5 Features You Need in Your Membership Software
The software that powers your membership-based organization website needs to do more than provide you with an attractive online presence. To get the most out of your website, you need membership software that anticipates and fulfills your organization’s most-important—and sometimes least-streamlined—administrative needs. For optimal functionality, look for these five features in the membership software package you choose.
See everything at a glance
Some membership software packages make it difficult to obtain a comprehensive view of your membership and your administrative affairs without clicking through numerous pages to find it and compiling bits and pieces of information after you locate them. Those types of time-consuming processes quickly begin to look just as inefficient as the manual steps they replace.
To gain a deep and thorough perspective on where you stand and what your members are doing, look for a membership software package that provides a well-designed administrative dashboard with highlighted views of all the most important status information you need. From member logins and payments to upcoming events and recently uploaded documents, this dashboard needs to make it easy for you to view what’s new and act to solve problems quickly. Likewise, your members need an equivalent dashboard that keeps them up to date on the latest news and their current obligations.
Make your reservations
Whether you sell webinar seats or tickets for events at a local venue, you want the convenience of online event management. When you can post, promote, and collect revenues for events online, you can focus on making each event a great success rather than wading through all the distractions of administrative processes.
Online event reservations and management also make it easy for your membership to join in and participate without complicated sign-up procedures that can sideline their interest. When they can learn about and sign up for an event in a matter of moments, their interest stays heightened rather than being diminished by the delays and complexity of less-efficient processes.
Bill and pay online
From member dues to event tickets, your life as an organization administrator becomes much easier if you can invoice and collect online, with none of the hassles of manual invoicing and unpredictable email delivery reliability, not to mention the wait for payments to arrive.
You also want a flexible payment system that enables you to pass through payment processing costs, create event pricing with early bird discounts, collect payment penalties for late remittances, and even allow partial payments so members can split up the cost of more-expensive items across multiple installments.
Centralize your documents
Regardless of the goals and focus of your organization, you need a place to store essential documents that explain rules and policies, set forth the mission and vision of your group, and cover a multitude of important administrative details. But if the only ways you can disseminate these documents to your membership are via e-mail attachment or through photocopies, you’re at the mercy of distribution systems you can’t control.
Instead of all the hassles of fully or partially manual document distribution, look for membership software that enables you to set up an online document repository. Ideally, you also want the ability to designate individual categories of documentation as either publicly accessible or private for members only.
Cast your votes
Many organizations want the ability to take the pulse of their membership and find out where the group stands on specific issues. These can range from humorous trivia to serious concerns, but regardless of their intent, they all rely on the ability to ask questions and collect answers to them.
Customizable online polling enables you to accomplish all of these things directly on your website. With the right membership software, you not only can post a poll, but you can display instantly charted results through attractive online graphs and download result data in a spreadsheet-compatible format for further analysis in other applications, including spreadsheet programs.
The Membershine difference
When you look for these five and other critical functions in membership software packages, you quickly find that many providers lack one or more of these essentials. In fact, some providers’ packages only accommodate an almost trivial percentage of the full spectrum of your needs. That’s one of the reasons it’s so important to itemize what you need your membership software package to accomplish first, so you can select the right provider.
We built our Membershine software based on a full and nuanced understanding of the functions most essential to membership-based organizations, the processes and procedures they want to accomplish through their websites, and how to make this software not only easy to use but powerfully effective. The result is a modern membership software package, thoughtfully maintained with constant updates to ensure optimal functionality and security. We offer you our full feature set, with tiered package levels based on the overall size of your membership.
Most membership software providers expect you to read about what they offer and sign up without much more than a static demonstration of how their packages work. At Membershine, we want you to experience what you’re signing up for so you’ll know that you’ll receive all the features and benefits you need. That’s why we offer you a 15-day free trial—with no credit card required to sign up—so you can test out what we offer and discover the Membershine difference for yourself. We believe that once you see the power of our package in action, you’ll want to put our membership software to work for your organization.