3 Ways to Grow Your Non-Profit with the Right Association Management Software
Non-profit groups build their strength and visibility when they attract members who share their focus, commitment, point of view, and goals. With the right association management software, you can create a website that helps you reach like-minded individuals, encourage them to join, and grow your reach as well as your base of support. As you research association management website software providers, keep these three fundamentals in mind, and look for the right package to help you make your mark.
It’s the most-basic necessity of every non-profit group, but as you search for the right association management software provider, you’ll quickly discover that communication seems not to be the focal strength of some of the packages you’ll find on the market. Some software providers still seem to expect that you’ll rely on commercially available social media sites for member-to-member communication and even for some parts of organization-to-member dialog. Unless these providers prioritize building you the tools you need for this type of communication into your website itself, they’re leaving you without the ability to conduct an essential part of your daily business.
Look for software that makes it easy to message members directly through your website, including with customizable e-mail messages, system-generated password resets, and even support for opt-in text messaging. Look for the ability to set up a member directory—with the opt-in peace of mind that enables members to control where and even whether they appear, and how much information they share about themselves. (Remember that in some states, the law requires you to allow members to opt in to public displays of personal information, so even if you choose a package that lets you bulk edit member settings, use discretion in what you make public.)
Likewise, look for association management software that enables your members to communicate privately through online chat, with no need to leave your website and switch over to a social media venue just to converse with fellow members.
Unless you’re a website developer by profession—and even if you are—you’re probably volunteering your time to help establish your organization’s online presence, create its content, launch the site, and handle administrative affairs. You want professionally designed website builder features that are easy to use and capable of showcasing your unique group. Otherwise, you’ll wind up spending so much time putting together your site that your members begin to lose interest and drift away to other activities. As you do your research into association management software, look for site setup that’s straightforward, visually intuitive, and filled with powerful features you can control quickly.
You want association management software that gives you confidence: in data security that protects your information and the privacy of your members, in a modern code base that’s maintained with frequent updates, in in-depth support that answers your questions and provides you with the resources you need to help you build your online presence.
That’s one reason it can be difficult to build your site from scratch with do-it-yourself tools. How can you be sure that the software you use is built correctly and maintained frequently? To go this route, you need to select and maintain all the parts and pieces of your software—and that means you’re your own technical support more often than not.
Even if you feel ready to tackle the long list of necessities that go into creating a website on your own, you can’t be certain that the individuals and companies that create the plug-ins and other parts of your website software will continue to develop and support these resources in the future. It’s not as easy as it sounds to replace a piece of website software, because many of these chunks of programming store their information in their own proprietary formats—which you can’t just import into other plug-ins.
But the biggest elephant in the room is the issue of overall data security. When you build your own website, you’re responsible for every aspect of that protection, from guarding member logins to setting up online payments. That’s a lot to take on—especially if you’re a volunteer administrator in the first place.
Why not skip the headaches and make the easy decision to choose a complete association management software package that takes care of all of these headaches for you? At Membershine, we’ve built the software we know you need—and we know that because we’ve been working with non-profit groups and member associations for a long time.
Sign up for our completely free 15-day trial—no credit card required—and see how the right association management software can make your group’s ideal website an easy reality. From our communication features to the convenient simplicity of our site setup and management, all the way to our modern, well-maintained software, we have the features and the time-saving ease you need.