5 Ways to Manage Your Website with Non-Profit Software
Non-profit organizations build websites to handle the business and connectivity of what they do. It’s a lot easier to optimize those functions when you choose the right non-profit software. But how do you recognize the right options for your organization—and what should you expect this type of software to offer in the first place? From the basics to more-advanced functions, look for these five essentials at the core of the right non-profit software to serve your needs.
Secure, well-managed member data
Before you entrust a non-profit software provider with your organization’s data, you need to be able to trust that software to protect the privacy of your information. After all, your membership gives a substantial amount of personally identifiable information, for which you must provide appropriate security. The first question you should ask any non-profit software vendor is, “How will you secure our data if we choose your software as the basis of our website?”
Once you’re satisfied that a non-profit software vendor can offer you the proper level of website security, now you’re ready to find out more about data management through their package. Do they offer you multiple options through which to enroll members and bring them onboard? Will you be able to screen prospective members easily through their software? Can you customize the membership application form you make available for prospects to complete? Will you be able to add notes about the reasons for acceptance or rejection of specific individuals?
How you manage member data once individuals join your organization also determines how quickly and easily you can review this information, look at trends in the data, and find systematic ways to understand the types of members you attract. Ideally, the non-profit software you choose for your website enables you to download member data for use in a spreadsheet program or other analytical tools.
Timely communication with members and prospects
Member engagement often equals member retention. Members want to feel involved in your cause, your impact, and the actions that connect the two. When you select non-profit software that makes it easy to communicate quickly with subgroups of your membership, you can focus on dynamic content, and send targeted messaging to individualized sub-audiences as well as to your overall organization.
For that matter, it’s important to be able to communicate with that audience in more than one way. Look for non-profit software that offers built-in support for texting through your site as well as for sending e-mail messages—and that enables your membership to decide whether or not to receive text messages in the first place. This type of opt-in mentality shows your respect for your members’ and prospects’ privacy, which can be an important consideration in today’s online world.
Showcase important viewpoints and ideas to the right audiences
When you set up a website for your non-profit organization, you want that site to encompass responses to all your communication needs. That means your software needs to offer support for two categories of content: what you make available to the general public and what you share privately for consumption solely by your membership.
Traditional blogs don’t offer the ability to display audience-specific content—but with the right non-profit software for your website, you can limit the visibility of an entire newsfeed or even an individual post. With that type of granular control, you can establish audience limits that truly target your messaging.
Streamline online payments
Dues and membership-cost collection can occupy a large percentage of your time and focus—unless you can set up this essential functions through your website so you can accept payments virtually automatically. And wouldn’t you prefer to integrate payment collection into your website, rather than force prospective members to switch from your site to a payment processor’s site to accomplish the last steps of payment? Besides the inconvenience, offsite payments also may raise subtle questions in prospects’ minds about the professionalism of your organization. They’re accustomed to making online payments through the websites of large retailers, whose seamless processing inspires confidence.
By extension, you want your non-profit software to enable you to create multiple types and levels of membership, each with its own associated fees, and to designate both billing frequency and payment terms. To make your payment setup even more flexible, look for a provider that enables you to add late fees and specify when they take effect, pass through payment-processing costs as a part of a membership price, and even allow your members to make partial or installment payments toward the overall cost of a membership plan.
Easy management of events
Whether your non-profit organization stages in-person events, webinars, other types of online sessions, or your event roster blends the virtual with the non-virtual, you want an easy but powerful way to manage these activities and their attendance. For some of your events, you may need to manage tickets, either to track attendance and limit it to the capacity of a venue, or to charge for admission and collect ticket pricing. Ideally, the non-profit software that powers your website can handle all these scenarios.
Beyond that, look for the ability to create multi-day events with specific seminars or meetings scheduled for individual times—and even the ability to base the ticket price on the costs of these sub-events that each individual member signs up to attend.
Non-profit software that respects your goals as well as your group
You deserve a website that can keep up with your growing membership and your increasingly high profile as an organization. That’s why you need non-profit software that provides the right functionality. When you choose Membershine to power your website, you gain access to all the capabilities we’ve described in this article, including data protection and access, flexible communication options, a powerful showcase for the ideas and viewpoints, easy and integrated access to highly configurable online payments, and truly versatile event management. Want to see our capabilities for yourself? Sign up for a 15-day free trial—no credit card required—and experience the Membershine difference for yourself.