Once upon a time, there was a club administrator who battled with spreadsheets and an inefficient database. They struggled daily to update member information, balance payments and reconcile renewals. Then there was the mountain of member communications to send. For this club administrator, everyday was a marathon to stay on top of the paperwork.
Ok, so you get the picture! But it is easy to lose the battle against spreadsheets when you try to tackle membership management manually. Luckily, advances in membership software online now give you a significant advantage in winning the paperwork war. And, unlike spreadsheets, online access allows members to update their information themselves which will save you a heap of time.
Is it time you switched to software designed to handle the day-to day management of your club members? Read on to discover why one simple software change could revolutionise your club administration.
Why You Need Membership Management Software
The benefits of switching to membership software are many. Not least, it combines tools for managing member information and collecting payments into one package. For many clubs, spreadsheets and elementary databases provide a basic management system. Yet tracking member info and club payments with these methods leaves far too much room for human error. One lost payment or incorrect registration information, can lead to a loss of revenue, and potentially member confidence.
So let’s look at how traditional systems shape up against membership software:
|Collecting Registration Information||Needs to be entered manually from a form filled out by the registrant||A 2-step process with potential to lose forms or difficulty deciphering members writing leading to incorrect input||Registrants can enter their own information online when they join||Saves hours spent manually entering data, checking it’s correct and filing the paperwork|
|Collecting Membership Fees||Needs to be collected manually; reconciled in a ledger or accounting software and banked in person.||Cheques are usually the only payment option aside from cash. These take time to clear, can incur a processing fee and moreover, cheques are rarely used these days.||Fees can be collected online through secure payment gateways via the members bank / credit card or by Direct Debit.||Card payments are cleared immediately and Direct Debit payments are initiated instantly. No more hours spent trudging to the bank and waiting inline to pay money in.|
|Financial Reports||Need to be manually collated and presented from spreadsheet or ledger data||Takes time to filter data and setup reports. If a number of software options are used to record data it can be difficult to reconcile information between them, meaning reports need to be created manually.||Reports can be automatically created according to a range of selected data criteria.||Reports are instantly available and you can view information for the club, for each membership category, fundraising appeal, team, squad or group in just a couple of clicks.|
|Renewals||Need to print/email renewal forms from a list manually gathered and checked from the spreadsheet or database system.||Members will need to come in person to renew or return a form, whereby you will need to manually enter renewal information and send confirmation to the member.||Software can be setup to automatically notify members of upcoming renewal and make it easy for them to renew membership online.||Members take responsibility for renewing membership. No more manual input or sending out of renewal letters. System can also chase up those late in renewing.|
|Communication||Collating member contact information needs to be done manually and sorted according to members recorded form of contact.||Takes a long time to collate and prepare mass communications. Email software which will enable mass mailing and postage costs for printed letters all add additional fees.||Integrated communication tools allow you to send mass emails, save templates, and easily organise members into groups so communications can be targeted.||Less than 1 minute to select members you wish to target and load email template.|
|Member Information||New member information needs to be entered manually on receipt of paper registration form.||Manual entries, potential to lose paperwork, difficulties deciphering members handwriting and time spent filing paperwork once added to system.||Members can log into their own accounts online and update their information themselves.||Members enter own information so saving you hours spent on manual entry and filing paperwork.|
|Security||Potential for data to be lost or accessed by third parties.||Need to regularly backup system, update virus and malware protection (additional cost) and ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act.||Data is securely stored in the cloud and regularly backed up via automated systems.||Latest virus and malware protection is provided and constantly updated to ensure all member information is kept secure and private.|
|Accessibility||Difficult to share access to spreadsheets and databases with other club members. Also difficult to access systems remotely and on other devices.||Need to create internal computer network or invest in remote access software so others can access member information and club systems. Different admin permissions could be difficult to set up. Potential security risk and can be costly. Can only be accessed on desktop systems.||Being cloud based, online membership software allows for any number of administrators to be setup on the club account and different access permissions provided.||The software can be accessed remotely 24/7 and on numerous different devices such as tablets and smartphones.|
|Event Management & Fundraising||Typically managed on separate spreadsheets and paper docs amongst several members of the committee.||Information needs to be entered manually. Donations will need to collected and reconciled manually and paid into the club’s bank account in person.||Integrated tools for event management and fundraising make it easy for all involved to keep track of efforts, totals raised and manage tasks.||Members can sign up for club lotteries and pay online instantly. Donations can be received through the systems secure payment providers instantly.|
Still Need Some Convincing?
Most software providers, including PaySubsOnline.com, offer flexible options so you can create a customised platform. Not only does this mean you create a tailored experience for your members logging on, it also makes it easier to share data and generate reports. Furthermore, taking your member management systems online is more cost efficient when compared to the cost of individual desktop software solutions, of which you may need more than one, and the sundry expenses associated with club administration such as postage and banking fees.
Finally, because the subscribing process becomes easier for new users, subscription rates rise and members become more satisfied with the service overall. In today’s society many of us prefer the ease of interacting virtually instead of in-person, so you risk losing potential members by only offering the option to join the ‘pen and paper’ way.
Hopefully this post has helped show you how online membership software can streamline the everyday functions of your club and make you more efficient when it comes to handling member information and collecting those all important fees. Desktop software is without question better than manual management. Yet, it still does not equate to web-based membership applications.
If you would like to know more about which admin tasks can be done quicker and easier online, download our free guide today or contact us for a free online demo.