We’re always trying to better help groups achieve their membership goals, and with that comes new additions to our favorite glossary terms. Take a look at our updated glossary and see how these normal terms take on a whole new life here on our ‘planet.'
What it normally means: The circle in which members stand.
What it actually means: A type of membership level that allows administrators to create subgroupings within your organization and allows one person to manage the membership account for a group of people such as a family or company account.
What it normally means: A business strategy of offering different prices at different points-of-sale.
What it actually means: The ability for admins to assign special pricing for event tickets based on member levels rather than a flat price.
What it normally means: The ranking of an individual’s membership.
What it actually means: Member levels define each member’s benefits within the group. Examples include paid or free membership, or levels that feature tiered ticket pricing for events and merchandise.
What it normally means: A dreaded school project on a topic you’ll likely forget once it’s turned in.
What is actually means: The section on the platform where admins can view the membership history of a group member. This allows admins to easily see what that member has participated in, what member levels they’ve been and are at, as well as other related membership information.
What it normally means: The list of people in your mobile phone, most of whom you’ve probably forgot about.
What it actually means: People you’d like to keep in the loop on the happenings of your group. They aren’t actual members and can’t log into your group’s member portal.
What it normally means: Any application on your phone.
What it actually means: A free custom-branded app, specific to your group, that facilitates communication and allows for on-site payments. You can also upload photos, share updates, and view member activity.
What it normally means: Being practical and writing down a list.
What is actually means: Smart Lists let you generate distribution lists for specific subsets of people based on member status or other variable data (Example: You may want to send a message targeted to everyone who donated over $100 to your fundraising campaign).
What it normally means: A transmission via radio or TV.
What it actually means: Simultaneously draft and send a text message and/or email communication blast to all members via desktop or mobile app.
What it normally means: A website charities use to collect donations.
What it actually means: A custom-branded interactive giving site to raise funds online for your group. Our variety of templates makes each Donation Site easy and fast to create.
What it normally means: A file cabinet where you keep important papers.
What it actually means: Use cloud software to upload and share documents and files with admins and members. Send emails with file attachments.
What it normally means: Creating a survey on a word document.
What it actually means: Create branded forms with unlimited flexible fields that makes it simple to gather and compile online feedback from members.
What it normally means: A huge amount of printed paper copies stapled together.
What it actually means: All of your group’s mandatory forms and surveys assembled in one place electronically.
What it normally means: A huge album that sits on your bookshelf filled with old photos.
What it actually means: Seamlessly collect and share photos. Crowdsource photos with email and mobile uploading.
What it normally means: The work done by a newspaper journalist.
What is actually means: Real-time online reporting generated on demand for everything on the platform, including membership stats, email tracking, funds raised, and RSVPs.
What it normally means: An ID for a gym or club.
What is actually means: Digital E-cards can be accessed online or via the mobile app. For some groups a member card even allows access to special perks.
Want to learn more about the ins and outs of memberplanet? Check out our platform.
Originally published 2/28/17
Are your current methods of engagement helping you reach your membership goals? By promoting the value and benefits of your association’s membership through engagement, you can position yourself to attract new members while also maintaining and interacting with your existing membership base. Here are a few tips to showcase your value and increase your network:
1. Engage on social media
LinkedIn and Facebook are two of the most useful networks for growing your platform. Both social media channels allow you to create your own membership page and maintain constant communication with your members, followers, and viewers.
Update your members with upcoming meetings and events while keeping them engaged with questions and surveys to collect feedback. Being present on these platforms also helps potential members preview membership, understand your association’s mission, and see the kind of work you’re doing.
2. Invite potential members to events
Host an event where each current member invites a non-member. During the event, encourage these non-members to join by offering a discount only during that time. Hosting events for both current and potential members is a great way to get everyone involved in the recruiting process. It also gives non-members a chance to ask questions and see what the group is all about before committing to membership. Asking your members to engage non-members will give your association the opportunity to grow exponentially.
3. Offer seasonal memberships
To attract those who had been considering membership but either were not ready to commit yet or were deterred by the fees, waive application fees for a certain window of time. Announce this offer in your newsletter and on social media. Your potential members might see more value in joining during this time because of the slight price break. You’ll additionally want to make sure your membership fees are competitive with other associations’, so as not to deter interested prospects.
4. Track and measure your engagement efforts
Finding a way to manage your marketing and your membership base can seem rather difficult. That’s why we created memberplanet: to simplify admin tasks, including member communication and engagement. Our platform’s membership functionality also provides tools for events, membership, email marketing, surveys, donation campaigns, and more.
If it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed. There is no way to know if your strategy is bringing you new memberships if you’re not tracking the success rate. memberplanet provides optimum analytics for member activity, event participation, and email marketing. Schedule a demo and discover how memberplanet can help you grow your membership.
If you did something great with your group on memberplanet in 2017, we applaud your success! Whether you raised funds, got volunteers together to do philanthropic work, or sent out a couple newsletters, it all adds up to accomplishing your mission. We at memberplanet are thrilled to be part of that. Take a look at our key platform stats for 2017. Click the infographic below to view the full-resolution image. We look forward to your continued success!
Great trainers are naturally great leaders. And by definition, great leaders are those who inspire confidence, strength, and optimism. They are the folks who can motivate their group administrators to reach their fullest potential (and be just as powerful as dragons).
The term admin can be applied broadly – it can mean your committee heads, officers, or anyone you’ve put in charge of tasks that keep your organization running smoothly. As far as training the best admins, a great trainer/leader uses methods that can be boiled down to a few guiding principles, known here simply as 5 Keys to Training Your Group Admins:
For every specific skill or task to be instructed to your team admins, explain first what it is you’re about to share. More importantly, explain why it is important for your group. How does it work in its specific scope? How does it affect the overall team? It’s important to give a sense of the overall flowchart of the group and the admin’s role within it.
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
We are all individuals in the world, and personality will eventually be revealed, especially in the course of training. Make time to discover your admins’ own skills and experience. But be sure to recognize their different ways of learning, and be open to adapt to give each of them the answers they’ll need ongoing.
Grow your team admins. Assign sample scenario tasks (e.g. an upcoming social event, or a fundraising campaign or a yearly calendar of projects) and see how they deliver. Let them own it. It’s like the bonsai trees in Mr. Miyagi’s workshop. You have strong roots, and all kinds of cool branches.
Provide support and feedback. Work with each team admin to set up short- and long-term goals for themselves and the group and make sure they know how to use the memberplanet tools available to them. On the feedback loop, too, show them what’s been done previously by the group. Encourage them to find ways to innovate and improve efficiency while building on past successes and the great work that’s already been done.
As well, seek out your group admins’ feedback and listen to their perspectives. Learning is a two-way street, and hearing from them will bolster your own knowledge and help you further educate them.
When your admins are confident that you as their trainer/leader have their back and their interests at heart, they’ll operate at peak productivity, and they will lead the rest of the group way they’ve been instructed. It’s the best way to build a lasting team and community.
“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.”
Whether you’re the leader of a fraternal group, a religious group, a nonprofit, or any other type of organization, there’s a good chance that the beginning of the quarter or the change of seasons will mean a time of transition in admins to a new guard. Or, it could just mean that the calendar will be a lot busier, and extra hands will be needed to execute your group’s plans. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for the departure of your current group of seasoned officers, or the necessary addition of other capable personnel to the mix – but really, all you need to do is remember a few important things.
1. Plan ahead, and then plan earlier
As any good recruiter will tell, the first step to give your group the most optimal chance of continued success is to give everyone the widest possible space and time to not be caught by surprise. Observe who’s currently doing what for your group at each level of the organization, and then project into the future who’ll be serving in those functions in both the short and long term. While there’s a good chance that folks will already be chomping at the bit to volunteer for new positions of responsibility, you should always be ready to actively look for someone to fill the spot(s).
Recruitment-wise, build in enough time to find and prepare your successors before they’re on the job. Whatever time you think will be necessary to cover the basics and beyond, add in a bit more of a time buffer to the duration just in case.
2. Know the idea, and the ideal
Use your own experience to guide the creation of your own actual list of requirements – yes, a written down list – of what’s needed for the position.
What’s worked for your group in the past? What hasn’t worked? What do you wish you would have known before starting your role? As the person who’s been performing these functions over time, you’re really the best suited to know the “idea” of the role.
Keep in mind, too, your sense of the “ideal” candidate. While no one may completely fit that bill (truth be told, probably no one does, or should be expected to… but they can come in varying degrees of close), you should seek someone who possesses the key traits. Are they good verbal and written communicators? Are they timely in performing tasks? Are they problem solvers and innovators? Do they understand the group’s immediate and future goals?
3. Choose players who’ve played, and played well
The best lead players for your group’s game likely already exist in the group. They understand the dynamics from the inside out, and they’ve also seen how your leadership has played out and helped further the group to reach its goals.
Using your group’s own members and many of the functionalities on the memberplanet platform, you’ve also got some key advantages. You can gauge who’s interested in assuming a leadership position via volunteer sign-up. You can launch an email campaign to announce positions that will be vacant. You can also survey your members about their interest in upcoming leadership positions.
And just as importantly, you can analyze your members’ involvement through the group’s activities, such as who RSVP’d to an event. Chances are high that the best next officers for the organization are members who have been involved in a lot of the group’s efforts, and that will be reflected in a concrete way in their participation.
Log in to check it out.
We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from PTAs using memberplanet, and decided we’d combine it into an open letter to yours truly for our own Valentine’s Day fun.
Hello, my dear memberplanet,
This isn’t how we normally communicate with one another, but I had to write this letter because I simply couldn’t contain my excitement any longer. I have a confession, and I’ll shout it from the rooftops: I love you, memberplanet, and I don’t care who knows it!
I must admit, at first I was a little embarrassed. I never really saw myself falling for a software company. I mean, it was a little unexpected. Me, a PTA volunteer and mom, and you, a tech company? I didn’t think I could ever understand you. I tried you on a whim, but sometimes love is just meant to be star-crossed, I suppose.
You have the flexibility and openness to be everything my admin self needs: online dues collection, event sites, a mobile app – I’m getting dizzy just thinking about all you have to offer! *Swoons* I could stare at your (inter)face all day. So intuitive and easy to use. I feel like I really know you, which is a first for a software platform. Normally you’re all complex, and in the past I liked being with someone more old fashioned, more pen-and-paper type. Then you were so welcoming and accepting all my friends in the PTA. You were also so attentive, coming to every event with me to scan and collect last-minute payments and check member cards.
It meant a lot to me that I was able to share my life with you by collecting photos and keeping them on a shared album for everyone. Your generosity is astounding. You helped me create a donation site to collect money for new school computers. And thanks to you, we raised double the amount in donations from last year. It’s clear we’re just a match made in heaven. From that day on, you were my everything. I feel like I couldn’t even begin to imagine me without you. One day, I’ll have to pass you onto the next PTA president, but I know that you’ll be just as welcoming to them as you were to me. For now let’s enjoy our time together.
All my love,
A Head-over-heals PTA President
Check out our Social Media category for more ideas (and a little bit of silliness).
Originally published 2/13/17
There are many different ways to tackle the role of leader. It’s the first down at the big game and you’re in charge of it all. How do you maneuver your team to victory, and what strategy do you use to make sure there aren’t any fumbles? Take our quiz to find out what type of leader you are. Whether you’re scoring a touchdown in the end zone, or rushing your team on a two-minute warning, we know you’ll go for it on and off of the field. (View full-resolution image.)
Originally published 1/28/2017
Dealing with member management tasks is your biggest headache. Why? Admin work takes a ton of time, and it further complicates life. When you effectively manage members, then you’ve got more time to do what you’re passionate about. At memberplanet, we believe that our platform simplifies membership management, which in turn, simplifies life.
Whether you’re new to a leadership role or a veteran admin, any transition period is a great time to reflect and learn how you can save time on membership management tasks. (Click our member management infographic to view the full-resolution image.)
When you effectively and efficiently manage members, you solve membership and reap awesome benefits. A leading software research company reports a 70 to 80 percent renewal rate with automatic recurring membership! Solving membership frees up your most valuable commodity – time. That means you have more time to accomplish your group’s mission or cause, more time to engage your members, and more time to actively recruit – which leads to growth.
Browse our articles about membership management to learn more.
For most K-12 booster clubs, fundraising isn’t a piece of cake. Coordinating time and resources to stay atop the minds of your supporters shouldn’t take over your life (or the lives of your volunteers). Here are some tips to save time so you can skip the frustration and double up on the fun.
1. Repurpose content
With each new year and transition in booster club leaders, the records (Excel sheets) from previous fundraisers can get lost in the process. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to reuse a pre-populated template? By building upon past successes and the work that was already done, you will take the headache out of organizing the campaign and have more time to focus on member engagement. memberplanet allows you to repurpose templates for incoming officers to use. Learning a new position takes time; we’re here to make it easy.
2. Take advantage of social media
Promoting your event doesn’t have to be stressful, especially with the help of social media. Post your campaign URL in as many places as you can, including your website, email, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Through social media, you can get people talking about your event with just a few shares. The more people who share, the broader your reach gets. More awareness for your campaign and way less time spent making promotion calls or passing out flyers!
3. Save time with automation
To be successful, all booster club leaders should engage with their donors and volunteers. But there are only so many hours in a day, and as a leader, there is only so much time you can dedicate to booster club admin tasks. That’s what inspired us to build in automated features in our platform. For example, handwriting thank-you cards take forever! To save time, admins can add a thank-you message to the automated confirmation email that is sent once someone donates online. Set it and forget it!
Whether you’re a seasoned booster club fundraising pro or just getting started, you can’t go wrong with these three time-saving steps. memberplanet is here to help you focus on what’s important: engaging with your supporters and making a difference in your community.
Create a free account and see for yourself!
Q1 2018 Tech Update: Membership Features, Event Ticketing, and Payment Functionality All Get Upgrades
We’ve kicked off the new year with some fresh tech updates to help make managing your members and growing your group even easier. All through the holidays, we’ve kept busy to enhance event management, improve our member database, and more. You gave us suggestions on how to update the user experience, and we’ve been listening! Check out what’s new and improved.
Improved member database download
New variable pricing for event tickets based on member levels
Simplified process to add payment method
Easier access to membership cards
New auto-populating member distribution list
Improved member database download
Admins of groups of any size, even those with more than 100,000 members, can now easily download their entire member database. The whole process runs behind the scenes, allowing admins to continue working on the platform without having to pause so the database can download. A notification email is sent to the admin when the download is complete. Learn how to download your member database.
New variable pricing for event tickets based on member levels
Admins can now assign special pricing for tickets based on member levels rather than a flat price. For example, the price of an event ticket can be different for each membership level in your group, allowing you to give discounts and create added value for long-standing members. Here’s how to create event ticket prices based on member levels:
1. After you create an event, click Tickets & Payment Items in the RSVPs & Tickets section
2. On the Basics tab, fill out the information fields to create a ticket for the event, and click Save
3. Select the Special Pricing tab
4. Click the Edit button for the event ticket you wish to create special pricing for
5. Select Set Custom Pricing
6. Click Save
Simplified process to add payment method
We’ve made it even easier for your members or donors to make online payments. When users add a new payment method, they now have the option to add this payment method to any already active recurring payment schedules. This improves the user experience by limiting re-entry of information (because no one wants to update payment info twice), as well as making sure they don’t accidentally miss a payment.
Easier access to membership cards
We’ve cut down on the number of clicks it takes to download a member’s card from desktop, and membership cards are even easier to access from the mobile app. The next time Jim and Pam show up to an event or meeting without their member cards, simply have them pull up their cards from their smartphone. Learn how to access and download membership cards.
New auto-populating member distribution list
Sending a customized message to members who’ve renewed their paid membership just got easier. (And you should absolutely do that to make your renewing members feel valued and special!) Admins can modify settings in paid membership levels to automatically sort those who join or renewed their membership into a distribution list. It’s a great way (and best practice) to connect with members by tailoring your message to specific recipients. For example, if you have monthly announcements for those on your top membership level, you can email them without manually updating a distribution list before every send. This feature works like our Smart Lists, and best of all, it’s free! (Before you start, make sure you’ve already created the distribution list you wish to auto-populate.)
1. Click Membership on the left navigation bar
2. Select Membership Levels, Sign-up and Renewal in the Joining our Group section
3. Click the gear icon on the member level you wish to edit
4. Scroll down and click Edit on the Sign-up and Renewal section
5. Select the Add Member to a Distribution List checkbox
6. Select the distribution list you wish automatically add members to
7. Click Save and Close
We exist to simplify membership management, and for you and your admins, that means simplifying life as a leader. Share your thoughts with us on how we can further improve the customer experience by emailing email@example.com.