Millennials and mobile are two peas in a pod. But who are we kidding? It’s not just millennials who are glued to their phones -- according to a global mobile consumer survey, the average American checks his or her phone approximately 47 times throughout the day. And citizens collectively scroll through their smartphones nearly 8 billion times per day! There’s no reason why more of those views can’t be all about your PTA. Great things happen when your members are engaged or actively involved in your PTA, including increases in fundraising revenue, advocacy action, and membership growth. Level up on your engagement efforts by taking these steps to connect with your members on mobile.
1. Engage on social media
Nearly 80 percent of social media time is spent on mobile devices, and Facebook dominates all other networks in engagement. The biggest takeaway from this is to be effective when engaging your audience. Want them to like, comment on, and share your PTA’s social posts? It’s a two-way street – you’ve got to be the first one to give. If you don’t have time to engage on social media, consider appointing a volunteer who’s up for the task – and make sure that person uses Facebook.
2. Text them
We’re not talking about starting an annoying chain text where you send a group text to a giant list of recipients, one person replies to the entire group, and everyone’s battery gets drained. (If you’ve never experienced being on the receiving end of one of those, count yourself lucky.) When done properly, sending mass text messages is a highly effective way of getting a short message to your members. Text messages have an open rate of 98 percent! When you do send texts to your members, make it count – otherwise they’ll just unsubscribe from your announcements.
3. Make your content easy to view on mobile
Responsive web design is an approach to designing web sites that allows them to look good on any size screen. So whether your users view your donation page on a 13-inch laptop or a 5-inch smart phone, it still functions as it should and looks great. Because mobile usage has become more prominent, responsive design is considered an industry best practice. You don’t have to be a developer or know HTML these days. memberplanet’s donation campaigns, online forms, group sites, and event pages are all optimized for mobile viewing.
4. Use a mobile app
Engaging your members on the go (the whole point of mobile) is even simpler with memberplanet’s mobile app, which makes it easy to send group text messages, share donation campaigns and event pages, collect payments, and access membership cards in a few taps. It’s free to download from the App Store and Google Play. Members can view their own membership cards offline via the mobile app, as well as receive your latest updates through the news feed.
Ready to get started? Log in and start engaging.
PTA Simplified is a series of tips for PTA and PTO leaders to get the most out of managing their volunteer members and growing their membership all year long.
We’re all guilty of scrolling through Facebook or Instagram before our heads hit the pillow at night. While social media has become a popular way to kill time, it also has many practical uses.'
As a group leader, you are already aware of the necessity of branding across various platforms, so here are our top five ways to bolster your online presence by optimizing your social media engagement strategy, first and foremost with your own members.
1. Deliver Digestible Bits
Newsletters are great for providing various bits of information to your members all at once. Social media is best for delivering a brief message to a large audience. While people average a minimum of 50 minutes of Facebook each day, they typically only spend about 20 minutes on the site per visit.
This means you have a small window of time to get users to interact with your post. Providing relevant, unique and easily digestible bits of info should be the focus of your social media strategy. Nobody wants to scroll through a Facebook post or read a tweet with three continuations. You can prompt users to click through to a website by providing a URL within your post where they can access more information.
2. Promote Your Cause
Social media is an efficient and cost-effective way to broaden the reach of your cause, mission, fundraising campaign, or any other promotion. Whenever you send emails to your members, ask them to follow your organization’s social media handles. And make sure your posts tie in the cause or mission that appeals to your followers. People average almost two hours per day checking social media, making it a great promotion tool.
Note to memberplanet users: You can easily share your event or donation site to social media directly from the platforms. Group admins and members can also do this directly from the event site, donation site, or mobile app.
3. Include Video
You don’t have to be Einstein to figure out that social media users watch A LOT of video. Our own metrics reveal that video posts on Facebook and Instagram get about double the engagement than photo posts. So consider creating a short video explaining your cause. There are a bunch of free services online, such as Adobe Spark, that pretty much put together video for you based on the images and words you choose. Live video content is also on the rise, so find creative ways to use features like Facebook Live or Instagram stories to get your message out.
memberplanet users: Adding a video to your donation site, event site, or email is also quick and easy.
4. Utilize a Social Media Calendar
Hiring a social media manager or finding a volunteer who’s up for the task is a great way to stay organized and on top of your online presence. A social media manager is responsible for curating and creating content and making sure it gets posted at the right time.
If you’re a team of one, utilize a social media calendar to minimize your time spent creating content. Hubspot has a free calendar template you can use to get started. Knowing when to post and what to post will help you strategically plan content for your members, as opposed to overwhelming their feeds or posting haphazardly.
5. Target the Platforms Your Members Use
Facebook is the most popular social media platform (1.59 billion monthly active users) but you shouldn’t limit yourself to one network. We recommend using the social media platforms your target demographics use. Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter are major players in terms of their reach. By creating a diverse portfolio of social media strategies, you are likely to connect with more members and prospects. Twitter is a great way to get out a short message and interact with a large audience.
You can provide links to your website or event page. memberplanet’s donation, event, survey, and payment form modules have built-in URL shorteners, so you don’t need to worry about going over the allowed 140 characters. (There’s no excuse for putting out an ugly tweet.)
Social media is great tool for spreading the word about events, campaigns, and general information about your organization. It allows you to interact with your members consistently and in real time without flooding their inboxes with emails. Building a strong online presence can also attract the attention of potential members while keeping current ones engaged.
Follow us on social media for more member management tips.
memberplanet continues to define the member management space by offering the best software to manage and engage members. To finish off the summer, we’re turning up the heat on your favorite features. We’ve developed new enhancements for the mobile app, membership cards, recurring payments, reporting, and more. Check out our exciting additions:
Improved search for membership cards
Offline access to membership cards through the mobile app
Recurring payment enhancements
New member level history report
New Member Circle member list and Member Circle custom fields report
Improved search for membership cards
Digital membership cards are one of our most used features, and we’ve made them even easier to access! As most members know, cards can be accessed through a desktop or can be downloaded via our mobile app. Admins can now search for a member card by member instead of going through the whole member directory. This will save time accessing member cards for both admins and members at meetings and events. Learn more: How to download membership cards.
Offline access to membership cards through the mobile app
Need to access your membership card on the go but don’t have Wi-Fi? We’ve got good news -- you can now access your member card offline. Once you download your member card via mobile app, it will automatically save to your phone. Easily access your card, with or without internet! Learn more: How to download membership cards via the mobile app.
Recurring payment enhancements
Recurring payments is an essential set-it-and-forget-it feature for all member-based organizations. When it comes time for your members to renew their membership, they shouldn’t have to think about writing another check or pulling out cash from their wallet. Recurring payments allows for a more frictionless experience. We’ve streamlined our recurring payments functionality to make it easier for users to opt in and select the frequency, as well as stop recurring payments.
Installments, which we’ve also streamlined, are a great way to increase your fundraising dollars. Some people are more willing to donate a higher amount if they can pay in installments – and it’s a best practice to always give them the option. Learn more: Manage recurring payments on a Donation Site.
New membership levels history report
Our reporting features are great for keeping a bird’s-eye view on your group and to target and track member activity. With our new membership levels history report, admins can look at the history of each member level. The membership levels report can be found under the membership tab on the left navigation sidebar. On the levels tab, admins can click on the gear icon that corresponds with the membership level they want to view, then select View Members in the dropdown menu.
Admins can also level history by member. On the Members tab, select the gear icon next to the member name you wish to see the history for, then select Level History in the dropdown menu.
New Member Circle member list and Member Circle custom fields report
In addition to the member levels report, we’ve added new reports for Member Circles, which serves to give admins a more in-depth look at data collected for each subgroup. The Member Circles feature is an easy way to create a small grouping of individuals in your organization, and is a type of membership level that allows one person to manage the membership account for a group of people (such as a family or company account). Circle Member reports will list each Member Circle by members. The Member Circle custom fields report allows for the admin to view each response. These reports can be found under the members tab on the left navigation sidebar. Learn more about Member Circles.
What other features would help you simplify your life? Email us and let us know at
Let’s face it, we live in a tech world. Technology is so ingrained in our daily lives that it is nearly impossible to function without it. When was the last time you paid a bill by check, or bought something in store instead of online? For many of us, doing everyday things online has become the norm. However, as someone who isn’t naturally computer savvy, I know the constant frustration this reality can be. Truth be told, those who are adept at computers often fail to realize that it isn’t always a quick study. So if you haven’t quite given tech trends a thought, this is a great place to start – because it’s bound to affect your members! Here are four member management tech trends of 2017, and what it means for you as a group leader.
1. Get ready for automated everything!
According to Forbes.com this year will also see an huge increase in automation.
“Marketers will be (mostly) pleased to learn that automation will become a bigger mainstay in and throughout 2017, with advanced technology enabling the automation of previously human-exclusive tasks.”
This means that your existing members and new members will come to expect their payments to be exclusively online and automated. memberplanet users: If you haven’t done this yet, try setting your dues payments on a set-it-and-forget-it basis. Less work for you and your members, and a more productive way to collect funds. Everyone wins.
2. Social Media: Your friends list will keep on growing
It’s no secret that social media is a powerful marketing tool for your group. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offer boundless access to free advertising for your group’s events and goals. These outlets also provide the ability to share this content with everyone’s personal network of friends. In 2017 social media’s use is only slated to expand, which gives your group all the more opportunity to harness its advantages. Take a look at these stats from Hubspot, and work on incorporating more social media marketing tactics into your group’s promotional strategy.
3. More visuals and videos are on the way
We are a visual society. With visual learners making up 65% of the population, it is not surprising that pictures and video are among the most popular posts on social media and blogs. As a group leader, your content should be visually appealing. Everything from your website to your social media posts should be visually stimulating to your audience. Member management software arms you with tools and templates to create streamlined sites, fundraising campaigns, and emails that can easily include photos and videos. If you’re using memberplanet, we recommend sharing those out to social media with our built-in URL shortener. Here are some pretty eye-popping statistics from HubSpot to keep in mind when creating your next flyer, event site, or social media post:
4. Group creation and involvement will increase
A quick survey around our office confirms that people are now involved in twice as many clubs and social groups than they were five years ago. It’s no secret that this trend of increased social involvement is likely to continue. This means great news for growing your membership. People are looking to get involved, connect with others, and be part of a cause that’s bigger than their individual selves. Help your group stand out by showcasing your group culture and personality. Take advantage of every event you plan to introduce your group to potential members, or highlight the work you’re doing through a donation site or email newsletter. Keep in mind though that more groups means your members’ attention and time will likely be divided among several different places, so be sure to focus on retaining and engaging your members as well.
What are some other tech trends you think will make a huge difference in member management? Let us know if we missed any.
Ready to see for yourself how memberplanet can help you take advantage of these tech trends? Try it and create a group for free.
memberplanet allows your group to seamlessly collect, host, and share full resolution photos with anyone in your group, giving everyone simultaneous access to all the photos taken at an event. This feature is perfect for gatherings and parties where several guests have cameras. Extensive privacy controls ensure that your photos are completely secure.
Collecting and distributing photos after an event sounds like a great idea, but anyone who's tried it on their own knows what a hassle it can be. memberplanet's e-mail uploading feature streamlines the process down to one step. Group members upload their personal photos directly to the group album simply by emailing them to an album-address. Simply distribute the album-address with a friendly reminder and watch as your album fills up! As an admin, you can either allow photos to post immediately, or be held for moderation, as with comments and more.
Three common problem areas and what you can do to overcome them
We live in an interesting time. It’s never been easier to access information. Most people walk around with a device in their pocket that lets them know about pretty much everything happening anywhere on the planet. For the most part, this is an excellent development, especially for nonprofits.
Nowadays, people are much more aware of social issues, as well as the organizations advocating for them. This is obviously positive news; however, it is also a bit of a double-edged sword. With so many nonprofits looking to raise money, it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle.
On top of the crowded landscape, a person may get an alert on their phone about a current news event and a moment later, one about their favorite pair of pants going on sale. On which item do you think they’ll prioritize their money? This leads into one of the biggest fundraising challenges:
Some folks just aren’t willing to donate
The key to getting anyone to donate to your nonprofit is by building a relationship with them. You have to get to know them – and vice versa – before even thinking about asking them for money. Instead, first ask them to sign up for your newsletter or download a pamphlet. See if they would be interested in signing a petition. Figure out ways for potential donors to create an emotional connection with your work before trying to get them to open their wallets.
The social media conundrum
You definitely do not want to overextend yourself. You may think your nonprofit should have a profile on every social network, but if you can’t keep up with the posting, don’t do it. Nothing looks worse than a page that’s collecting cobwebs.
The first thing you want to do is determine who your target audience is. Then you can figure out which social networks they use and focus on those. Social media is a great place to tell stories about your organization, mission, and events, and it also gives you a fantastic opportunity to engage with people to build those precious relationships.
Mobile, mobile, everywhere
When’s the last time you checked your website on your phone? If it looks exactly like it does on your computer, chances are people won’t stay there for long, which means you could be losing precious funding. One way to improve the mobile user experience is by simplifying the donation process, and you can do this by utilizing the auto-fill information stored on devices.
Want to make it easier to raise funds for your nonprofit? Get in touch with memberplanet. Our all-in-one platform will help spread the word about you, make it easy to manage your online presence, and turn your donation process into a snap. Learn more about what we can do for you and sign up here.
Call an emergency meeting
Round up your group wherever they are in the nick of time with SMS. Members can use the mobile app to receive a message anywhere.
"Only 3 spots left!"
Generate urgency for limited inventory or registration spots by sending an email announcing dwindling stock of popular items or registration spots.
Send friendly reminders & confirmations for meetings and standing appointments.
"No snacks containing peanut butter please!"
Keep members cognizant of important restrictions, whatever they may be by sending a reminder email or text.
Use these broadcast ideas and we guarantee your event will be a success!
It’s that time of the year where the sun is shining, the weather is great, and you’re itching to get away for a vacation. It can be a struggle to get everyone and everything organized on-the-go. We at memberplanet understand; it’s tough, but our mobile app makes things easy.
Let us fill you in.
Let us help you create a new memory!
Members can view and manage everything you send - right from their mobile devices.
The app streamlines everything from your MP account on one simple mobile interface. When your members download the app they will have a simple place to check for all the updates, reminders and action items you send.
Leaders have the ability to send SMS and email announcements your entire group right from the app. Broadcasts are a simple and convenient way to reach everyone in just a few clicks.
The feed is your source for all updates. It populates with new Surveys, Events, Donation Sites and Emails in real time. Each item can be opened, viewed and shared socially right from the app. You can even make payments on-the-go with your credit card! Feed filters let members instantly view upcoming Events on the group Calendar and photo albums.
Collect and Make Payments
Administrators can scan cards using the phone’s camera to allow both members and non-members to make payments. Accept donations or sign-ups at your next meeting and events! Members can even scan their own cards on the app to register for upcoming events or make donations.
Notifications let you know that you have news or an outstanding action item, like a required payment. When you respond to an item, it will disappear from your notifications.
The history feature keeps track of all of your past actions on memberplanet. You can always check here to see where you've donated, registered for an Event or submitted a survey response.
If you are a member of multiple groups on memberplanet, you can view group feeds independently or as a combined feed. This is a great way to keep scheduling straight with a synthesized Calendar.
Share the App
Simply send a Broadcast announcement notifying members about the app - all Broadcasts automatically include download links on both email and SMS platforms.
Our whole office is celebrating - it's here!!
We've just launched our newest, and arguably coolest, feature on the site: Broadcasts.
We know our users are communicating on multiple channels, like email, SMS and social media, and often they are sharing the same exact message across all of these mediums. We thought, "wouldn't it be cool if they could just do it all at once?".
Broadcasts are now the fastest, easiest, and most comprehensive way to share news with your group, giving you the option to post a unified message over SMS, email, and the mobile app - simultaneously - in just a few clicks.
We've always offered SMS and email, but broadcast brings them together on a simple, seamless platform to deliver your message the farthest and fastest, without you having to go through the process all over again for each technology. Whether you're announcing an urgent update, reminder, or cancellation, broadcasts are the best way to maximize exposure for your message in record time. You can even send long detailed messages with images - mobile recipients will receive the first 160 characters as well as a link to view the message in entirety online.
Possibly the most exciting feature in Broadcasts is the real-time reporting for both email and SMS recipients. Now you'll be able to see who has received the message, via text, email, or both, and who didn't, letting you quickly identify which members you may need to reach out to again.
Oh wait - no this is the coolest!
The broadcast feature is available on the mobile app too! Now you can schedule and send broadcasts anytime, anywhere, right from your iPhone or Android. We kinda think the mobile app is even easier and more convenient than the desktop version, if that's even possible.
Log on to try it now, and keep your eyes out for more info and suggestions from us about using broadcasts!