3 Easy Ways To Market Your Organisation and Attract New Members

Member Management Software

 

Is your organisation embracing new ways to increase its membership? Are you ready to consider the latest forms of communication to engage with members and attract new ones? For many voluntary member organisations, getting their message ‘out there’ has often relied on it’s members spreading the word. In today’s world though, email and social media offer exciting new ways to communicate and engage with a wider audience. If your member base is declining perhaps its time your organisation re-focused its marketing efforts?

Identifying Your Marketing Goals

If you were to ask any organisation what is their key marketing objective, they will probably say membership recruitment and retention. Naturally, growth in membership numbers is important, as any membership organisation would not survive without a healthy member base. Yet there is a theory that voluntary organisations would be better focusing less on member growth, and instead look to engage with a wider community.

Whilst having paid members is important to the sustainability of your organisation, there are advantages to be gained by communicating your association benefits without the stipulation of becoming a member. Engaging with a wider community can lead to an increased attendance at association meetings and conferences, thereby increasing revenue from these events. They may also buy into any products or services you provide. As your value to them increases, they eventually become paid members.

3 Steps To Marketing Your Organisation

1. Engage potential new members: Keep your message clear and concise by telling them just what’s in it for them by becoming a member.  Avoid the perception that it is difficult to know exactly what you are getting until you have paid the membership fees. Help them make an informed decision and set out what the individual benefits are, as well as the benefits to the wider organisation.

2. Make it easy for them to get involved: Open up your association meetings to non-members so they can experience what you have to offer without being obliged to become members.  This is a good way of making them feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.  Capture people in the moment – allow people to join quickly and easily online via your website.  Potential members are often put off if they have to download PDF’s, print them and put pen to paper so a simple ‘Join Now’ button encourages people to take instant action. To save you admin time, be sure to connect the online registration form to your member management software.  A service like PaySubsOnline.com allows you to build online forms that connects to your database – this helps automate the registration process and allows you to collect and reconcile payments automatically.

3. Leverage social media reach: Social media provides the perfect medium from which to leverage the power of your members networks. Creating an organisation blog will also offer the perfect platform from which to promote your activities, share content and engage with your audience.

Key Areas Of Focus

  • Capturing attention: here it is important to coordinate different communication channels and use the right message for each target group. Move away from traditional marketing pitches and instead create authentic, personalised messages which are clear and concise. Try: Social media, eBooks, newsletters and email campaigns.
  • Targeted communications: adopting a segmented and targeted approach to communications will help you tailor your message to each target audience, e.g. existing members, new members, wider community. Sometimes known as micro-targeting, using email applications like Infusionsoft or the group email feature in PaySubsOnline.com, will enable you to quickly and easily communicate your message to each target group.
  • Market research: Survey Monkey, to discovering trending stories on social media with Buzz Sumo, you need to ensure your market research efforts will help you make strategic decisions for the benefit of your members and community.
  • Adopting marketing technology and applications: these include applications such as membership database software, content management systems, email marketing applications and many others. Adopting such technology and systems can help educate associations in ways to reach, attract, engage and retain members.
  • Integrating social media: although a key component in any integrated marketing strategy, be careful to use those channels which best fit your member profiles and personal preferences, not because they are the latest social buzz. Manage your social media efforts with tools like Hootsuite to help you monitor the effectiveness of your social media campaigns.

Voluntary membership organisations today face a number of challenges when it comes to finding and reaching potential members. However, with these challenges, there comes a number of opportunities. Through the use of online technology, applications and social media channels, it has become far easier to monitor trends in your niche and respond to changes in member behaviour.

To find out more about how Social Media can help your organisation, download one of our free Social Media eBooks today.

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Struggling With your Membership Database Software? Stop doing what doesn’t work!

Membership database software

 

Does your membership database software make you work harder than you need to ?  Are you guilty of trying to be all things to all people? Or perhaps you realise you are not working as efficiently as you could be, but don’t know what to do about it?

The time wasting mistakes highlighted in this blog are more common than you think. You may already be guilty of some of them. So stop doing what doesn’t work and learn how to be more efficient, more productive and more effective with the help of some quick fixes which we will show you.

The Impact Of Time Wasting

Many small member organisations are managed by just 2-3 people.  Often these people have to wear ‘many hats’ and often it is the organisation administrator who has the most to take on. Whilst limited budgets and scarce resources are just one set of challenges faced by these organisations, it is usually the administrative systems or processes in place which can make a simple task very complicated. Let’s face it, when things don’t work as efficiently as they should, the end result is frustration, not to mention wasted time and potentially working at cross purposes with others.

If you could find easier and faster ways of working, you would surely take them, right? Your first step however, is to analyse the mistakes you are making, identify where improvements could be made and implement new procedures with helpful tools.

Time Wasting Mistakes:

How many of these mistakes sound familiar?

  • Failing to delegate tasks - could someone else be writing up minutes, setting out meeting agendas, and chasing people up on outstanding items?
  • Using inefficient systems/tools – have you been left with the legacy of previous admins? Do your tools consist of expansive spreadsheets and out-of-the-box software which no longer works for your needs? Is your member database at risk of duplicate entries?
  • Being overcommitted – remember those ‘hats’? Are you guilty of taking on tasks which do not relate directly to your admin role?
  • Failing to plan ahead – are you guilty of leaving things to the last minute? Do you find yourself compromised by having to get tasks done asap?
  • Failing to automate some tasks - could tools like membership database software help you automate tasks like sending out group communications or setting up automatic renewals?
  • Failing to periodically review tools/systems/procedures/roles – is everything still working as effectively as it should? Have individual roles within the organisation become blurred meaning you are working less efficiently. How about those legacy systems? Are they still relevant to your organisation and it’s members?
  • Over complicating the role – are you guilty of making simple admin tasks, such as ‘creating reports’ or ‘membership renewals’, too complicated through the systems/processes you have in place? Could tools like Paysubsonline help you streamline some of these tasks?
  • Transition terror – are you or your committee afraid to embrace change? Do you or they prefer to do things a certain way simply because thats the way it has always been done? For example, mailing out paper minutes and member communications rather than using email; or using time consuming paper based filing systems instead of embracing online cloud storage systems.

 

5 Ways To Help Reduce Time Wasting Mistakes:

  1. Automate systems and processes – reduce time and effort by embracing technology and the wealth of applications available for improving administration. For instance, PaySubsOnline.com membership database software will take your organisation administration to the next level. By automating tasks such as membership renewals, you will free up time to concentrate on other areas of your role.
  2. Use job aids and online resources – keep track of important notes, key contacts, new procedures and important dates with online applications like Evernote. Applications like this can help store important information and make it easily accessible from any locale.
  3. Share the workload – maybe you are planning a major fundraiser or focusing hard on marketing and PR for your organisation? Get everyone involved and share the workload around. Use tools like Asana to help you assign tasks, create schedules and communicate with other team members.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – if you can’t get something done on time or have just too much on your plate, then don’t be afraid to ask for someone else to take some of the work off you. Don’t be afraid to turn tasks down either. Your colleagues are more likely to respect you for managing your workload effectively rather than question your capabilities.
  5. Review and refine – improvements can always be made so it pays to regularly review your working practices, your procedures, and the tools and applications you use.

 

Don’t wait until your role as administrator becomes a burden and mistakes begin to have a major impact. This should be a role you enjoy working, for an organisation you are committed to. By embracing new technology, software and applications you can automate member management tasks and streamline your workload, making your day-to-day role far easier. Furthermore, you will improve efficiency throughout the organisation and make things better for your members.
To find which admin tasks you can be doing quicker and easier online with the right membership database software, download our free guide . . .

Membership Database Software

PaySubsOnline.com Membership Management Software – Product Update August 2014

Membership software - Updated

It’s been a while since our last product update so with the launch of the new blog, now seems a great time to publish the improvements we’ve been making to our membership management software.  In order of release, here’s what’s been going on:

New Interface – February 2014

After many months of development based on client feedback, we released a shiny new interface for PaySubsOnline.com to improve usability.  The result is a very modern, slick user experience that groups functionality in a logical and intuitive way so administrators can quickly and easily access information and carry out admin tasks. Here’s a flavour:Membership software - payment reports

 

Membership Categories – April 2014

Our new Membership Category functionality replaces the ‘old’ Subscription Groups and allows administrators to input settings that are specific to Membership Category’s (as opposed to setting up a Subscription Group which was much more generic to cater for different scenarios).

Need Help With Membership Management? Check Out These 9 Tools

Membership management  tools

Your membership organisation is on the up! The number of new members joining is growing month-on-month and interest in your activities has never been higher. However, you are struggling to stay on top of all the admin. You find you are juggling new registrations and renewals, whilst trying to get the best out of systems and processes which are outdated and lacking any kind of integration. The end result is missing payments, duplicate database entries and mounting frustration.

Sound familiar? The aim of this post is to help you identify where things are going wrong and select a new set of tools to help you improve your membership management.

The Administrative Challenges Of Membership Management

Your members are the lifeblood of your member organisation, so you need to be able to manage membership applications, renewals and most importantly, payment collection, effectively. Whilst spreadsheets and ‘out-of-the-box’ software offer basic, inexpensive ways of managing member information, they do not give you all the tools you need to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Keeping member data ‘clean’ and organised with these basic solutions becomes a tiresome and repetitive task; open to mistakes and time wasting.

The Case For An Integrated Approach

These days there is no need to be still trying to manage with numerous spreadsheets. Instead there are innovative solutions which will help you streamline your membership management processes. For example, PaySubsOnline.com offers integrated membership database software that allows you to manage your members information and process payments under one roof.

This type of solution offers a number of features which work together to offer integrated management of your member database, renewals and online fee payments. Many of these systems operate “in the cloud” which means they run through your web browser and do not require you to install anything on your local computer.

Furthermore, with an online system you will have the advantage of being able to access it anywhere, anytime and on any device. This is not only of benefit to your administration team, but also to your members who can easily renew their membership, update their info or make a donation.

9 Tools To Aid Membership Management:

  • Database management:  PaySubsOnline.com offers an integrated solution to the problem of membership management.  It offers secure data and payment handling, as well as offering features such as event management, fundraising, group emails  and automating those all important renewals.
  • Financial applications:  Good financial accounting is important for any organisation.  You will need to keep track of monies coming in and payments going out, ensuring your accounts are accurate and transparent. Try tools such as Xero, Freshbooks or Harvest to keep your books straight.
  • Document creation applications: Try cloud-based solutions such as Google Docs for creating and filing copies of documents such as letters, meeting minutes and reports. Being cloud-based means documents can be shared with anyone and accessed from numerous devices.
  • Cloud storage applications: Store your documents online with applications such as   Google Drive or Dropbox. As above, these cloud-based applications mean they are easily shared with your team/members and are easily accessible.
  • Productivity tools: Stay on top of your admin with time management and productivity tools such as Trello or Nozbe. Create schedules, worksheets and to-do lists for your day-to-day activities; and project manage your fundraising events with efficiency.
  • Social media: Reach out to a wider audience with a Facebook or Gplus page. Social media will be an important part of your marketing efforts and is a great way to spread the word about upcoming events, news and engage with new members.
  • Communication tools: Keep in touch with your team and members with free messaging applications like Skype or Google Hangouts. These handy tools offer an easy way to take messages from members, and even include them in your organisation’s meetings via video link.
  • Event management tools: Manage your fundraising events smoothly with tools such as PaySubsOnline.com and Asana. Both will allow you to easily communicate with your team and members, as well as securely collect payments, registrations and project manage the whole event.
  • Email marketing tools: PaySubsOnline.com comes with an integrated group email tool that allows you to send emails directly from your membership list using the latest contact information on file.  Great for letting your members know the latest news and keeping them informed about up-coming events.

The world of membership administration has definitely moved on from the days of excel and MS Access databases. Moving your membership management systems online will not only offer you an array of integrated features and tools, but systems which will improve efficiency across so many areas of your organisation’s administration.

When thinking about switching your membership administration online, it’s hard to second guess all the features you’ll need so we’ve put together ‘Managing Members Online – 2014 Buyers Guide’.  Download your free copy today and get insight to all the tools you’ll need, before you need them.

Membership database software - Buyers Guide

Can Member Management Software Help Increase Your Productivity?

Membership management software - productivity

You’re a busy person with a lot on your plate. Your day is packed with targets, goals, deadlines – places to be and people to meet. You might manage a team of people, delegating and organising your members is probably second nature but when it comes to yourself, you always seem to be grasping for more time. There’s simply not enough hours in the day.

But what if it’s not about how much time you have, rather what you do with that time? What if you could increase your productivity and free up some time instead?

Today we’re going to be exploring that very thing. Regardless of your job description there are methods you can utilise in order to be more productive, more on top of things and really feel like you’re getting the most out of your day.

Work Less – Break More

How long do you plug away at managing your members without taking a break?

We all do it. We say to ourselves that we’ll work just a few more minutes. Just a couple more emails and we’ll be done but sadly we very rarely stick to those silent mantras. As human beings we tend to think that we’re failing at our own productivity – wasting time if we have a full inbox or a report left to write. The reality however is quite the opposite.

The more time we spend on a task without giving our brain some time out, the less productive we become. Our attention wavers, we procrastinate and do everything but what we’d intended. Further to this a recent article that explores why your brain needs more downtime suggests that there comes a point in the working day, where so much information and data has been thrown at us, that we just stop taking it all in.

Considering we live in a world where data is everything and information overload is almost a daily habit, there’s little wonder that we hit a brick wall. This however can be combated by taking regular, short breaks, giving our brain time to digest information and gain clarity before moving on to a different task.

Rest Your Brain and Be More Productive

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can nurture your productivity, instead of hacking away and getting nowhere:

  • The Pomodoro Technique is a widely used method for structuring your management task list, in order to incorporate regular breaks. It works on the premise of solid, focused work for 25 minutes and then 5 minutes to rest, process the information sent to your brain and recuperate.
  • Delegate, delegate, delegate. Meetings, appointments, travel, admin – you’ve probably got highly skilled individuals within your organisation whose job it is to manage these tasks. While your role is to manage your members, delegate other tasks appropriately and your productivity will soar.
  • Stop checking your emails. No, really, stop checking them! No-matter how many times you refresh your inbox, it’s still going to be there. Allocate set times throughout the day for popping into your inbox. Deal with the most pressing emails and then get yourself out of there. Email checking has to be one of the biggest forms of procrastination ever.
  • Learn to say “No”. You can’t do everything, you’re only human. If you find yourself saying saying yes to everything and taking on more than you can handle, then it’s time to start practising the gentle art of saying no.
  • Outsource wherever you can. There are a multitude of places online where you can outsource tasks that require a certain expertise and skills to professional freelancers. Sites like Time Etc allocate virtual assistants based on your needs for an hourly fee, whereas freelancing websites similar to People Per Hour, allow you to search through a pool of freelancers who have specific expertise. This enables you to free up time for more pressing tasks.
  • Manage more of your work online. Websites like Paysubsonline.com provides you with comprehensive member management software, which can save you huge amounts of time when it comes to managing and organising your membership database. This saves the need for copious amounts of paperwork and streamlines the admin process for a more efficient service.

Now that you know how to increase your productivity, it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice. The information your brain can absorb in one go is finite. Take regular breaks to refresh and refocus. Outsource where you can, delegate your workload for a more efficient, effective work-day and make use of subscription management software to streamline your duties.

We’ve written a guide titled Which Membership Admin Tasks Can Be Done Easier and Quicker Online? to help you increase your productivity within your organisation. Download our guide here:

Membership management software - easier and quicker online

What are your secrets to productivity? What tricks have you found work for you? Please share your experiences in the comments below?

How Delegation Can Help Improve Your Club Fundraising Efforts

Delegating - easy fundraising ideas

 

Mastering the fine art of delegation is a delicate situation to have to be in. What if you’re not ready to give orders? How can you make your committee members listen to you and will they respect your decisions once they’ve been made?

To help you overcome this hurdle, we’ve put together 8 ways you can delegate tasks to your committee members, so that you can carry on with your daily club management without feeling like the bad guy.

1. Determine What You Can And Can’t Do Yourself.

Before you even think about handing out jobs to your committee, you need to get a firm grasp on what needs doing. Without a club management plan of what you can and can’t do, along with a list of tasks, you’ll be flailing around in no-man’s land.

Set yourself a checklist of the most pressing matters. Then add your name to those that you have the time and expertise for and leave the rest for delegation.

2. Choose The Best Person To Delegate To.

It’s all well and good handing out jobs will nilly but how can you be certain that person is right for the job? You need to think over your options. What are the strengths that each committee member has? Where do they most excel? It should then be much clearer who fits which task the best and you can then delegate accordingly.

You may find this Strengthfinders tool helpful. We sure have.

3. Be Clear In Your Instructions.

Try not to just hand over a sheet of paper with some notes and then leave someone to get on with the job. Without clear instructions, you’re leaving yourself open to errors. If someone were to complete their task beneath your expectations, you’d only have yourself to blame.

Club management is all about giving each person clear, concise instructions. Ensure they understand what’s needed of them and double check they understand the task at hand. Only then can you free yourself from any potential backlash.

4. Give Credit Where Credit’s Due.

People love to know when they’ve done a great job, so use this to your advantage. Give praise and assign credit when a committee member has exceeded expectations and gone above the call of duty. Not only will it further strengthen your team morale, people will realise that you only have their best interests at heart and that of your club.

5. Have Faith And Trust In Your Committee.

While we’ve discussed giving your committee members clear instructions, it’s also important to give them room to get their work done. No-one likes to be micro-managed and your members will feel the same. Instead of hovering over their shoulders, have faith in their abilities. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results.

6. Delegate Responsibility With The Task.

You need to trust your committee members but it doesn’t mean they’re not responsible for their own tasks. You’ll need to remind them of this during your delegation meeting as some people have the habit of ‘passing the buck’.

Putting the responsibility of task completion squarely in their hands, provides momentum and an incentive to get the work done.

7. Watch Out For Reverse Delegation.

This is a trickier situation that involves a careful eye. Some committee members may not like the jobs you’ve assigned to them. We all find some things more cumbersome than others after-all. The problem arises however, when sometimes inadvertently, they begin to re-assign the task back to you.

For example; a committee member may come up with excuses for why they can’t be involved in helping implement club fundraising ideas. They might highlight why you’re much better suited. They may just point-blank refuse. This is called reverse delegation and it will test your resolve in leading the process.

If you follow the advice in point 2, about delegating tasks in relation to people’s strengths then it shouldn’t be a problem. However it’s worth looking out for.

8. Set Definitive Deadlines.

Finally, no task is set on the road to completion without a clear, definitive deadline. Without a deadline, you leave room for your committee to procrastinate and put their work off to the last minute.

Keep your deadlines manageable. Leave enough time to do the work, but not so much that it’s easy to put aside. This will create a sense of urgency and will help get the work delivered on time.

Delegation can be a thankless task but ultimately, it’s up to you to be strong, firm and resolved if you want to get results. Lead your committee with passion, delegate equally, fairly and to each member’s strengths and set clear guidance on what’s involved, who’s responsible and when each task is due by.

If you want to learn more about the art of delegation and how to recruit MORE helpers, our free eBook ‘The Club Secretary’s Guide to Recruiting More Helpers’ is a must read. Download it here:

CTA - Club Secretarys Guide to Recruiting More Helpers

 At PaySubsOnline.com we can make your life as a committee member much easier, by providing an efficient club software system that committee members can share access to. You can find out more about the services we offer here.

What are your secrets to delegation? Why don’t you share with the rest of us, exactly how you’ve worked it. We’d love to hear in the comments below?

 

Struggling To Organise Member Information? How Membership Database Software Can Help

Man using membership database software

The warning signs are there. Slowly you’re descending into organisational chaos. Paperwork fluttering around you with names, addresses and payments merging into one disorganised heap.There’s no-one left to save you. No-one will help you now.

Okay so in reality your voluntary membership organisation is probably much more organised than that. We may have gone a bit over the top there. That doesn’t mean you can’t improve the way you store and look after your members information.

Today we’re sharing with you 5 signs that shows you’re not organising as well as you could be. What’s more, we’ll also show how you can nip those bad habits in the bud and be much more effective in the future.

1. Vital Information Frequently Gets Lost

We all lose things, it’s human nature to forget where the keys are or where we left our wallet. For your role as a membership administrator however, it means you’re not on the ball.

Membership information forms the core of any organisation and if you’re mislaying registration forms, cheques, standing order or Direct Debit forms, it could put your members at risk and cost your organisation money.

You can combat this by storing all of your member information online and hosting it in the cloud. Everything can then be accessed, updated and maintained from multiple mobile devices.

2. Registration Forms Are Incomplete

This is probably the thorn in the side of every membership organisation. You take the time and effort to create detailed registration forms, only to get them returned without all of the fields completed. If this is happening, it’s a sign that you need to try a different approach.

Consider using PaySubsOnline.com Here, registration forms can be completed online, meaning no-more paperwork! You can also specify which fields must be completed before the membership database software allows the form to be submitted.

3. You Constantly Have To Chase Up Payments

No-one likes to bug people for money, but if your members aren’t paying their membership fees on time, it’s something you’ll have to grin and bare. Sadly this can lead to bad feelings and people falling out. Who wants to deal with that?

Use a system whereby payment is automatically collected. This completely removes the need for you do any chasing and you’ll have the security of knowing that each membership period will be a smooth, efficient process.

4. Your Filing System Is In Disarray

We can guarantee that at least somewhere, you’ve got a file full of spreadsheets. Spreadsheets for personal details, spreadsheets for payment and spreadsheets for member groups. The problem with spreadsheets is that they can very quickly get really complicated and eventually you’ll either have to email one or print one out.

Love them or loathe them, they can be messy. There is however a solution. At PaySubsOnline, your filing system is in the cloud. Wave goodbye to your spreadsheets and give your club the ability to update, manage and search through your information whenever they want to. The system is easy to use, can be accessed from any mobile device and allows you to set up permissions so only certain people can access certain files.

5. Not All members Know About Important Events

You might print some flyers or advertise an event on your website but how many people will see them? If the turnout at your events is lacking, it’s time you looked at how you promote them.

Sites like Eventbrite can help you advertise and spread the word about key dates on your calendar. However PaySubsOnline.com can go one step further, by letting you set-up an event within your membership system so you can easily notify every member on your books and they can register online. Job done!

Now that you know which warning signs to look out for, it’s time to see which of your admin tasks you can do quicker and easier online.  Our free Whitepaper lists all the common admin tasks and details how they can be done off and online.  Download it now:

What do you think? What ways have you attracted new members. What’s worked or hasn’t worked for you? We’d love to hear in the comments below?

 

Welcome To The New PaySubsOnline.com Blog

Welcome

Welcome to the all new PaySubsOnline.com blog.  Although we have had a blog running for a couple of years now, the organisation has grown and developed so much that it was a time for a change. It also combined with a change in our blogging focus. To meet your needs.

We’ve wanted to give you additional support and insight in the content we created for you. We want our blog to be a resource that you’ll keep coming back to, to help you run and manage your club or membership organisation even more effectively. We’re fully committed to provide all of our followers and our growing customer base with great, informative posts.

Every few days we will bring a flow of really helpful content to you, posting on topics such as fundraising ideas, ways to reduce membership admin and keeping you up-to-date with all the latest tools and resources you could be using to make managing members and fundraising easier.  We will also be bringing you free downloadable eBooks and guides on these topics too.

We hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as we enjoy writing for you. Most importantly, we want to know what issues are important to you and what you’d like help for within your organisation.

Whether you are already a PaySubsOnline.com customer or have simply stopped by to read our posts, we would love to hear from you. Let’s get started with the most important question of them all. What’s the challenges that you’re facing and what content would you find really helpful?