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.
Membership is an organization’s most valuable asset. Without loyal members, your group will cease to exist. That is why it is so important to allocate a significant portion of your budget, time, and focus to retaining existing supporters while also adding new ones. Every expert has tips for success, but these are by far the best ones I've seen organizations make use of in spanning my 20 years of experience.
1. Define your value proposition
Your organization’s value proposition can be defined as the answer to the question: Why should I choose this organization over another? It’s your key differential, your competitive advantage, and what members should refer to when they explain why they chose to join. Being able to identify and drive value will help you build the foundation for your marketing strategies and materials – it should be front and center on your website. In order to sell it, you need to make sure all of your staff, volunteers, and members know and understand what it is – if they can’t, then what you consider to be your organization’s most unique quality might not actually be all that unique.
2. Market where your members are
This doesn’t just mean in physical location sense. The key to gaining and retaining members is to stay constantly visible, including digitally. Be present on the social media channels and online groups they’re in. Advertising in industry-specific publications and participate in industry-related events. As a leader of your organization, you should be viewed as a credible source in the space. If you’re not constantly marketing your group on and offline, how will your members know who you are?
3. Leverage a member referral program
No marketing strategy can beat personal recommendations and word of mouth. Great referral programs leverage members who are advocates of your organization. Your advocates should be willing to promote all the benefits they’ve gained by being a loyal member. If you haven’t pursued this before, make sure the process is simple and easy for your members to recruit on your behalf by providing relevant materials and incentives for doing so. Incentives can come in the form of free entry to an event or a discount on their membership.
And if you are already utilizing this strategy, track its success and seek ways to continue to improve it. Always keep in mind that your constituents are your greatest assets. Make sure they are well equipped with training to answer questions and positively represent your organization.
4. Keep your existing members happy
Retaining your current members is even more important than obtaining new ones. Nothing defines a successful organization more than loyal supporters. The fewer you lose, the easier it will be to reach your growth goals and the less resources you’ll have to spend to do it. The key to maintaining your current membership base is to always drive value. Secondary to that is making it convenient to remain as a member of your organization. It’s critical to continually communicate your value to members, whether it’s through marketing automation, event notifications, email campaigns, or social media posts. Listen to your members as well – get feedback and their thoughts on how well you’re providing value. Take that information to further improve your value proposition and stay relevant in our ever-changing technological and social landscapes.
These four tips can help an organization not just stay current in appealing to younger demographics, they also ensure that it continues to excel and deliver membership that is valuable and accessible. To learn more about how memberplanet can bolster membership for your organization or association, schedule a demo with our team.
There’s no question about it – you need to collect online payments and give your staff the tools to do so as well. But how you do that can affect the membership experience, efficiency of administrative operations, and your financial transparency.
Integrated payments technology provides a solution that ties together your online payment processing, your membership data, and administrative tasks – to get them working autonomously and in sync. The result is a more seamless experience for your members and efficient workflow for your staff.
Take for example these benefits that integrated payments can provide to your organization, and further elevate its performance.
Enhanced membership experience
You’re always striving to provide your members – your customers – a secure and modernized payment experience. An integrated payments solution can connect your member database with online payment processing functionality. Your members benefit from convenient options to pay how, when, and where they want. Your organization can offer one-time payments, recurring and installment payments for dues, fundraising, event ticketing, or anything else – and your organization’s branding stays front and center on every form or website page.
Bank-grade security features keep your member data uncompromised, ensuring that your brand remain trustworthy. Payment and personal data are tokenized and encrypted and can only be deciphered by the issuing bank during authorization.
When combined with a members-only website, you have the ability to give members the customized view they’ve come to expect. Upon logging in to your website, they can manage their account and view personalized info that matters to them.
Frictionless join and renew process
Do you make it easy for people to join your organization? Is it as frictionless as possible for existing members to renew? The right integrated payments solution supports your member onboarding and application process and simplifies it. Whether new members need to go through a complex approval process or are systematically approved, you can capture the member data you need from one place. The technology can employ integration points on the back end for a dynamic approach, so those looking to join or renew can access the same URL – even if you offer multiple types of memberships at various prices.
Integrated payments technology also contributes to increasing member retention rates with features such as auto-renewal, saved payment methods, and card updater services, which automatically replace an expired credit card on file for uninterrupted recurring payments.
Eliminate inefficiencies for your staff with a solution that streamlines and automates administrative operations. Manual data entry, correcting human errors, and downloading info from one program to upload it to another can take hours out of the work week. Integrated payments technology consolidates the tools you need – email marketing, text messaging, online events management, fundraising capabilities, and financial reporting – on one platform. All that time spent on managing multiple programs, which also incur additional expenses, would be better spent on providing the best value to your members.
The memberplanet solution
Our payments technology is fully integrated with a suite of membership, communication, fundraising, and event tools on our platform. You and your staff gain actionable insights with real-time reporting and a centralized database of membership for both your members and potential members. A third-party payment processor won’t consolidate your data for you, which is why memberplanet’s integrated payments solution reigns superior. Streamline operations, spend more time on your mission, and keep a better pulse on your organization – schedule a demo with the memberplanet team to learn more about how we can help you manage, engage, and grow.
memberplanet Exhibits at the 2019 ASAE: Marketing, Membership, & Communications Conference (MMCC) in Washington, D.C.!
We’re proud to exhibit our association management software at the 2019 ASAE: Marketing, Membership, & Communications Conference (MMCC) June 6 - 7 in Washington, D.C.!
Why associations choose memberplanet:
All tools on the platform are fully integrated to give association leaders high-level organizational visibility, greater financial transparency, and a seamless user experience with technology partners via API integration.
Come to Booth #710 to learn more!
See you in D.C.!
memberplanet is exhibiting our membership management software at the 2019 FEA Annual Meeting, May 29 - May 31, at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.
What Your Fraternal Community Can Do With memberplanet
Come to Booth #219 to learn more!
See you in Las Vegas!
The days of cash carrying are over. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple decades, you’ve noticed the societal shift toward electronic payments. What does this mean for you and your PTA? Let’s get schooled on payment methods. The reality is that ignoring this trend can seriously hurt the future growth of your local PTA. The benefits are enough to outweigh whatever costs are incurred – and we have proof. Check out these five payoffs of accepting electronic payments.
1. Grow your membership
Studies indicate more than 70 percent of Americans have at least one credit card. Even more compelling is that 60 percent of consumers pay with credit cards instead of cash. This means that accepting credit card payments increases your ability to attract potential PTA members who find electronic payments more convenient. You can connect with a larger audience to recruit members, reach more donors for your campaigns, and increase ticket sales for your events. It’s simple math – when you broaden your reach, you also increase your chances of boosting membership.
2. Increase school and PTA revenue
Research shows that people are willing to spend more on their credit cards than when making cash purchases. This has obvious benefits for fundraising campaigns, as it can lead to bigger donations from individuals. The New York Times sites several studies that demonstrate the increase in spending with credit versus cash of at least 5-10 percent. In one study, graduate students paid nearly double the price for a sporting event ticket when paying with a credit card!
3. Ease the burden of holding on to large sums of cash and checks
PTA leaders don’t need to be carrying members’ cash and check payments with them. By accepting electronic payments, you make it more convenient for your members to pay by their own method of preference, and you’re likely to save yourself a trip to the bank. Direct deposit also removes the inconvenience of paying out of pocket. Accepting electronic payments increases cash flow by limiting the time it takes for money to appear in your account. Instead of waiting for PTA members or donors to mail a check, then depositing the check, and waiting for it to clear, funds are deposited directly into your account.
4. Simplify recurring payments and donations
Local PTA members and donors can set up recurring membership payments and donations. memberplanet’s electronic payment feature is built in, easy to use, and features advanced encryption to ensure payments are securely processed and deposited directly into your designated account. Simplifying the payment process makes it easier to collect membership dues and retain current members, and is beneficial when collecting donations during fundraisers.
5. Build credibility with credit cards
Accepting credit cards is particularly helpful because it adds credibility to a PTA’s operation. When your members and potential members see that you’re accepting credit cards it increases the legitimacy of your local PTA. Furthermore, limiting your PTA to cash transactions can seem unprofessional given the rise of electronic payment options.
Accepting electronic payments facilitates the exchange of money for you and anyone you collect payments from. This is beneficial and convenient for collecting membership fees, receiving donations, and selling event tickets or any other PTA product or service your offer. With an evident shift from cash to credit, it is essential to offer a variety of payment methods to retain members, grow your organization, and maximize PTA contributions.
Ready to get started? Log in to memberplanet and set up your account to collect electronic payments.
PTA Simplified is a series of tips for PTA and PTO leaders to get the most out of a powerful association management system – to manage, engage, and grow their membership all year long.
Updated since original publication on 7/01/2017.
We live in a world of instant communication. With a few clicks, almost anyone in the world can be reached via phone, email, or text messaging. Communication being this instantaneous has amazing benefits, but it can be confusing at times to choose the best method for your message. Emails are great for long form announcements, and they are typically a groups bread and butter for communication. But there are times when a text message is a better method to communicate with your members. Take a look at our three rules of when to text your members instead of email. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did.
Text your members when…
1. You have urgent announcements/reminders
Shooting your members reminder messages is great for PTA leaders on the go. For example, a perfect time to send a reminder a text message is before an event. Shoot a quick text to remind admins to bring the decorations, or to pick up tape because you’ve run out. Messages are also great for reaching members quickly when breaking news happens in your PTA.
2. Your message is short and sweet
Text messages are great for instant contact with PTA admins and members, but be mindful of sending too many texts. If members feel like they are constantly being sent messages, they may become less responsive and engaged. Save text messaging for important announcements or reminders. Non-time sensitive items are best left for email or meetings.
3. You need a response – pronto!
When you are looking for a quick turnaround on responses, text messaging is the way to go. Let’s face it, our phones are never far out of reach. Sending a text message is a great way to ensure members receive messages fast. Our text messaging feature is different from a regular text message – even if you text multiple members, only you will receive their responses (unlike those annoying text chain messages). Make sure to send texts at times that you will be responsive to messages, and set aside time to put your phone down so you and your admins can enjoy time with family. Now that you know the golden rules of when to text members, learn how to create and send a text message.
PTA Simplified is a series of tips for PTA and PTO leaders to get the most out of a powerful association management system – to manage, engage, and grow their membership all year long.
Updated since original publication on 11/15/2017.