Membership Management 101

Break down your organisation into seven distinct components and set yourself up for successfully managing your membership organisation to the next level.

Membership Management 101

Managing a membership-based organisation can be overwhelming. Limited resources, funding issues and staffing complications are only a few of the challenges organisations face daily. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Seven of the most common factors to creating a successful organisation can reveal simple methods for improving the overall efficiency (and ultimately, effectiveness) of managing an organisation.

1. Members & Membership

Growing your membership organisation only happens when you connect with your members in a way that promotes loyalty and longevity for your organisation.

Take the guesswork out of recruiting and keeping members through simple periodic surveys. Create fundamental checklists to streamline and systemise your membership process. Have standardised templates for renewal letters and application forms at the ready. Systemise your processes so that you can spend your time focusing on what matters – your members.

2. Volunteering

Volunteers are as crucial to a membership organisation as what members are. Instead of recreating the wheel, use your insight from managing your members to manage your volunteers. Similar processes, checklists and software can be used to recruit volunteers and then build long-term relationships with them once you have them on board.

3. Communications

If members are the cornerstone to your organisation’s growth, how you manage your communications is your foundation. Everything you do relies on effective and efficient communications, but don’t let that scare you.

Some of the following might be critical areas of communications for your membership organisation:

· Annual reports

· Blog

· Copywriting (website content)

· Internal communication processes

· Marketing & publicity

· Meeting minutes

· Newsletters

Take a step back from your day-to-day workings and look at the big picture of your organisation. Where can communications be improved? Where can they be systemised into processes? Where do you need dedicated people responsible for specific interactions to make sure they get done? What communications are critical to your organisation and which ones are not worth your time?

4. Leadership

A membership organisation without leadership won’t go very far. Though there is an endless supply of resources on developing the leadership qualities for your team, it can be challenging to know where to begin.

Carve out some time to brainstorm critical areas needing improvement and a vision for how you want your team to develop. Then find solutions to help alleviate some of your challenges to make steps towards growth, strength and development in the area of leadership.

Some suggestions might include:

· Connecting with a consultant or mentor to target specific issues

· Creating checklists for orientation to your organisation

· Establishing precise methods of communication amongst the team

· Systemising processes like the recruitment of new board members

· Training for essential skills like addressing critical issues or conflict management

5. Funding & Fundraising

Perhaps your organisation or team is new to fundraising. Maybe you’ve found it a massive challenge to achieve your financial targets with funding. Regardless, minimise the obstacles you face with raising money or receiving donated items by focusing on a few aspects of the process. Start with any of the following and focus on maximising the outcome before moving on to the next.

· Communication strategies with potential donors

· Evaluating the effectiveness of your fundraising strategies (cold-calling and pamphlet dropping may not be relevant any longer)

· Fundraising through email

· Pinpoint specific funding schemes likely to give recurring funding

· Systemise processes into checklists

6. Events

There are countless books, articles and resources available for how to effectively create and manage events for any size or style of organisation. All of them boil down to the same message. To successfully run events for your organisation, the best thing you can do is to systemise your process with things like checklists.

Essential checklists will enable you to get the job done whether you are in the planning stages, building your attendees list, marketing, or organising volunteers. Standardise your checklists to transfer the same process to your next event, cutting down your time and energy significantly.

7. Technology

Your website may be one of the most critical pieces of technology you associate with growing your organisation, but that’s not the be-all-end-all. Every day there are new and innovative ways that technology can help your organisation be the best it can be. Nearly any process done on paper can be done in a technologically advanced process or program. Think of online payment services, accounting software, online marketing and even survey and form tools that can be online.

One of the most significant decisions your organisation should be making is which software will manage your members. A software program that enables you to manage membership accounts, renewal dates, email newsletters, and more is the difference between a struggling and thriving membership organisation.

Membership software like TidyHQ can do all that and more. TidyHQ can help you streamline whatever administrative task required online so you can focus your energy on growing your community. If you are looking for a solution to manage your finances, event tickets or membership renewals, TidyHQ is the ultimate all-in-one solution. It’s designed not just for you, but for the committee that comes after you.


Isaak Dury
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