How to Choose the Best Non-Profit Software for Your Organization

How to Choose the Best Non-Profit Software for Your Organization

What kinds of software and features will make life easier for your non-profit association? When you’re looking for non-profit software, you want a robust, modern solution that will help you streamline association business, not an out-of-date system that can’t keep up with today’s security provisions and that lacks the capabilities you really need. Keep these advantages in mind as you evaluate your options.

Manage your events

Regardless of whether your organization stages complex events, or simply needs to track attendance at the occasional get together or seminar, you want a non-profit software solution that can handle your needs today and keep up with you as your group grows and progresses. Given the way non-profit groups expand their horizons over time, any solution that’s limited to handling only your current needs cannot possibly satisfy your needs in the long term. As a result, you want a solution that can handle the most complex event you can imagine putting on in the future, as well as the simplest affair you’ve staged in the past.

That means you need a solution that can handle complex multi-day schedules, manage age requirements for attendance, and even apply attendance limits related to venue size or other criteria. You need the ability to set and collect ticket pricing for individual components of multi-day events. And you want the ability to refuse an event registration if the registrant doesn’t qualify to attend.

Of course, you also want to be able to customize all of these capabilities so your registration form incorporates exactly the terms, conditions, and registration requirements you need for each individual event. On the back end, you want to be able to track registration counts, see who has signed up, deal diplomatically with anyone whom you must turn away, and adjust all aspects of the event if your needs or schedule change.

Track and communicate with members

Member communication is fundamental to a well-functioning organization. Not only do you need the ability to interact fluently with current and prospective members, but you want to accommodate their communications both with you as an administrator and with each other as fellow members. You also want the ability to designate some aspects of these communications as private within your organization, invisible to the public despite being conducted through your website.

From a prospect’s first application for admission to your group throughout the lifespan of their involvement, you want to offer every member the ability to engage in private chats, respond to a newsfeed with posts about their thoughts on organizational events, and register their votes on organizational affairs through polling that you customize and conduct directly through your website.

Uncomplicate your payments

Let’s face it, no one enjoys dealing with the financial aspect of non-profit organizational affairs. When your administrative responsibilities include the need to send out invoices, follow up with reminders, and deal with the transactional aspects of payment deposit, you know that the entire process can become incredibly time-consuming and equally frustrating.

Besides, paper payments are very 20th century, and not an ordeal that you want to continue today. But the multi-step process involved in setting up online payments can get confusing, complex, and expensive. Some of the commonly available payment solutions transfer your members off your website to conduct a transaction and then back to your site to finalize it, a process that can fall apart if it gets interrupted.

Instead, what you really want is a secure, seamless payment process that takes place entirely on your website, and involves no need to transfer back and forth to other payment gateways. You want a setup that gives your members confidence in the privacy and security of their personally identifiable financial information as they engage in online transactions.

Save a tree with paperless processing

How many decades ago was the paperless office the big news of the business world, promising to save organization leaders and non-profit administrators from the annual avalanche of paper forms, payment tracking, documents, and so on? And yet, even today, too much of many non-profits’ administrative business still takes place on paper.

Any time you receive a request for a copy of a document from a member, what do you have to do? If it’s a document that requires completion and a signature, your recipient must print it out, fill it out, and return it to you. What starts as a digital process – an e-mailed document sent as a PDF or Word file – turns into a situation that involves transmitting printouts through the mail.

When you set up a non-profit website that enables you to create customized forms that your members can fill out and return digitally, now you’ve taken a big step toward that paperless future. Additionally, if you can set up an online document repository that represents all of your frequently updated and periodic materials, now you no longer need to email documents to members, and they can obtain copies of important materials any time on demand.

Enjoy peace of mind with in-depth security

One of the most important aspects of any website is the extent to which the code that underlies its software conforms to up-to-date, readily updatable, essential security provisions that protect the content on the site and the people who engage with it. If you build a website yourself, you know that keeping up with security provisions can be a full-time job.

As a non-profit administrator, you probably don’t have the time to track and apply security updates, but nonetheless, you need your website to keep up with them. That’s why you need your non-profit website software to provide a modern code base that receives a constant stream of updates to security provisions. You certainly don’t want to deal with a non-profit software website provider who’s still using old code that would require an extensive revamp.

So how do you meet all of these needs—and still more—in an easy-to-use website software platform that gives your non-profit association all the features it needs for smooth, uncomplicated, straightforward administrative functionality? At Membershine, we’ve dealt with the needs of non-profit associations for a long time. We understand not only the types of features you need but what you need them to do and why you need them. Take advantage of our 30-day free trial to set up your website with us, experiment with our robust feature set, and see why we believe that we offer you the best solution to your needs.

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