memberplanet to Exhibit the Holiday Showcase Produced by the Association Forum in Chicago - Learn What Top 5 Things to do in Chicago if You’re Attending
On December 17 - we will be at booth # 319 exhibiting the wonderful Holiday Showcase conference produced by the Association Forum at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. This conference is a one-day trade show for Chicago’s huge association market that holds more than 1,400 attendees. These professional attendees come from all areas of association management.
Our memberplanet team is looking forward to present our powerful AMS that let’s admins track activity, view reporting, and gain high-level organizational visibility - all in one place!
If you’re headed to Chicago - here are the top 5 things to check out while you’re there this holiday season:
Christkindlemarket - Daley Plaza, Loop
This charming little outdoor Christmas market features international and local vendors with unique holiday gifts and delicious food and beverages. Don’t forget to check out their imported wine!
Lincoln Park Zoo
A 35-acre zoo founded in 1868, is the oldest zoo in North America and one of a few free admission zoos in the U.S. Enjoy a holiday experience at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Visit the City of Chicago Christmas Tree - Millennium Park
Head over to gaze at this famous tree adorned with twinkling lights - and not too far from the Christkindlemarket.
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
It’s Chicago - must have pizza! Enjoy a slice of this famous deep dish pizza that has locals naming it one of the best in town.
Another delicious and famous deep dish pizza that everyone must try is Giordano’s. A creation that began in Italy - this slice of heaven has been making news headlines for years.
We are very proud to exhibit at the 2019 ASAE Technology Exploration Conference (TEC) in Washington, D.C. December 3-4. This two-day event will be tailored to reach the critical needs of a growing technology-driven community. ASAE TEC seeks to help technology professionals, and other professionals with roles or interest in digital and mobile solutions find the education, solutions, and connections they’re looking for.
As a pioneer in cloud-based membership management software, the memberplanet team is looking forward to demonstrate our robust AMS, reporting capabilities, and comprehensive solutions. Our flexible platform allows associations to connect to their existing database, technology partners, and custom workflows via powerful API integrations - resulting in a seamless and engaging user experience.
If you are attending #ASAETEC, please stop by booth #227 to learn more about our innovative solutions!
It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is quickly approaching, isn’t it? The first sighting of snow-covered décor or lit up trees means that giving season is upon us! There is one major event that kicks off holiday giving – Giving Tuesday. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday 2019 takes place on December 3. In 2018, people from more than 110 community coalitions and 150 countries participated in the charitable event.
According to the Giving Tuesday organization, in 2016 Giving Tuesday raised more than $177 million online. 2017 was even more successful, it raised over $300 million online. Last year’s results tallied to more than $400 million - proof that donors are extremely generous during both Giving Tuesday and end-of-year giving in general. As awareness of the day continues to grow each year, so do its benefits for charitable organizations. Giving Tuesday has become a global event, but you don’t need to be a national or multi-tiered organization to participate. Here are three steps even a local nonprofit can take to prepare for the main event.
Step 1: Set your Giving Tuesday fundraising goals
An important part of preparing for Giving Tuesday is setting your fundraising goals. When setting your goals, you can consider the following:
Remember, the more prepared you are in determining your goals, the easier it will be for you to nail down your message when you’re ready to share your goals and grow community involvement!
Step 2: Fire up your fundraising campaign
You have a million ways these days to approach promoting your donation campaign. You can go the chestnuts-roasting-on-an-open-fire approach, which is kind of a slow burn at first, and then switch to fireworks finale mode, an all-at-once effort, toward the end.
Whatever approach you decide on, take advantage of email and social media – two powerful marketing platforms.
Mobilizing volunteer efforts is another strategy that spreads awareness throughout your local community and celebrate giving. The holiday giving season can mean giving one’s time or donating goods – not just funds. By inviting donors, employees, and members of the local community to your event, you can attract attention to your cause.
Step 3: Make donating easy
In business, a best practice is to make it easy for customers to give you their money. The same applies to your donors. Always give them the options to donate when they want and how they want. By offering the option to donate electronically, your supporters can make secured donations conveniently from a website or mobile device, whenever they want, even if they’re thousands of miles away. You can still accept cash or check, but you’re not limiting your fundraising by only accepting those forms of donations.
Nonprofits that offer online giving also widen the donor net and grow overall fundraising revenue. By setting up a way to process funds electronically, you can also offer donors the option to pay by recurring or installment payments. Recurring payment options are a great fit for those who want to contribute weekly, monthly, or quarterly throughout the year. Installment payments give donors the convenience of breaking up a large sum of money (which they may not have considered giving all at once) into multiple payments of their choosing.
By using these key steps to prep for Giving Tuesday, your organization will not only be a part of a growing movement, it will also give you the chance to celebrate the success that your charitable efforts deliver to your local community.
Ready to get started? Log in, create a donation campaign, and choose from multiple templates, including Giving Tuesday and other seasonal occasions.
Updated since original publication on 10/23/17.
memberplanet is thrilled to be attending the 2019 Associations Component Exchange (CEX) forum organized by Billhighway on Friday, October 18th, in Washington, D.C. CEX is the only conference designed for component relations professionals. This event is a one-day forum for association professionals who manage, nurture, and work with components or chapters to share successes, struggles, and strategies.
Cassie Braun and Chris O’ Meara from our team will be there to participate in educational sessions and collaborate around chapters. #LeverageChapters!
memberplanet helps components stay connected with association leaders - The platform is designed for a multi-level association with components. The AMS provides visibility over all chapters with consolidated, customizable reporting. Everything – from public-facing features to chapter website templates – adopts a nation level’s look and feel to maintain brand consistency.
Build your online presence - Provide streamlined chapter websites with a member login and personalized member dashboard. Chapter-based associations can maintain branding consistency and control messaging with content management system (CMS) features for all their chapter sites, while empowering chapters to produce their own engaging content.
Engagement. While the term means different things to different organizations (we have our own definition, too), you’re probably reading this because you understand how essential it is. Broadly defined, engagement is activity, and for your association, the activity between your organization and the member, as well as the member-to-member interaction your association provides that drives membership value.
When it’s time for a member to renew, engagement can mean the difference between leaving and staying. An engaged member is an active member, and the effort to keep members active is ongoing and ever evolving. Every organization is unique, so we’ve put together six different tactics any organization can try to ensure members don’t become stagnant.
Engage their brains
Discovering ways to engage your members in the electrical synapses of their brains isn’t as challenging as you might think. Members are already interested in going beyond their day-to-day activities since they’ve been moved to join your association.
1. Host a Ted Talk-type event
This can involve reaching beyond the normal social circle of association leaders as you look for engaging speakers on a local level. You don’t have to book a professional speaker to create an engaging event. The primary aim of a Ted Talk is to spread ideas, and your association’s membership is an excellent resource. Consider using your members and their social circles when searching for speakers. You can even create a spotlight on a featured member series. This type of event is great for sparking inspiration and thought-provoking ideas among your members. Your local library or civic center is another resource for potential speakers – check recent events for special guests.
2. Host a partner event
Another way to engage your members’ brains is to host an event where your association and a partner or like-minded organization combine efforts. You can celebrate a milestone, a recent launch, or host a fundraising event. An example is a medical association partnering with a children’s hospital for an ice cream social. Think about other local organizations whose missions are similar to yours and reach out to them. These shared events are great ways for like-minded people to network and socialize, while also learning what other organizations are working on. Perhaps your members will discover new reasons to be dedicated to your mission, or maybe you’ll add some new members, but either way, everyone will feel engaged and a little more supported.
Engage their hearts
Speaking to the core values of your members is a tactic for engagement that can work wonders.
3. Organize philanthropic activities
Volunteer opportunities can increase member interaction on several levels. Association leaders can utilize heavily involved volunteers with the opportunity to organize the event. Taking on a leadership role deepens their connection to the association. Philanthropic activities don’t have to be fundraisers. Options like organizing a trash cleanup at a park or a care package drive for soldiers are excellent examples of philanthropy that bring members together for a cause larger than any single person. The kinship members experience after being part of something unerringly good will resonate amongst them long after the event has ended.
4. Let members host a social media takeover
On a more direct level, each of your members has a personal journey and perhaps a strong reason for connecting with and joining your association. Increasing interaction by allowing them to share and promote those personal stories through a social media takeover for a day. This provides them with a way to feel the impact of their role within the association, as well as simply having fun controlling the messaging. Human interest stories are the most compelling, and there may be members who are unaware of each other’s story. Creating more natural bonds within your membership provides value in letting members connect with each other. This is a wonderful chance to mix the heart and humanity of your members with the mission of the association to create something long lasting.
Engage their fun side
Everyone wants time to kick back and relax. That may mean something different for each of your members, but there’s almost always fun angle. Create some icebreaker activities that make it easy for members to interact in a group setting and let the good times roll.
5. Host a book club or game night
Book clubs are often successful among members because they create a goal and a deadline while building itself into the routine of the participants. They also offer the added benefit of creating an online discussion. Members can interact via a forum or discussion board about each book. You can facilitate book selection using online polls. It’s an activity with multiple opportunities for engaging members. If books aren’t a good fit, try a local game night (or day). Members can vote on a game, or you can have a selection of classic games available like Pictionary and Trivial Pursuit that don’t require a lot of rules learning time; even charades are fun for keeping the entire group entertained or fostering team building. A variety of games that have broad appeal, like Jenga and Apples to Apples, are a blast for when splinter groups want to play on their own. Looking for something outdoors? A scavenger hunt during the day creates the perfect opportunity for members to interact in teams.
6. Offer members-only giveaways or awards
Spice up those game nights or any other event by including members-only giveaways and contests. Association leaders can gamify initiatives with awards and friendly competition. For example, a member is awarded for being the first to reach a goal for volunteer hours. If you really want to do something special, host an awards show with customized award names to speak to your membership. Volunteer Hero and Donation Champion are sample award ideas. You can choose to hand out awards for all membership activities during an annual or quarterly meeting to highlight the period.
We know there are many more tactics that lead to improved member engagement. Let us know what’s worked for your organization in the comments below!
Alumni chapters and associations help maintain a vital connection between graduates, undergraduate members, and the university. It’s how those lifelong relationships are tended to and grown; they’re where opportunities can come from. However, if your daily tasks as an alumni chapter leader involve chasing down individuals for payments, searching through spreadsheets to check off who’s paid in a seemingly endless circle, it’s time for a dues program.
The world itself is nearly automated, and your alumni chapter should be the same. Committing to and selecting the right dues program should be easy – features are built in and turnkey, allowing alumni leaders to get started on Day 1. No longer having to do everything manually does more than save time and frustration, it allows you to focus on more vital goals of your alumni chapter, such as leadership and philanthropy. Check out these key benefits.
Integrated payments technology
A comprehensive dues program is much more than just money collection because it utilizes an integrated payments solution that ties together your online payment processing, your membership data, and administrative tasks – to get them working autonomously and in sync. This creates a more enhanced membership experience including a frictionless join and renewal process, which are critical to the year-over-year success of your alumni association.
A major benefit is flexible collection periods. Alumni chapter leaders can select how often they collect dues online based on what works best for their chapter. Your chapter may prefer an annual collection, or your alumni association might require you to collect dues monthly; either way, you have the option to choose the frequency that best suits your chapter.
Members benefit from the convenience of paying dues based on their join date. You no longer have rigid limitations of enrolling new members on a specific date, and a dues program can automatically send email reminders and bill everyone on schedule. Staying organized is a given. Administrative users can easily see which of their members have paid, check payment schedules, and identify those who are past due. Since membership data is synced and admin tasks can be automated, members who have missed the grace period for making a dues payment can be automatically made inactive or unable to receive member benefits.
A modern and frictionless membership experience
A dues program that really works will aid in the success of your alumni chapter. At every turn it provides options to help you grow, help you automate dues collection, and help you save time. Setting up multiple tiers of membership and varying prices is a standard feature. For example, leaders can offer a discounted rate for new graduates, as well as different prices for membership levels. Robust functionality makes it easier for you to manage membership, and in turn, allows you to offer flexibility and more options to attract new members.
We have all grown accustomed to the convenience of subscription services in our everyday lives. Almost everything we pay for (Amazon, Netflix, cell phone, etc.) has an auto-pay option. Your alumni chapter should be one of them! The success of your alumni chapter increases greatly when the membership renewal experience is frictionless. A dues program allows you to offer auto-pay solutions, such as recurring payments and online payment options. Administrators can also expect to customize automated payment reminders with messaging and branding.
As with any professional subscription service, a comprehensive dues program puts members in control of their own accounts with self-service tools. Members can set and forget payments with a credit card or choose to securely make payments directly from their bank account. They can also view their payment history, see scheduled payments, manage payment methods, or pay early.
One of the less discussed but equally vital benefits of a dues management program is a credit card account updater service. This automatically prevents payment interruptions and minimizes declines, because the service updates your members’ card information on file. This helps maintain continuity of payments by staying on top of credit card changes due to card expirations and other occurrences.
The technology of a dues program has positive effects on marketing – something alumni chapter leaders should take advantage of. Alumni chapters can place a link for members to sign in and complete payment on their website, social media, or anywhere else. More advanced programs simplify dues collection with multi-channel communication and feature-rich marketing tools. Alumni leaders can get the word out on multiple channels using email campaigns and group text messages; targeted distribution lists allow you to reach everyone on a particular membership level with one mass email that can be personalized for each member. The fact that the tools are integrated with membership allows admins to further segment and target members based on platform data.
Integrated marketing tools should help leaders appeal to prospects as well in effectively communicating the value of joining the alumni association. A dues program’s broader benefits include bolstering engagement opportunities and philanthropic support for the university.
Simplifying dues and membership is memberplanet’s specialty. While alumni chapter leaders have many dues programs to choose from, our integrated payments technology offers a more customized, automated, and seamless experience for every level of your fraternal organization. Our technology works behind the scenes, so all communications and even the member portal can be tailored to adopt your organization’s branding. Members see your message and brand front and center – not a third-party payment processor, which may come across as unprofessional. For more information on memberplanet’s dues program, please schedule a demo with the team.
About Matt Arnold
As our Vice President of Business Development, Matt is dedicated to serving member-based organizations and small to mid-sized associations. With over 10 years of experience wearing various leadership hats as an Alpha Tau Omega alumnus, Matt specializes in all fraternal organization matters. Whether a group is challenged with growing membership or struggling to engage members, he's got a solution.
memberplanet to Exhibit at the North American Interfraternity Conference Annual Meeting and Foundation for Fraternal Excellence's Seminar
memberplanet will be exhibiting its membership management software and fundraising solutions at the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) Annual Meeting of Members and Foundation for Fraternal Excellence's (FFE) Seminar, Aug. 11-14, 2019, in Indianapolis, IN.
Why Fraternal Foundations and Organizations Choose memberplanet:
We solve challenges for the fraternal community and empower them to manage members, engage supporters, and grow membership. Our 30+ national partnerships help us provide dynamic solutions for fraternal foundations and organizations:
The Hub – provide a home for your members with easy-to-maintain, memberplanet-powered websites. The Hub maintains brand integrity across chapter templates, and members can log in to access self-service tools.
Funds Multiplier – reach more people and raise more funds for any type of campaign. Fundraising and event microsite templates are easy to customize and promote with feature-rich marketing tools.
Alumni Access – the platform provides both chapter and alumni leaders with the tools they need to grow membership. Promote networking, fundraising and events, and simplify dues collection to keep members active even after graduation.
Fraternal leaders at headquarters can conveniently manage chapters, maintain brand consistency, gain financial transparency, and empower chapter and alumni leaders for success, all from the same platform.
Visit the memberplanet booth or schedule a call with our team to learn how the platform can help your organization succeed.
memberplanet is exhibiting our association management software (AMS) at the 2019 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition August 10 - 13 in Columbus, Ohio!
Why associations choose memberplanet: Manage, engage, and grow your association with memberplanet’s powerful AMS. Track activity, view reporting, gain high-level organizational visibility – all in one spot – so your staff can spend less time on admin tasks and more time growing your association and driving value.
Save time and resources, increase productivity, and maintain brand integrity. Gain visibility over you entire organization with an integrated, cloud-based AMS!
Come to Booth #1550 to learn more!
It’s a point of pride to be recognized within your own community for two consecutive years! memberplanet earned third place in the Tech Tribune’s 2019 top five ranking of the best tech startups in Torrance, CA. We’re proud to be recognized for our dedication to our clients’ growth and rewarded for our focus on simplifying membership management.
We strive to continuously improve our platform by utilizing input from our clients and the challenges their administrative users face. That enables us to deliver solutions based on real-world situations. We’re incredibly proud of the fact that our platform is customizable to your workflow processes, which allows us to serve a wide range of organizations across multiple industries – it’s what makes us different. We’re excited about the local recognition and look at it as a confirmation that we’re doing something right.
Ready to take your organization to the next level? Schedule a demo with our team to learn more about our powerful platform.
Updated since original publication on 04/24/18.
About 90 percent of text messages are read within three minutes, and the open rate for SMS text is as high as 98 percent, according to Gartner. This is probably common knowledge if you’re a marketer or communications professional, but those who are in charge of day-to-day membership operations, communications, and events should also take advantage of this.
While there’s no shortage of mass text messaging apps in cyberspace, the main benefit of using an integrated platform is that you get the metrics you need associated with membership. There’s no wasted time in exporting contact lists, uploading to a separate text messaging app, then downloading and filtering data based on opens and responses. A true membership management solution houses all of that functionality in one system, making multi-channel communication more efficient, convenient, and productive.
Group text messaging can be incredibly useful, but it can also be overused. Here are four main guidelines to stick to when deciding whether or not to email or text members or other administrators in your organization.
1. You have an urgent announcement
Before you send your mass text message, ask yourself: Is this urgent? The reason SMS open rates are so high is because the majority of people, including your members, have their phones close by. It only takes a few non-urgent messages before they’re annoyed with the frequency of your sends. Just like mass emailing, consumers have the capability to opt out of mass text messaging – so text sparingly and only when there is real urgency. If you think your message can wait to be read, use email.
2. Your message is short
Even if you have an urgent message that you need to broadcast, it’s still safe to say the average person doesn’t want to scroll through paragraphs in a text message. A good rule of thumb is keeping within the character count of a Twitter post. You can always send a detailed email, then if necessary, send a text that mentions the subject line and to check the email for full details.
3. You need an immediate response
When you are looking for a quick turnaround on responses, text messaging is the way to go. Viable mass text solutions differ from regular text messages and group chat apps – even if you text multiple contacts, only you will receive their responses (unlike those annoying text chain messages).
4. The time is right
Lastly, it’s common courtesy to send and schedule texts during regular business hours, unless you’re running a widely publicized event or campaign and your contacts expect messages from your organization. I can’t speak for anyone else, but my Saturday mornings are pretty sacred.
Stick to the best practices above, use common sense, and you’ll be golden. memberplanet’s Broadcast feature lets administrative users send SMS text messages and email simultaneously, from a custom text number (so your members or constituents can tell it’s coming from your organization). You can learn more about this feature and our fully integrated membership management platform by scheduling a demo with our team.