What Happens After I Launch My New Membership Management Solution?

Written by Ray van Hilst on . Posted in Association, Association Best Practices

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For every client, the day their new membership management solution goes live is exciting. 

The past few weeks (or months) have been spent cleaning up existing member databases, updating the membership directory and organizing all of the old data.

But the reality is that the work has just started. As they say, “welcome to the first day of the rest of your life.”

Hopefully during your implementation period you took advantage of all the training and have been learning how to use your new membership management solution.

So what are some key things you should be able to do to better manage your association right after your new software is live? Here’s a short list of key action items and management tasks that will test how well you understand your new software.

  • Link an individual’s membership record to an organization and identify an individual as the primary contact of an organization.
  • Manage member relationships from individuals to individuals, organizations to organizations and individuals to organizations for example.
  • Set up an event and take event registrations with the event management software in your system. Know how to run event registrant lists and reports for managing your meetings.
  • Launch your membership Web site to your members and give them members-only content.
  • Send out an e-mail marketing campaign to notify members about the new members-only Web site and how they can update their profile, fill out an online membership application, search the membership directory, register for an event, purchase merchandise, make a donation and/or renew and pay their membership dues order.
  • Process payments for event registrations, new memberships, renewal memberships, merchandise items, subscriptions, donations, etc.
  • Run a report to see who has filled out the new visitor registration form on the association Web site. Target them to join and register for an event if they have not already done so.
  • Run queries and reports to see how many new and renewed members you have added to the membership database since you started using the new association maangement software.
  • Reconcile your accounting records by using the accounting reports (GL Ledger detail, Cash Flow Report)  and other payments queries.
  • Be able to know how many merchandise/subscription items were purchased and how to fulfill those orders using the merchandise fulfillment/subscription fulfillment or inventory management/warehouse processes.
  • Be comfortable using the association management software to make your daily business practices run smoother and save you time.

If you are not able to complete these items during implementation or right after, then you should add them to your list of future tasks to complete. Also look for resources from your software partner including upcoming trainings, recorded webinars – or consider scheduling additional training for you or your staff.

The key to a successful membership solution implementation is that it gets used properly to manage the association and make life easier for members and the staff. And with proper training and practice, you’ll be using it to deliver better association management.

 

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