How to Attract New Members With Member Management Software, Social Media and More

Member Management Software

 

Do you often find that despite your best efforts, attracting new members is a struggle? You manage everything else with ease and confidence but getting someone to convert from prospect to member is an ever elusive task. It may be that you have some ideas on how to get those members through the door but lack enough funding to properly implement them.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In today’s economy many organisations are feeling the pinch. Today we’re going to share with you six ways in which you can attract new members, without spending too much in the process.

1. Enter Plan Of Action Mode

Before you embark on any task, especially one that involves money you’re going to need a plan to keep you on the straight and narrow.

Who’s your target audience? Who is your ideal member? What are their values, where do they spend their time, what are their interests and where do they work?

A great way of really drilling down your specific audience is to create personas – a profile of your ideal members. Two to three should do it. This will help you target the right people so that you’re not wasting time (or money) going after someone who probably wouldn’t be interested in the first place.

2. Get A Website And Blog

If you haven’t already got a website for your organisation then you’re missing a huge source of potential prospects. If you’re reading this, then you’ve most certainly got access to the internet, and stands to reason that millions of other people have too. You can engage these people by making yourself easy to find online.

Setting up a website can literally be as inexpensive as you like. WordPress.com allows you to set up a blog for free with a choice of templates that are simple and easy to implement. A couple of clicks and you’re up and running.

Use your website and blog to write about your club or organisation. Post articles on recent events, what you do and the latest news. Connect your Social Media accounts (if you have them) and share your posts across Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Populate your website with keywords (the words people would use to search for you online) to make you more discoverable. Over time if you’re producing good regular content, and reaching out to people, word will spread, traffic will pick up and you’ll start getting recognised for who you are and what you do.

3. Host An Event Or Open Day

There’s nothing more effective than a massive get-together to get people interested in what you have to offer. Hosting an event or an open day will give prospective members the chance to see for themselves what they’re missing out on and with luck, encourage them to sign up.

Save money by using member management software like PaySubsOnline – we can help you manage your event marketing and online registrations.

The benefit of hosting an event in this way, is that you can automatically broadcast the event to your members – bolstering the numbers for the big day and anyone who wishes to register can do it right there from their smartphone.

4. Giveaway A Freebie

People love to get free stuff – that’s why charities usually include pens in their mail-outs. It uses the premise that you’re getting something for nothing and so feel compelled to do something in return.

Depending on your budget, offer a freebie exclusive to new members. It might be something as simple as a pen with your logo or a snappy PDF with useful tips and tricks and a personalised message if they’re signing up online. It doesn’t have to be extravagant but it will help to entice those people teetering on the edge to take the plunge and join.

5. Get Your Organisation In The News

Getting featured in your local News bulletin or publication can be a real boost to your membership levels. Similarly getting featured for a specific story is usually free so it’s worth utilising these opportunities whenever they arise.

Consider notifying your local press whenever you’re hosting an event or you’ve reached a particularly noteworthy milestone. You might even want to invite them down to an event so they can get a feel for it themselves.

Any article or write-up that results from this can then be shared on your website, social media and mailing list. This will ensure it reaches a wider audience and improves your chances for more sign-ups.

6. Use Social Media

Social Media are low cost resources that will help you market your organisation to the right people. They’re still free, although don’t be blindsided by the time that’s involved to grow it and the growing trend of needing to pay to effectively reach people. They can boost your presence online in a powerful way.

Facebook and Twitter are great networks to start with – it’s likely you already have one or both of these accounts and they’re perfect for sharing news of your organisation, events your hosting or links to content your audience will love.

Pinterest and Instagram are heavily image based but equally as powerful. Use Pinterest to bolster your organisation’s identity and personality. Share behind the scenes photos and videos which link back to your website and give people a feel for what you have to offer.

You can also get existing members involved too by featuring a member of the week or allowing them to contribute to your Pinterest boards.

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?

 

Club Fundraising Ideas – How To Fundraise for your Club’s Next Big Project

Club fundraising ideas

It’s one of the biggest challenges you will face as a sports club – how to fund your next big project. But whether you are looking to purchase new sports equipment or may be renovate your facilities, raising the necessary funds needn’t be a chore with the right club fundraising ideas. The aim of this blog is to help enthuse and inspire your members towards a successful sports fundraiser and reaching your funding goal.

Setting Your Goals

It goes without saying that you need to determine your funding goal before choosing your club fundraising ideas. It’s important this figure is realistic. Set your sights too high and you may never reach your goal. You should also be aware of the detrimental impact of unrealistic targets; not only can they discourage your members, but your donors also, who may consider it pointless to donate if you have no chance of ever reaching your target.

You also need to consider how long your club fundraising campaign will run. Most fundraising campaigns will run for periods of a couple of weeks to a few months. Having an end date means you can capitalise on that ‘final push’ as you approach the end. With tools like the PaySubsOnline.com you can generate useful momentum by sending out membership wide emails letting them know how close you are to your target and inviting them to dig a little deeper to help you reach it.

Choosing The Right Type Of Club Fundraising Idea

This will be your biggest decision as it will impact the amount you can feasibly raise and the resources required to make it happen. Here, your choice of fundraiser will come down to that which offers the best return on investment (ROI). I say ‘best’ and not biggest, as fundraisers which cost more to organise (e.g. a family fun day) tend to generate the best returns. Run a comparison of previous club fundraising ideas your sports club has run, alongside other potential ideas and compare the ROI of each.

Some fundraisers may only generate small cash amounts over short periods, but are relatively inexpensive to run. For example a club lottery run through Paysubsonline membership management tool. If your fundraising goal is higher then it may be better to think big and choose a one-off event, such as a silent auction of high end goods. As you think over various ideas, consider the following:

  • What resources do you have available?
  • On what scale could you successfully run your fundraiser?
  • Will you need plenty of volunteers to help run and organise the event?
  • Will your fundraiser reach the wider community and bring in new members as well as donations?
  • Will you need third party resources, such as payment processors, and if so, what are the costs?
  • Will you need to raise your target funds within a certain timeframe?

 

3 Fundraising Ideas:

  • Crowdfunding:

A relatively new concept in fundraising, crowdfunding pitches your campaign to thousands of people a.k.a The Crowd, who can then pledge an amount of their choosing to help you reach your goal. There are numerous online crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Once you have set up your campaign page you can share it across your social networks and with your members so you can spread the word and get your campaign donations up and running.

 

  • Email Campaign:

One of the most effective ways of reaching out to potential donors is by email. However, you can only email people with whom you have an existing relationship, i.e. your members and any other donors who have agreed to being contacted by your sports club. If you are using software, such as PaySubsOnline.com to manage your membership, then you can easily run your email campaign through their system.  You can also use their club fundraising tools to accept regular and one-off donations.  People can simply login to their account and opt to donate.  If required, the system will ask them to complete a gift aid form, collect and reconcile the payment.

An email campaign can also be a good way to reignite interest in your sports club from those who have shown little interest recently or who stopped being paid members.

 

  • Host An Event:

If you have the facilities available then why not consider hosting a one-off event.  From a silent auction to wedding or craft fairs, or youth sport events which can involve the wider community. You will need to enlist the help of volunteers to keep costs down and you will need to look into licenses and regulations governing community events.

Fundraisers on any scale can be a challenge yet with proper planning, a realistic approach and the right tools there is no reason why your club fundraiser cannot be successful. To find out how PaySubsOnline.com’s software can help with your club fundraising ideas contact us for more information.

 

10 Reasons Why Your Fundraising Ideas Need Social Media

Social Media Fundraising Ideas

 

Social Media can sound like a scary thing. It’s constantly changing the playing field. As a club you might be inclined to stay far away from this media beast but you’d be shooting yourself in the foot if you did, because you can’t undertake your fundraising ideas without it.

Below we’re going to share with you what you’d be missing out on if you go down this lonely path. It’s not as scary as you think – fundraising on Social Media can be both fun and insightful – so if you want to stay at the top of your game and have your club reap the benefits, start reading now.

1. Your Offline Reach Will Be Limited

Consider for a moment the connections in your network. How many people can you reach out to? Once you have a rough figure double it. Then triple it. You’re still miles away from the number of people you could reach when using Social Media.

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, they all have millions of people logging on every day. Even if you tapped into just a small portion of that number, you’ll still have far more options than you ever would have without Social Media.

With a click of a button you can contact almost anybody. This is great news when fundraising as each new contact converts into one more potential donation for your club.

2. People Don’t Like Direct Mail

Direct Mail is a tried and tested method for fundraising campaigns, we understand this. However many people find this annoying. Taking your mailing list online via a platform such as Paysubsonline with its tailored fundraising features, allows you to make the process much more efficient and less invasive.

Further to this, you can supplement your mailing list by sharing newsletters and campaigns on Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media networks. This will further spread your message and strengthen your existing list.

3. There’s No Potential For Viral Campaigns

One of the most successful viral campaigns in recent history has been by Evian, who produce bottled water. Their videos feature babies up to hilarious tricks that are both addictive to watch and incredibly shareable. For example their latest is of a dancing spider-man baby.

If you think we’re losing it, hang fire and let us explain. This video alone has received over 18 Million views on YouTube at the time of writing this post. Imagine your fundraising campaign getting that many views. Social Media (and an advertising budget) can make this kind of thing happen for your sports club. You just need to put some creative heads together (and be willing to seed your campaign) for this easy fundraising method to work for you too..

4. You’ll Be Lagging Behind The Competition

Search for any 10 of your competitors in your favourite search engine and we can guarantee there’s at least one of them with a Twitter profile. There’s probably one or two going the whole hog and doing this Social Media thing properly.

Right now they’re doing it better than you. They’ve got the edge and the followers to boot. What this translates into is more people hearing their message, more people clicking their links, more people telling their own friends and more people donating to them instead of you.

5. You’ll Alienate Your Members

While you might still be holding on to your traditional fundraising methods, your members are moving forward into the future. The younger generation in particular are constantly wired into the Social Media mainframe. It’s where they hang out and it’s where their friends and influencers are.

By not embracing this element of fundraising you’re effectively alienating a large portion of your members. What do you think your aspiring youngsters would rather do? Tweet a link to their sponsor page online, or go door-to-door for sponsorship?

Paysubsonline.com can help you modernise. Via the use of our subscription software, members can make one-off or regular donations online.  You can even run your 100 Club. Members haven’t got to make an effort to donate.  It’s just a click away, fully accessible from any mobile device.

6. You Won’t Be Able To Rally Support

Creating a fundraising campaign is one thing, but getting your members to support your cause has its own problems. You need to be able to make it easy for existing members to bolster morale by sharing your club’s fundraising efforts with their own networks. By not using Social Media, you’re stunting people’s ability to rally behind you.

7. You’ll Miss Out On Important Developments

Social Media is great way of keeping your ear to the ground when it comes to new,  improved, easy fundraising ideas. Without the likes of Twitter and Facebook you’ll probably still find out about these developments eventually, but you’ll miss out on your chance to get ahead of the game.

8. Connecting With Influencers Will Be Harder

Social Media right now is the quickest and most effective way to reach influential people in your sport/sector. By using tools such as Buzzsumo you can filter through these people by topic, which platforms they’re on and find out how many followers they have.

For your club this means you can seek out local businesses, charities and important figures, dependant on your own search criteria. You can then contact them quickly with just a couple of clicks and tell them about your fundraiser. Without utilising these tools you’re missing out on a massive opportunity to get your campaigns in front of the right people.

9. You Won’t Know What Matters To Your Members

The term ‘Social Listening’ is a phrase coined usually by social media managers. It’s a process by which you search the likes of Twitter and Facebook via hashtags or topic and read what people are saying about it.

This can be invaluable for fundraisers as it provides you with a method to garner what your members and those who follow you are interested in. Take a hashtag around a fundraising topic for example; people may have mixed opinions about it. If through monitoring the topic you come to realise that it strays from your club values, it might be worth reconsidering.

Without Social Media you wouldn’t have this resource. You’d be left to ask outright what truly matters to your members (should the priority be new equipment or better facilities), which probably won’t be as reliable.

10. You’ll Miss Out On Social Media Inclusive Fundraising Tools

Crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter, encourage the integration of your Social Media profiles. They do this because they know that there’s no better way to spread a message than sharing it with people who care about your cause.

By not using Social Media you’re limiting your use of these websites. Not being able to use them to their full potential could hamper your efforts instead of helping them. In the case of Kickstarter for example; not getting the message out quick enough, would mean your goals won’t get met and you’ll lose any funding you might have been accumulating.

Of course it’s up to you whether you go down the Social Media route. There’s no law forcing you to embrace it but you’d be missing out big time. To remind you, here’s why:

  • You’ll reach less people
  • You’ll alienate a proportion of your members
  • You’ll miss out on exciting developments in the world of fundraising
  • Your competition will get the upper hand

Paysubsonline.com can help close that gap between your club and Social Media. Our software efficiently takes care of you admin, payments and fundraising online, with minimal fuss.  Click here to request a demo.
How do you use social media to fundraise? What’s worked or hasn’t worked for you? We’d love to hear in the comments below?

How Club Membership Software and Twitter Can Increase Membership

Club membership software - increase numbers

Running any type of club is no mean feat (especially without club membership software!). Besides managing your members and endless  paperwork to fill in, you also have the most important task to deal with – recruiting new members.

You probably feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall at times. How can getting people to join your club be so difficult? You do all of the right things, promotion, marketing, perks and events but the going can be tough.

Luckily you’re not on your own. All clubs have to overcome this hurdle at some point. The key is keeping an open mind and thinking outside of the box. Which is precisely what we’re doing today by sharing with you five ways the popular social media platform Twitter, can boost your membership numbers, raise your profile and increase club registrations.

Why You Should Be Using Twitter

Social media. Love it. Loathe it. Everyone’s on it. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ – they’re all steaming ahead of the traditional forms of communication, paving the way for people to socialise on an unprecedented level.

But it’s not just socialising that happens on these networks. People are connecting with the brands they love, sporting legends and popular causes. They want the juicy gossip and useful tidbits and the best place for these short, snappy snippets of info right now is Twitter.

If your club doesn’t already have a Twitter account, you’re missing out on quite a big deal. Seriously. Stop what you’re doing, head over to Twitter and type in a rival club’s name into the search bar.

Do they have an account? If yes then they’re already one step ahead of you. If they don’t, here’s your opportunity to muscle in. Set up an account, even if it’s just to reserve a username for the time being, then come back here to find out how to use Twitter to increase your club members.

Still here? Go!

5 Ways To Use Twitter To Increase Your Members

Welcome back!

So with a bit of luck, you’ve at the very least got a Twitter account. Great! Now let’s look at how you can put that simple profile to good use and really give your club registration numbers the boost it needs.

1. Get That Profile Optimised.

One of the most fundamental steps to a great Twitter presence is a fully optimised profile. This is how people will find you, so you’ll want to make a great first impression and ensure you show up easily in search results.

Upload a profile image and header photo. Flesh out your bio with relevant information and keywords that reflect your club. Keep it clear, simple and easy to digest. Include a link back to your website and consider adding a few hashtags in there to make you more discoverable.

2. Follow Relevant Influential People.

Who are the popular people that your club members idolise? Grab a pen and jot down everyone you can think of who relates to your club and has something to say about your industry. Bloggers, reporters, sporting figures and publications. These are the people you’ll want to start following on Twitter.

These people are thought leaders and like to voice their opinions. Getting your content in front of them or at the very least engaging with them, can have a massive impact on your own reach. For instance, imagine if one of them retweeted one of your tweets to thousands of their own followers. That’s thousands of pairs of eyes on your content, relevant to your club who may never have laid eyes on it before.

3. Post Interesting, Eye-Catching Content.

Why? Because people are hungry for information. Share with them something that they find valuable and they’re more likely to take notice of you in the future. Consistently sharing great images, thought provoking articles and eye-catching videos related to your club will help position you as a leader.

While your competitors are going about getting the attention of potential new members the traditional way, you’ll be riding the information wave with a host of followers hanging off your every word.

4. Engage With Existing Members.

But wait. Surely if you want to increase your club registration applications, you should be going after new members, not existing ones? Sure, sometimes but don’t neglect the wonderful pool of contacts you’ve already got waiting at your fingertips.

Dig through your database using club membership software like PaySubsOnline.com, grab the names of your most active members and look them up on Twitter. Connect with them, engage with them, give them a virtual slap on the back. Start up a conversation and they’ll reciprocate.

Your members have the huge potential of influencing people beyond your sphere of contacts. They have friends, family and acquaintances who may just become your next member if the right information is in front of them.

Use your club membership software to help spread the word, make them feel valued and they’re likely to become your greatest assets.

5. Showcase Your Club’s Personality

Twitter is jam-packed full of people trying to get their links noticed. Spend five minutes looking at your Twitter Stream and you’ll understand what we mean. Self-promotion is all well and good but you need to mix that up with your personality – you don’t want to bore your followers to death.

Look at it from an individual’s perspective. They’re interested in joining your club, so the first thing they might do is Google you and come up with your Twitter account. If all they see is link, after link, after link promoting yourself – they’re probably going to click the big ‘x’ in the corner of their browser and bid you farewell.

Yet if you use Twitter to inject some personality into your presence, it’ll make for a much more interesting read. That potential member will get a feel for what you’re like and it could very well help them to decide whether to join you or not.

Ultimately, don’t be afraid of trying something different, in order to achieve better results. Taking that first leap into something like Twitter can be a bit daunting but we can guarantee that if you follow the advice in this post, you’ll not only increase the exposure of your club, gain club registrations and reach new people, you might even enjoy it!

We’ve written an eBook How To Increase Membership and Engagement With Twitter to help you get set up on Twitter:

Twitter eBook
How do you use your club membership software and Twitter to get members for your organisation? Love to hear in the comments below.

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.

Twitter eBookFacebook eBook

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 Clubs 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?