Summer is upon us and so are the great parties and events that come with it! Family reunions, church picnics, and summer camp are all on the horizon. Are you ready for the fun?
If you’re one of the lucky people who’s organizing a big gathering this summer, you know that managing an event can be overwhelming. Even a smaller event like a swim team BBQ can take over your life, but it doesn’t have to. Summer is meant to be relaxing. Let’s keep it that way.
Membership management and event planning can be easy when you make a plan and keep it simple. Here are some tips to help you stay sane, so you can enjoy friends and family this season.
• Create task lists: You can create one large list, or even several small ones, depending on the event. For example, create one list for preparations, one for during the event, and one for after. Or, be really detailed and make a list for communications, on-site management, follow up, etc. Then, assign people to each task and actually let them do it!
• Automate: Set up email reminders, text messages, and social media posts ahead of time. This is an easy way to keep your members involved and interested, but still give you breathing room to handle other more pressing details. Learn more about automating your membership.
• Make it easy to share the experience: Setting up social media pages or accounts for the event is a great way to share the experience in real time and connect with those who can’t be there. Make it easy for members/guests to upload photos to one central place as well. offers event photo sharing, as well as other group management tools.
Save Time on Décor
No one ever said things needed to be complicated to be fun. In fact, the most memorable experiences come from the people there, not the party favors, décor, or even the food! Inexpensive, basic décor can make any gathering festive—no theme required!
• Use balloons: They’re are a low-cost and fun way to spruce things up. Use the colors from your group or cause’s logo to make them more specific or choose random colors for a festive vibe. Kids love them too! Send them home as a party favor.
• Choose white lights: You can use white lights any time of day to dress up your venue. You can create an intimate feel by filling clear vases with them and running them along the table. You could also set a more cheerful tone by stringing numerous stands from the ceiling—instant dance party.
• Add clear vases: They’re probably the most versatile and inexpensive party décor available. Fill them with anything from fresh fruit and local flowers to ribbons won at this year’s swim meets—the possibilities are endless.
You can literally spend days trying to manage the details, décor, and plans for a large summer gathering. But it’s summer! Enjoy yourself, keep it simple, and save your sanity.
For some, summer is a time to unplug, unwind, and reconnect with the things that matter most. Time with friends and family, long days doing nothing, and reading a good book are the only things on their to-do list. But if you’re the type of person who is always involved, and forever leading a group, team, or event, summer can be just another whirlwind of planning, execution, and follow up. Admit it: It’s no fun.
Even if you’re are the type of person who likes to stay busy, you still need time to unwind. Taking the time to slow down and enjoy what you love the most (and don’t say event planning!) is important, so you can go back to leading an organization, group, or event successfully. This probably makes you uncomfortable, but it can be done. You’ll be a better version of yourself if you put the vacation back in summer.
Yes, teams are still competing, events are still being run, and fundraisers are still important during the summer months. But you can easily automate some of your tasks ahead of time, or create a blueprint so you aren’t working all the time. If you haven’t tried putting the following tasks on autopilot yet, now’s the time.
1. Schedule communications (social media, email, or text)
This way you can strategically connect your communications to build on one another and create a stronger message. The best part about this—if you schedule your communications a month ahead of time, you only need to do this once a month.
2. Asking members to keep the conversation going
Reach out to attendees of your next event or team members and ask them to post on social media for a period of time. This will keep your organization in front of people, without you doing all the work. The downside of this is giving up some control, but the upside is creating authentic enthusiasm and excitement around what you are trying to accomplish.
3. Create a copy of a site page
This sounds simple, but creating template designs is different from creating an entire copy of a site page. The benefit is recreating a site page without overwriting your existing one. Having the option to copy an entire donation site, event site, online survey, or payment form will save you time and give you some breathing space when you need it most.
4. Delegate admin responsibilities
Assigning others with admin tasks and defining their roles by differentiating their access by function and privilege gives you a break… and peace of mind. For example, give someone access to manage your group communications without giving them access to your group’s bank account data.
You can use these ideas all year if you want, or only when you need them. The most important thing to consider is your sanity. Taking time to refresh your mind and spirit—especially in the summer—will help you to come back to your responsibilities with renewed energy and commitment. You may be the Energizer Bunny, but even he needs to change his batteries now and then!
So, as the days of summer get warmer, think about what you need to do to put vacation back into summer. Make lists if you have to! But most importantly, make a commitment to take some time off, rest, and renew.
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” –Alan Cohen
Learn more at memberplanet.com.
Fathers always seem to be there to grill us, and grill for us. Despite their terrible jokes and embarrassing stories, they are often who we admire most. They’re driven, hardworking, and always around to offer a ‘penne’ for our thoughts. In celebration of Father’s Day this weekend, check out our recipe for a successful group leader. We’re sure that dad will approve.
2 teaspoons excitement
¾ cups determination
4 cups effort
1 dash of fairness
A pinch of curiosity
½ tablespoon of ideas
2 handfuls of teamwork
5 cups passion
Remember when paper maps and Thomas Guides were the talk of the town? Throughout the last decade, the advent of GPS has all but killed the humble printed map. In fact, technological advances have executed countless products and services that, a mere 10 years ago, seemed to be the best thing since sliced bread.
However, there is one classic that has withstood the test of time. Even with all the new technology, email newsletters are still considered one of the best ways to grow and maintain relationships. According to Nielsen Norman Group, email newsletters remain the Internet’s best tool for supplementing a website.
Maybe you already have a newsletter and are looking for ways to spruce it up to reach out to members who seem to be disengaged. Or, it’s your first time to create one and you’re thinking of where to start. Whether you’re a veteran or newbie, these tips will help raise the awesome bar in sending out regular communication to your members.
1. Know your audience
2. Go easy on the eyes
You don’t need to be a graphic designer to find a compelling way of presenting content. We have a ton of templates (because who wants to start from scratch?) to help get you started. What’s important is that your message is easily digestible. Keep in mind members will view your newsletter on desktop and mobile devices, so breaking up text with lists, bullet points and pictures are a must.
3. Include impact stories or member highlights
For any group or organization, communicating how its success and efforts have made an impact encourages readers to work toward the group’s goals. Highlighting a member of the week or month for their contribution to the community or the organization promotes a sense of camaraderie as well shows appreciation for member’s efforts. Don’t be stingy with your praise – there’s always enough to go around. We agree with the late American philosopher John Dewey, who said, “…I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.” Nothing will resonate with your members more than when you emphasize an individual’s positive influence on your group and mission.
4. Give fundraising updates and milestones
5. Include membership updates
Use email newsletters to update your members on new rules, fee changes, updated responsibilities, and any additional information that your members should be aware of. Email newsletters provide the perfect opportunity for reaching your members with time-sensitive and relevant data that will directly affect their role within the organization.
6. Event updates and recaps
Your events are nothing without the support of your members. If your group has a big occasion in the works (whether internally or something that is community-involved), you could possibly dedicate an entire newsletter to featuring that event.
The focus of your email newsletters should be to provide quality content and compelling imagery that will help sustain and grow your relationships with your members. Because inboxes get crowded with emails competing for your reader’s attention, newsletters should include content that’s worth their time. Your organization can only go so far without engaging your members, and a successful email newsletter campaign should get your members excited about what’s to come, eager to participate, and interested in receiving updates on how they can stay involved in the organization.
Fortunately, you have all the tools (including templates!) at your fingertips to create an email newsletter on memberplanet today.
In Santa Maria, the town where I grew up, taking a dip in the pool was a popular way to beat the California heat. For six straight summers, I lifeguarded at an outdoor public aquatic center with an Olympic sized pool and a recreational pool. I was a lifeguard for countless water polo practices, swim meets, recreational swim days, field trips, and lap swims. Just thinking of the giant jug of 100 SPF sunscreen we kept in the guard room takes me back.
I learned a lot during those summers, and I’ll always remember this: Every lifeguard is a leader.
Leadership comes in different forms. I may not be the one spearheading nationwide events or speaking in public in front of hundreds, but when it comes to managing a local group, or my part of pool activities, just as much effort goes into making it a success. As the school year comes to an end, many of us find ourselves looking forward to the long, lazy days of summer. No plans. Nowhere to be.
The reality is, if you’re managing a group, your summer is filled with to-do lists, event invites, follow-up emails, activity sign-ups, and more. Sure, it’s a little slower than the rest of year. Yes, you can unwind a bit. But there is definitely still planning to be done. Whether you manage a sports team, a summer camp, or a simple BBQ potluck, staying on top of things is a must, so summer can still be relaxing and fun.
As a leader, you are probably orchestrating a plethora of details to keep things moving, even during the slow summer months. Tasks that seem simple can be quite tedious. Do you find yourself:
This summer, simplify your life
A platform that can transform your summer planning and make things so much easier does exist. Having all the tools you use to manage your swim team, summer camp, or any other group in one place would simplify your life.
Check out memberplanet, and you may be able to sneak in a few lazy days yourself this season.
Organizing a successful event is never without its challenges. Lucky for you, part of being a group leader means pulling it off without breaking a sweat. Whether you’re thanking existing members, recruiting new ones, or updating your agenda, use an event as a time to showcase your group at its best. Event planning doesn’t have to be stressful. Following a few key steps (and taking a few deep breaths) can make the whole process more enjoyable.
1. Commit to a Committee
Planning an event is much easier if you have a team to support you. If your group doesn’t already have an event committee, consider asking at least one or two people to volunteer. It will allow you to delegate tasks and benefit from the input and expertise of others. Establish a committee in the early stages of planning your event. This way, everyone can be on the same page from day one.
2. Plan Ahead
Depending on the type of event you’re hosting, start planning at least four to six months in advance. If you already know you’ll be doing an annual event, put it on your event committee’s calendar. This will give you time to lock down a venue, a caterer, a keynote speaker, or any details that are critical for your event. Give yourself an adequate buffer between planning and execution. Don’t be afraid to multitask, but anticipate event overlap, so separate committees can work in tandem.
4. Make a Checklist
Once you know why you’re hosting an event, you can start planning everything else. Organization is crucial to making sure the event runs smoothly, so create a checklist before carrying out your plan, and make sure you stick with it. A discussion board can be a valuable tool because it will keep your event committee on track and informed of how plans are progressing.
Here are some basic items to help you start your list:
Creating an event page allows you to post updates and pictures as well as answer questions that guests may have. Increasing communication and member interaction is a great way to build anticipation and boost attendance.
6. Stay Organized
This is the most important thing you can do to avoid mistakes and limit the stress of event planning. Keeping track of RSVPs, their plus-ones, meal selections, food allergies, and add-ons like raffle tickets and more can be a daunting task. Member management software streamlines this by allowing guests to RSVP and purchase tickets online. Event organizers benefit by having all of the necessary information in one location that they can access from virtually anywhere. A month before your event, plan a weekly check-in with your event committee. Increase it to daily check-ins the week before the event ensure that everyone is on the same page.
7. Have Fun!
You’ve worked hard to create the perfect event, and now it’s time to profit from a job well done. Remember to make a plan, set a goal, and stay organized. Most importantly, have fun! The hallmark of a successful event is being able to enjoy yourself alongside your guests.
Our event functionality, donation and email campaign features, discussion boards, and online payment forms make it easy to plan for your entire year. Ready to get going?
Boosting membership is a common challenge for organizations. Keeping current members invested and bringing on new members might be tricky, but these tips will give your group a leg up on engagement.
Check out the tips in the video below. We guarantee it’s as easy as one, two, three!
Traditional fundraising methods still have their place. However, as the world shifts towards an increasingly digital landscape, it may be time to re-evaluate your old techniques. Online fundraising offers a myriad of benefits and can help you surpass your fundraising goals. Don’t be put off by the fees — here are five reasons why you should fundraise online.
A Bigger Payoff
You might be concerned about the fees associated with online fundraising and whether they will cut into your net goal. It is important to do the research and see how various sites structure their cost.
Electronic payment methods make raising money faster and easier than ever, because, let’s face it – not everyone carries lots of cash or a checkbook these days. With memberplanet’s mobile app, users can donate directly from their phone at any time and easily set up automatic, recurring payments. By offering the option to collect all payment types both onsite and online, you can access a larger network of donors. This will allow you to raise more money for your cause.
Security and Credibility
One of the main benefits of launching an online fundraising campaign is its potential to go viral. This takes you out of the typical sphere of donors and opens you up to supporters you wouldn’t reach with traditional methods. This can help you reach your monetary goals faster and even surpass them. Look for sites that offer a direct link for social sharing from your donation page to maximize exposure.
Note to memberplanet users: Make use of our built-in URL shortener or share on social media directly from our platform to save time and (when you need it) character space. Online campaigns give you the freedom to create a donation page that reflects your cause. Customizable templates and forms let you streamline the look of your fundraising page. You can add photos, videos and other interactive features to increase interest and support, which translates into larger dollar amounts.
Crowdfunding is on Trend
Crowdfunding has gained momentum over the past few years and is only becoming more popular. It offers easy payment methods for donors, makes tracking donations easier for admins and is easily shareable across social media. It’s an effective and efficient way of framing a fundraising campaign.
memberplanet users: It’s never been easier to set up a donation page. Customizable templates and forms let you streamline the look of your fundraising page or marketing campaign. You can add a live donor ticker to monitor the campaign’s progress, as well as photos, videos and other interactive features to increase interest and support, which translates into larger dollar amounts.
Is there anything better than advice from mom? OK, maybe her homemade chicken soup, but other than that, nothing comes close. The wise words our mothers bestowed on us have a way of staying with us as we grow older. They also have a tendency to ring true. Turns out getting a good night’s sleep really is the key to a good tomorrow. In honor of Mother’s Day, here are a few of our favorite mom sayings that will help you be a better group leader.
“Don’t be late.”
It sounds simple, but being prompt is one of the easiest ways to stay diligent as a group leader. As the head of the group, you set the tone for how the organization is run. If you are late to meetings, or are late with deadlines, your members will likely follow suit. Also, if people feel like their time isn’t valued, they may decide to stop showing up all together. When hosting a meeting, it is good practice to be the first one present. As they say, they early bird gets the worm…and the increased member attendance.
“Sharing is caring.”
Easier said than done, right? We get it. Life is overwhelming, and running an organization can get hectic fast. Hold yourself accountable by setting a schedule and sticking to it. Even dedicating a few minutes a day to accomplish your tasks will keep your group on track and moving forward. Finding a schedule that works for you is key. It may be better to tackle everything at once, or to break down admin tasks over the week. Find what works for you but be sure to meet those deadlines. Plus, the more ahead of schedule you are, the less stressed you’ll be later on!
“The best way to make a friend is to be one.”
Keeping in touch with your fellow group members is a great way to boost engagement and foster friendships. Communication in groups can make or break an organization’s effectiveness. Try to individually connect with your members and discover the communication style that best suits the needs of the group. If you enjoy spending time with one another, your members are more likely to put in the extra effort.
“Play to win.”
Always keep your eye on the prize. Moms know that it’s always good to have a little healthy competition. By setting challenging yet realistic goals for your group, you will inspire your members to aim high. Are you trying to boost engagement? Be proactive and throw an event for your members. Trying to increase donor contributions? Set up a donation campaign. If you keep what you want to achieve as the main focal point of your organization, then you and your members will remain driven to reach it.
Managing members is what we do best – and we’ve been optimizing our platform’s features so group leaders like you don’t have to sweat this stuff. We’ve created a whole new role management feature for assigning admin roles, as well as easy-to-access links for both admins and members that customize the member home page and join process. Check out the features and enhancements that have been recently released:
Assign, Create, and Edit Admin Roles
In the world of productivity, delegating work to your group’s admins is just as important as doing the work yourself. One way to effectively do this is by assigning and editing admin roles. This ensures that those you’ve tasked with managing your group have access to the tools they need. For example, you may want to give one of your admins access to create email campaigns without giving that person access to your group’s finances.
How Do I Assign and Edit an Existing Admin Role?
Improved Member Level Renewal Emails
Everyone could use a friendly reminder now and then. We typically receive a phone call reminder about a doctor’s appointment booked in advance, or an email that the phone bill is due in a week. Membership renewals are the same way, and we’ve taken care of all the heavy lifting so admins can set up automated email reminders for specific member levels and time frames.
To schedule up to three email reminders per paid membership level before a member’s renewal date:
1. Hover over the Membership module in the left navigation sidebar
2. Click Manage Membership Levels in the submenu
3. Membership levels will display. For the paid level you choose to edit, select the gear icon and click Edit from the drop-down menu
4. In the Reminders section, select a time frame to edit. The default is set to no automated reminder, so an action must be selected to activate this feature
5. Admins can edit the number of days before the renewal they’d like to send out a reminder
6. Check the boxes to specify who receives the email reminder: group leaders, members, or both. For group leaders, you will need to enter their email addresses
7. Admins can also edit the reminder email’s subject and part of the body
What happens when members are late to renew? You’ll likely have to pause their membership until they do renew, which means changing their level, removing them from email campaign lists, event invitations, and more. Doing all this manually is asking for a headache, but fortunately, you can set this up to happen automatically. Simply follow the same steps as above, but instead of the Reminders section, select the Late & Missed Renewal section. Admins have a number of options to choose from, including Change Member’s Status to “Lapsed” and Send an Email to the Member.
Added Member Level to the Member Homepage
As soon as your members log in, they can now see their member level displayed, and it serves as a quicker way to go directly to their account details.
Clicking on their member level will give them access to view payment schedules, their renewal date, and other membership levels.
They can also click anywhere else on the module to expose quick links to Change Membership Levels, View Group Profile, and Leave This Group.
Added Link to Customize the Join Group Pages on Membership Dashboard
To give new members the best experience in joining your group, we consider it a best practice to customize the join process. That means using your group’s branding in the join email and including a message that emphasizes the value of joining. We’ve added a quick link to the Membership Dashboard so admins can get to the customization process faster.
1. On the left navigation sidebar, select Membership
2. In the Joining Our Group section, select Add Custom Content to New Member Pages
In this preview mode that displays what new members will see, admins can change the logo and add custom messaging.
Added a Short URL for Join Now Button
We realize there are many ways to get new members to the join process. Admins can send an email with a Join Now button or post a Join Now button to their website. But for those times when they want to send new members a link instead of a button, we’ve created a short URL that can be used anywhere, including posting to social media or sending a text to view on mobile.
1. On the left navigation sidebar, select Membership
2. In the bottom section Get the Word Out, select Get a Join Now Link
3. A short URL will be provided in the pop-up overlay. Copy to Clipboard and get the word out
Added New Custom Field Types: Date, Radio Button
The best time to collect info from your members is during the join process, because that’s when they’re most engaged. This is the perfect time to collect custom info needed from the start, so you won’t have to hunt members down for it later. To make it easier to organize your custom data, we’ve added two new custom field types: date and radio button.
How to edit or select custom field types:
1. On the left navigation sidebar, select Membership, then click Custom Profile Fields
2. To edit an existing custom field, select the pencil icon, or click the +Add a Custom Field button to create a new field
3. In the Type drop-down menu, select the desired input field
Mobile App Enhancements
Members now have the ability to access their member card in offline mode after they’ve downloaded it for the first time.
We’ve also streamlined and updated the app navigation menu for a more intuitive display.
Ready to make the most of managing your membership? Log in to memberplanet to explore these new enhancements.
We welcome suggestions on how we can improve memberplanet to help simplify your life. Email us at email@example.com.