What is membership management software?
Also referred to as an associate management system, membership management software is an important tool for you to consider for your nonprofit organization. Membership management software is designed to help you streamline how you connect with your members, as well as gather and disseminate information to market toward specific membership groups. A robust membership management software also allows your members to interact with your nonprofit.
Think of membership management software as a database that allows you to store all the information you have collected about those who have ever held a membership with your organization. Membership management software works much like donor management software; as a matter of fact, you can integrate these two types of software programs together to ensure your data is seamlessly connected.
How do you organize membership management software?
With membership management software, you can create a pyramid database system in which members are categorized based on what type of membership status they hold. Typically, memberships are tiered into groupings, like bronze level, silver level, gold level, or platinum level based on how actively they would like to participate and support your nonprofit. Generally, the higher level a membership is, the higher the membership fee, or donation, to your organization.
Higher membership levels usually come with more perks for the member. A bronze-level member might have access to exclusive emails and communications, while a platinum member may receive VIP invites to fundraising events. A tiered grouping within your membership management software will assist you with sending out bulk emails, newsletters, donation requests, and event invites to the appropriate members.
This database also allows you to gather historical information so that you can forecast projects for the future based on proceeds you can expect to raise from your members. Your software will also allow you to analyze data, such as geographical locations of your members, the percentage of members who renew their membership each year versus those who don’t, and other information your nonprofit feels is important.
Most membership management software systems allow you to integrate your system with your nonprofit’s website so that interested parties can manage their membership accounts online and feed information automatically into the databases you have established.
What is the difference between donor management software and membership management software?
Donor management software is a type of CRM software, and it is used to compile information about everyone who has ever donated to your organization. This could be the person who donated $20 five years ago or someone who makes regular contributions to your nonprofit. Membership management software, on the other hand, allows you to create a benefits-driven membership system, based on tiers, to encourage a flow of donations and community support on a more regular and long-term basis.
Is membership management software affordable?
Robust membership management software can get expensive, especially for a small nonprofit organization with limited funds. To start out, you can research free nonprofit software and then graduate into purchasing a more robust system for a fee in the future. The benefit of using free nonprofit software is that you can test the waters and learn more about how this software works before diving into a more complex system.
How is membership management software beneficial for nonprofits?
The benefits to a nonprofit organization are virtually endless! Membership management software will help streamline administrative tasks associated with membership management almost instantly. With an integrated system, members can manage their own accounts without having to speak to employees or volunteers at your organization. Interested parties can simply log in to your organization’s website, fill in the digital forms, pay for their membership fee, and begin enjoying the benefits of being a member immediately. The information from the forms then syncs into your database. For anyone who has ever had to spend hours manually entering information into a spreadsheet, this is a major benefit!
Membership management software also helps you to keep track of all your supporting members and allows you to gauge future performance based on historical data analysis. Most often, members will continue supporting your organization for several years because people tend to feel good about being a part of an organization they believe in. Along with offering perks and benefits to members, membership management software also provides perks to employees who are in charge of managing memberships by allowing them to send out bulk emails and communication, offering self-service event ticketing, and providing an automated system where members can manage their own accounts. This software can also send out automatic renewal reminders to take the burden of the work off of your employees.
Does membership software work with other types of software?
Some do. It’s important to check with your membership software provider to see what integrations they offer. Kindful, for example, is a nonprofit CRM that integrates with membership management software like Join It. That means your membership management data will flow seamlessly into your CRM and any other tools you have integrated.
What should I look for in membership management software?
When researching membership management software for your organization, it is important to look for software that is user-friendly. Especially for small nonprofits who are just delving into the automated world of collecting, using, and storing data, you do not want a program that is so complex that those who you put in charge of managing it get overburdened by it.
Find a software system that features an easy-to-navigate dashboard. Employees of your nonprofit, as well as your members, should be able to get into the system and find the information they are looking for with ease. You also want to make sure you are not investing in a software system that has too many bells and whistles for what you will realistically use the software for. A large nonprofit requires a much more complex system than a small nonprofit; you can always upgrade to a more robust system in a few years once your organization grows.
Is membership management software good for small nonprofits?
Of course! As long as your nonprofit currently has a membership program or is thinking of integrating one in the near future, membership management software will save your organization time and money in the long run. Membership management software helps you do away with spreadsheets and countless hours of manual data entry so that your team members can focus more on building your organization’s mission!