Membership management systems are increasingly popular computer software solutions providing clubs, associations and other organisations with the functionality required to manage relationships with and provide services to their members.
The minimum functionality generally provided by such a software solution includes the ability to communicate with members by email, telephone or post and the provision of a database, which can be used for storing member information and creating, renewing and amending memberships.
Other features of a membership management system are definable and depend on the requirements of the organisation in question, but they can include:
• Publishing and delivering content to members.
• Facilitating interaction between members.
• Communicating with members via social media.
• Raising additional income from donations.
• Selling event tickets or merchandise.
Without doubt one of the main benefits of using a system designed for membership management, such as membership management systems through OFEC, is the automation of routine tasks. Even the smallest associations and clubs can benefit from using a membership system for the automation of tasks such as event registrations, taking online payments and sending out newsletters.
As detailed in the Harvard Business Review, it is important to make time for work that matters. This means the automating of low-value or repetitive tasks, which can then free up your staff and allow them to use their time more effectively in your business or association. Saving time using the automation of tasks is also extremely cost effective and a quick way of eliminating basic errors due to repetition. Research shows that staff also become more productive when repetitive tasks are replaced with those with a higher perceived value; for example, using staff to fundraise would be more beneficial than manually editing a list of members.
By evaluating and defining your business processes, you can quickly determine a number of activities that are routine or process driven. Examples include membership renewals, invoicing, event bookings and confirmations. All these actions, while personal to the member, are repeated time and time again and can therefore be created once and set up so that they are processed automatically each time they are required.
It is important to understand your membership processes before choosing a solution to ensure that you get the best possible benefits from such a system.