There was a time, not long ago, when you were able to buy something cool just because it was cool. You didn’t “need” 13 approval forms. You didn’t have to prove the “need” to 10 different committees. Remember those days?
What if I told you that you could relive those days and buy something really cool…and do it on a whim? Better yet, it would actually help your association!
It’s called association management software. It’s cool. It’s also very helpful. You need it. And you can buy it (well, try it) on a whim.
Let’s begin with the exciting stuff. Association management software contains lots of really cool tools. Here are a couple of the coolest:
- Website creation tools – There are few things more critical to success today than a great website. It has to look good, be engaging, and be useful. There are few things cooler than being able to easily create and edit a great website…yourself. With these webpage creation and editing tools and a little knowledge of Word, you can actually do it…yourself.
- Social media tools – One of the hottest trends from the last year is the increased usage of social media by associations. Staying connected to your group by using social networking tools is a huge plus. The tools also help you address the growing generational gap that most associations are worried about.
- Membership self-service – if your members could create their own profiles, edit their data, sign-up for events, or renew their memberships, that would be cool, right? What if they could also make donations or pay their dues online? Definitely cool.
Sadly, cool isn’t enough in the real world. Fortunately, association management software is so much more than that; it’s actually really helpful also. With a good system, you can improve and increase:
- Member engagement – with a great website serving as the primary point of communication, your outreach is more meaningful and consistent. Add a community forum, newsletter, email, and social media tools and it’s more interactive and frequent as well.
- Member recruitment/retention – the basic features in most association management solutions make tackling your biggest recruitment and retention challenges easy. Now you can effectively address these common member issues: having little time or money, a lack of perceived membership value, and difficultly with generational gaps and member diversity, to name a few.
- Volunteer activity – allowing volunteers to access projects and work using the Internet can dramatically increase volunteerism. Now they can help from anywhere whenever they have time.
- Event attendance – with access to online event calendars, registration forms, and payment processing you make it easy for members to attend events. And by sending automated reminders, you may actually get them to show up.
So it’s cool and helpful, but do you really need it? I believe you can justify the need by looking at how association management software can save you time and money. A few of the ways include:
- Automating administrative tasks
- Eliminating duplicate data entry
- Replacing stand-alone systems with an integrated one
- Decreasing IT resources, including hardware, with a hosted solution
- Increasing the collection of dues and donations
- Reducing paper work and mailing costs
- Improving transparency and access to information
- Improving reporting and tracking
Do it on a whim
If cool, helpful, and justified still aren’t enough to convince you, what if you could try it for FREE? Well, you can.
Many vendors offer free trials (try to get full-featured versions). It’s like a test drive and is the best way to evaluate the software. Taking it for a spin is a must and let’s you really understand how cool, helpful, and needed it really is.
Start your search by using Capterra’s Association Management Software Directory or by calling one of our expert buyer advisors. Both are FREE resources to help you find the right software.
Looking for software? Check out Capterra's list of the best software solutions.