You’re trying to make things better at your organization, but it seems like you’re running in circles. You might have even picked up the best tools (ahem … memberplanet) but might not be using them to your full advantage. If you’re ready to pull all your hair out, read this for some membership-management relief.
1. Automate your membership
Make it easy for members to join your organization. A prospect is ready to commit to an annual membership to your organization. Hopefully, you've set up the application process so it's convenient for those who are joining as well as administrative users like yourself who manage this process. Take the time to set up your membership tiers or levels and post links in easily accessible places, such as your website and social media pages. A new member will only have to click to get started, fill out your forms online, and make an online payment - which is much more convenient than picking up the phone to call you or having to mail paper forms and a check.
If it's necessary for your application process to be more manual than automated, you can set up email notifications to go to the right admins when someone does submit an application.
Give the option to automatically renew membership. Your members won’t always remember (or want) to manually take money out of their paycheck to pay membership dues. No matter how much they love you and your cause, making it inconvenient for your members to part with their money is painful, so give them the convenient option of an automatic payment plan.
For members who opt to pay manually, or those who are past due, enable automated reminder emails to keep them informed. You can also customize these emails and target members using levels, types, and auto-renew statuses. Email campaigns can also be tailored to members based on other variable data, such as an event RSVP or amount donated.
memberplanet users: Here are support documents on how to set up membership levels if you haven’t already. Smart Lists allow you to segment your distribution lists so you can target your communication based on variable data. Use the membership tools to your advantage to set up automatic renewals, offer free memberships, and more.
2. Get mentally organized to save time and boost productivity
Take a step back, clear your mind, and get organized. There are a lot of excellent organization tips online, such as Entrepreneur’s 10 tips for work life. Here are our own specific to-do items that directly apply to managing your organization:
Now that you’ve got some targets, recognize the fact that you’re not likely to hit them unless you use a calendar. Whether it’s a smartphone app or a physical appointment book, a calendar is great way to get organized and hit consistent deadlines.
Note to memberplanet users: Our free app allows you to accomplish admin tasks on the go. If you find yourself tied to your desktop most of the time, download it on the App Store or Google Play and give it a whirl.
3. Delegate the right tasks – and know which ones to do yourself
Delegation is simple – but if you’re not doing it right, you could be wasting even more valuable time. First, you need to identify the tasks you should delegate and the ones you shouldn't. Here’s some of the best stuff to pass off:
If you can't automate a task, ask yourself: Can it be delegated? It’s important to let go of some of these jobs, even if you love or have gotten used to doing them.
memberplanet users: You can assign an unlimited number of admins. Share the load with those who can take on the responsibility and use admin role management to set necessary permissions.
Whether your organization has 200 members or 200,000, it pays to stay organized, as well as to make sure the memberships you offer are flexible and diverse enough to attract a variety of supporters. Managing membership can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.
Updated since original publication on 07/17/17.