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Use Technology to Boost Member Retention

Member135156876[2]Associations and non-profits can use technology to help boost member retention in a down economy as part of their overall member retention strategy. Technology—including your association website, blog, and social media presence—offers you the ultimate window into your members’ activities, especially for those members who may not attend many in-person events.  Analytics and data available through this technology can help you answer:
  • How are my members engaging with me?
  • Are they participating in online discussions?
  • Are they signed up for our email lists?
  • How often are they logging in to our online resources? How long are they staying online?
  • Are they downloading content from our site?  Which content is most popular throughout our member community?
  • Are they participating in committees?
Gathering the answers to these questions and others can help your organization monitor member engagement.  It then gives you the ability to create an engagement-scoring matrix to monitor how members interact with your organization.  Based on your organization’s particular needs, for example, you can weight member registration and attendance at events much higher than participation in a blog, discussion group, or webinar. Once your organization has scoring in place, you can use it to create a more sophisticated segmentation of your member base, and use the engagement matrix to determine what segments might be more vulnerable than others. Members who aren’t very engaged are at risk when it comes to renewal.  They may not be getting as much out of their membership as others who are participating more in discussions, blogging, content consumption, and other activities.

The Sweet Spot between the Human Face and Technology

As an example, let’s say your engagement matrix shows that 25% of members have a very low engagement score.  The next step is to determine what strategies you can implement to better engage these members and reduce the risk of non-renewal.  One strategy is to pair members with low engagement scores with active members, who can help them better utilize your organization’s resources and activities.
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Get Your Association To The Cloud For Free

Getting to the cloud | Photo courtesy of Frequently we get asked how an association can make use of the cloud for little or no cost at all. Our free eBook, How To Get Up To $150,000 In Free Software For Your Organization, reveals how nonprofits can get Enterprise level software from, Google and other providers for free. Here’s a quick summary of the great free and discounted resources we detail in the eBook to help you improve the way you run your organization:

Google for Nonprofits

Google offers fully featured versions of some of their powerful productivity tools to qualified associations and nonprofits through Google for Nonprofits. You can sign your organization up for Google for Nonprofits online; and some of the benefits of the program include:
  • Google Apps for Nonprofit: A full version of the popular Google Apps productivity suite that is free for nonprofits
  • Google Ad Grants: Free AdWords advertising to promote your organization’s website on Google through keyword targeting
  • YouTube for Nonprofits: Your own organizational YouTube channel with premium branding options, increased upload capacity, and other prolevel features
  • Google Earth Outreach Grants: Free licenses for Google Earth Pro and the Google Maps API for Business
  • One Today by Google: Free access to a mobile fundraising platform

The Salesforce Power of Us program, part of their nonprofit Salesforce Foundation offers qualified non-profits the following benefits:
  • Ten donated Enterprise licenses
  • Deep discounts on additional licenses and other products
  • Discounts on events
  • Access to nonprofit focused user groups
  • Discounts through the App Exchange and partners

Some Parting Advice…

While getting your organization to the cloud for free is an attractive proposition, you also need to stop and figure out how that free software will be deployed and used inside your organization. Don’t assume you can get your software implemented for free and don’t try to skimp on the implementation. Make sure you document your specific requirements, set a realistic budget and take your time searching for the best implementation partner for your needs and budget. Choosing the right partner will ensure your organization gets the most out of the donated software. By taking a few simple steps ahead of time, your nonprofit organization can get the some of the same technology that’s being used by Fortune 500 companies. These free and discounted resources can help you focus more on realizing your mission, rather than being stuck managing the mechanics
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Why Should You Upgrade Your Association Management Software?

An article on the Association TRENDS website discusses how organizations can use online programming, user-generated content and social media to engage their members. This effort, which often requires the right association management software, might be expensive but often pays for itself. Engaged members are more likely to renew.
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How Can You Manage All Your Needs With One Association Management System?

With the exception of basic accounting requirements, organizations can manage all their needs with one association management system. An integrated solution provides a 360-degree view of the organization’s membership data while also offering top-notch reporting capabilities for fundraising, events and e-commerce.
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Why Should You Wait 91 Days Before Customizing Your New Association Management Software?

If you think you need to customize your new association management software, take some advice: Give the system 91 days before even thinking about making changes. Why does this help? It forces the association to think differently and accept change. This customization delay also makes a world of difference in the cost and functionality of the system.
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