If your organization doesn’t have a membership program and raises all or most of its money from traditional fundraising, you’re probably looking for a donor database (also known as nonprofit CRM).
CRMs are more generalized and allow nonprofits to track all aspects of their donor relationships to improve their stewardship and increase their fundraising results.
If your organization is funded through both traditional fundraising and membership, you’ll likely want a donor database with a membership management software integration.
By combining the functionalities of both platforms, you’ll be able to optimize your organization’s unique relationship to both members and donors.
If you’re a trade association or a similar type of organization who uses a dues-based membership model to raise money, membership management software is likely the right choice for you.
Membership management software was created to address the specialized needs of organizations with membership programs.
Manage multiple membership subscription terms (for example, monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.) and even auto-renew subscriptions. Set membership packages for individuals, groups, or households and separately manage fees and renewals for each type of membership.
Allow members to have control over their own membership experience. With a constituent portal, they can log in to view their current membership status, renew their membership, access exclusive content, consult member directories, register for events, and more.
Create a digital home base for your members with webpage building capabilities. Webpages seamlessly integrate with your organization’s website and are branded to its look and feel. You can even create custom subscription and renewal forms.
Is one of the benefits of your membership program providing members access to members-only content? The right software makes it easier than ever by allowing your organization to restrict access to certain content based on any number of data fields in the platform.
Set separate fees and dues for each type of membership package, adjust fees on-the-fly for special cases, allow members to submit additional donations with their fees, and even offer complimentary membership. Then, easily automate your receipts and acknowledgements.
Software can help you track and analyze member data in a robust, relevant way so that you understand your members better than ever before. Create custom reports across by specifying any data field listed in the platform in as little as one click, and easily export and share data with your team.
Member management platforms enable nonprofits to optimize the membership experience by making it more flexible and immersive. You’ll be able to more efficiently and effectively administer membership benefits, making your program more convenient and rewarding to members.
Because software centralizes all aspects of membership, organizations can stay better organized when it comes to their membership programs. Being able to process dues, track renewals, administer benefits, and more all in the same place will provide your organization with a much more straightforward, holistic view of each supporter’s membership.
Because you can track all pertinent member data in one place, membership management software eliminates a lot of the time and hassle nonprofits spend switching between platforms. Your software may also allow you to automate many time-consuming tasks (so you can focus on other efforts, like member engagement!).
Member management software is the only platform that grants nonprofits the capability to track all data that would apply solely to their members. With these insights, you can get to know your members better and target them with the individualized membership experiences that should keep them coming back year after year.
What is the structure of our membership program?
By thinking about the structure of your membership program and the benefits you hope to offer your members, you’ll go into the buying process knowing which functionalities your software must include.
For example, if you’re using a model where your relationship with members is more transactional, you can use membership software, which has fewer functionalities than association management software and is mainly used for processing fees and dues.
If, on the other hand, your organization is using a more immersive membership model, you’ll likely need features to help you with efforts such as communications or event planning.
Consider your membership program beforehand to make sure that the software you end up purchasing has all of the features you need to manage your membership effectively and show your members the ideal experience!
What is our budget?
Of course, one of the biggest concerns that organizations have when shopping for software is the cost.
Your organization will go into the buying process with a lot more confidence if you set a clearly defined budget.
It’s important to determine a budget to ensure that the member management software you choose is fiscally viable for your organization. You’ll eventually have to pitch the purchase to your board, and they’re not going to give you their approval if the purchase is going to break the bank.
Is the platform user-friendly?
Membership management software will be the key tool that your staff uses to manage your membership program.
That being the case, you’ll want to make sure you’re buying a platform that’s user-friendly.
During the buying process, make sure to view a demo so you can get a good feel for the platform’s interface.
An intuitive and easy-to-use platform will take much less time for your staff to learn, so you can start reaping the benefits of your new software sooner! Plus, your staff will be better able to utilize the feature set to make the most out of your platform.
How scalable is the platform?
Chances are, your organization is quickly growing and changing.
In order to keep moving in that positive direction, you’ll need to find a platform that’s scalable enough to accommodate your evolution.
When shopping for member management software, make sure to anticipate the future growth of your membership program and your organization more generally.
Many platforms are priced by how many member profiles you can create, so you’ll want to buy one that fits your organization both now and in the near future.
Do we need to integrate any other platforms?
As is the case with most fundraising software, it can often take a combination of platforms to provide organizations with the full set of functionalities they need.
In order to achieve the full feature set you need, your organization may have to integrate third-party platforms with your membership management software.
During the buying process, your organization should determine which platforms you might need to integrate to ensure that all your tools are compatible with one another.