolutions can be a great way to drive forward plans and goals for your organisation. Come January 1st you should be looking at how your membership management can be improved, how you can work more efficiently and how you can grow your organisation.

Here at PaySubsOnline.com we are already thinking about how we can improve our service to our members come the New Year. So we thought we would help you get started with 5 resolutions you need to keep in 2015. Let us know in the comments section below what your organisation’s resolutions will be.

Manage Your Membership – Don’t Give Up On Long Lost Members

manage your membership

For every membership organisation there will be members who come and go. Their reasons for leaving you can be wide ranging, just as their reasons for joining probably were. But while you may think it is more important to focus your efforts on attracting new members, there is an argument for trying to tempt back those who have come and gone.

A vital part of knowing how to manage your membership is knowing what motivates your members. In this post we will look at why you should try and get back long lost members, the reasons why they left and how to entice them back.

Why You Should Reach Out To Past Members

Imagine having a ready pool of potential members to tap into. Better still, a pool of people you know are interested in what you have to offer. This is what all those long lost members represent. Whether they were long time members or only joined for a few months, tempting them back can be far easier than you think – and doesn’t need resource heavy recruitment drives or special events.

Fact is, people may have left because of something you could easily have rectified for them. For many of us, it is far easier to simply cancel our membership than convey any concerns or difficulties which are impacting our enjoyment of the organisation. A simple email from you addressing the reason for leaving can be all it takes to entice them back.

The reasons why they left we will explore below, but part of managing your member information should involve asking why they are leaving. So make sure you set up your membership management software to ask why they are cancelling.

Exploring The Reasons Why They Left

In order to know what is required to entice a past member back, it is important to know why they left in the first place. Traditionally, this information could have been hard to collect, but with today’s online membership software, it is quite easy to discreetly ask why someone wants to leave.

So let’s have a look at some of the common reasons why members may choose to leave your organisation:

  1. Cost – membership fees can easily account for a large portion of disposable income so if circumstances change, they are often the first to go when tightening the purse strings.
  2. Perceived Value – if the reason for leaving is because they do not feel they are getting value for their membership fees, then you need to explore this further.
  3. Inactive Member – little point in paying for membership of an organisation they are not active with.
  4. No Longer Suits Their Needs – your organisation may have addressed a particular need when they joined. Over time this need has lessened and now they no longer get any value from being a member.
  5. Have Joined Another Organisation – it happens, sometimes another organisation is more attractive. If this is the reason then you should follow it up to find out what makes your competition a better prospect.
  6. Not Satisfied – there can be many reasons behind someone being dissatisfied with your organisation so it is important to follow this up with a phone call to discuss things.

I would also encourage adding in a ‘other’ choice as reasons for leaving can be very diverse and may not come under common reasons. I would also suggest including a box where they can leave more information, particularly if no.6 was their reason for leaving.

Bringing Them Back ‘Into The Fold’

Bringing past members back to your organisation can be as simple as sending an email, perhaps with a special offer, or as hard as making a phone call. The initial task for you is to sort past members according to their reasons for leaving. This is important because enticing them back cannot be done with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Your next contact with them needs to specifically address their reasons for leaving and offer some kind of solution e.g. 6 months reduced membership because cost was their reason.

For some, an email may be all that is required, for others you will need to go the extra mile with a phone call and discussion about why they left – particularly for reasons 2 and 6 above. Above all you need to be seen to be treating each past member individually and show that you understand their reasons for leaving.

Your biggest question now is probably  - When should we begin contacting them? How long after they have left? Again you need to sort each person according to their reason for leaving. For those under reasons 2, 3, 4 or 6 above, then you should act on it as soon as possible. There is still a strong chance of reversing their decision to leave, so long as you can show you understand their reasons. This demonstrates a good level of customer service on your part, showing that you care about your members and that you take their satisfaction seriously.

It is a good idea to set-up a responder email to be sent as soon as someone cancels their membership. In it express your sadness at their decision to leave and ask if there is anything you could do to help them reconsider.

Just because a member leaves does not mean they cannot be encouraged to come back. By demonstrating an understanding of their reasons for leaving and offering solutions where possible you can help increase, and maintain your membership pool.

To get a clearer understanding of how PaySubsOnline.com can help you win back long lost members why not take a free trial or online demo?

 

9 Tools and Resources For Quick and Easy Fundraisers

quick and easy fundraisers

Ahh, the club fundraiser. Months of brainstorming ideas, planning, coordinating, organising and promoting all with the aim of meeting your funding goals and raising awareness of your club. Is the end result all you hoped it would be? Has all the blood, sweat and tears been worth it? Truth is, often it isn’t the fundraiser itself that causes the most stress, but the way in which you plan, coordinate and organise it.

The aim of this post is to showcase a handful of tools and resources which can make your quick and easy fundraisers just that – quick and easy.

12 Ways To Grow Your Membership Database

membership database

Recruiting new members is often one of the hardest parts of running a membership organisation. Coming up with new initiatives and motivating your current members to help out are just some of the challenges you face. In this post we will look at 12 ways you can grow your membership database as well as engage your current members to become proactive in recruiting new members.

Coming soon – Look out for our Whitepaper which will expand on these ideas, as well as more ways to recruit new members.