Like the newspaper industry, associations have been losing subscribers for years. People no longer buy the local newspaper just because their parents did. These days, to stay in business and grow, associations and newspapers have to get creative and think digital. For associations, that means having the right association management software in place.
Surprisingly, the newspaper industry, which isn’t traditionally known for innovation, is doing better with this effort.
According to a recent press release from the Newspaper Association of America, during 2012 papers began to get creative about new revenue streams, adding value and attracting attention. The association says newspapers are making money by hosting events, e-commerce, commercial delivery and printing services.
And it’s working. Circulation revenue grew 5 percent last year, the release says. “New revenue sources, which include such items as digital consulting for local business and e-commerce transactions, now account for close to one-in-ten dollars coming into newspaper media companies,” according to the release.
So what about associations? How can they raise money and add value to members and stakeholders? Like newspapers, associations need to have the tools necessary to build virtual communities, save money, coordinate events and conferences, and increase attention. All this requires the up-to-date association management software.
How do you know if your association management software is up to snuff? Here are the top 10 signs that it’s time to upgrade your technology.
- If you’ve been on the same platform for more than five years, it’s time for an upgrade. Technology is moving rapidly and there is a lot more you could get for fewer dollars.
- If you are one or two upgrades behind or have to pay for upgrades, it’s time for an upgrade.
- If you’ve got anything in your office that resembles a server that runs your association management software, it’s time for an upgrade.
- If you can’t get access to your system from any computer, any mobile device or from anywhere in the world, it’s time for an upgrade.
- If you have to involve the vendor or IT to create a report, it’s time for an upgrade.
- If you can’t easily monitor member behavior and measure member engagement, it’s time for an upgrade.
- If it’s taking your staff too much time to pull simple information from your database, it’s time for an upgrade.
- If you have to get an outside resource to pull information from your database, it’s time for an upgrade.
- If your e-commerce functions are not included in your association management software, it’s time for an upgrade.
- If you can’t manage call centers on your platform, it’s time for an upgrade.
While it’s true that upgrading is time consuming and disruptive, the benefits of upgrading to current software are huge.
Newer association management software creates cost savings by allowing associations to adapt and scale more efficiently. As technology has improved, associations can snag more benefits for less money. It’s also a good idea to upgrade because most organizations are using several incompatible systems for fundraising, communications and event planning. Newer software can combine these different functions into one place. Upgraded technology lets associations display donation figures, committee history, registration choices, refunds and all forms of past communications on one screen.
At the end of the day, associations don’t need to lose membership or suffer financially. But they need proper tools if they are to truly succeed.
Looking for Association Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Association Management software solutions.