Running a sports club, a workshop, a professional association, a charity or a nonprofit community can be a challenge due to the dreary routine of administrative duties. But with specialized membership management software, any routine can turn into fun. You will not spend much time on scheduling or member registration; instead, you will have time to enjoy your core activities.
In this article, we’ll discuss the main features of membership software and the benefits that such solutions can bring to the owners and participants of communities.
What Is Membership Management Software?
The activity of offline membership organizations, clubs, communities and events can be effectively managed in the online digital space with the use of specialized software solutions.
There are several names for such solutions:
- Membership management system
- Association management software
- Club management solution
- Community management software
All these names refer to the type of software that aims to streamline organizational processes, improve communication between group members and boost their engagement in the community.
Membership management software is a specialized solution for centralizing administrative and communication activities of a membership organization. The software creates a digital space where community members can interact with managers and with each other, and where all organizational issues can be solved.
Online membership management is applicable across industries such as sports, healthcare, wellness and beauty, charity, education, and more.
The core objective of such a solution is to share information between community members without delays, thus streamlining all organizational processes. At the same time, its capabilities can be tailored to the specific needs of certain businesses, be it a gym or a writers association.
Essential Features of Membership Software Solutions
Club or community managers have to take on a range of organizational duties such as sharing information, contacting members, gathering feedback, scheduling events, processing payments and much more.
Doing all these manually wastes a lot of time. By taking over these menial tasks, club software can relieve managers of these duties.
Some essential features of management software include:
- Online registration form — users can join a club with just a couple of clicks.
- Member profiles — member account details are held in a centralized database that’s updated automatically, so managers can easily search for information and contact people if needed.
- Content management — community owners can build full-fledged websites or applications, where they can create, edit and deliver relevant content to their audience.
- Mobile optimization — a club website should be mobile responsive, and there should be a mobile application to allow users to manage activities on the go.
- Scheduling and staff timekeeping — a special calendar enables managers to work out timetables for staff and visitors, book appointments, schedule events, and automatically remind users of appointments via email, SMS, or social media.
- Payment handling — digital solutions for membership management can have built-in finance features, or they can integrate with third-party payment-processing systems to process membership fees online, keep records of financial operations and allocate budgets.
- Member forums and chats — since communication is the most important component of any membership organization, a must-have feature of specialized software is forums and group or individual chats where participants can engage in discussions, and share news and files.
- Promotion — club owners can create special offers such as promo codes, sales, giveaways, etc. for their most active and loyal members.
Depending on an organization’s needs, membership software can be customized by the addition of extra features.
- Fitness centers may like to provide a diet calendar to their members.
- Charity organizations can work better with a carpooling service.
- Amateur sports teams might appreciate scoring functionality in their software.
As you can see, community management software is the only comprehensive multi-task program that you’ll need to organize your end-to-end community activities.
Benefits of Membership Software
Why use management solutions and what advantages can these bring to clubs and communities? In a nutshell, implementing a digital program in a community simplifies numerous processes for both managers and members.
More specifically, there are three main groups of business advantages.
1. Improved Efficiency
Leveraging the power of automation you get with membership software, you can speed up administrative processes and daily managerial operations, which will result in improved business efficiency and productivity.
Following are some examples of how software contributes to a community’s productivity:
- A program can minimize or completely eliminate human errors such as double-booking.
- Managers reduce data-entry and searching time.
- Members are able to book an appointment in a couple of clicks.
- The digital space streamlines communication and content sharing.
- Synchronized staff and member details help accurately plan activities and events.
Another reason why membership software improves productivity is that those solutions are mostly cloud based. For users, cloud deployment means the convenience of connectivity, no installation and maintenance issues, and scalability to handle variable numbers of operations across multiple offices.
2. Increased Community Engagement
To earn member trust and loyalty, you should make members clearly understand the value they can derive from their membership. The more services and opportunities people get in an organization, the more willing they are to participate in its activities.
Membership digital systems provide a whole spectrum of digital membership capabilities, from private groups and online portals where users can discuss industry news to individually tailored calendars or training plans, to drive member participation and grow their interest in your community.
This can be achieved both via built-in features and integrated third-party systems and services such as CRM, CMS, payment systems and various applications.
Why is it important to encourage member participation in your organization? Active community engagement is the core driving force behind an organization’s growth and revenue increase.
3. Data Security
Since communities utilize their members’ personal data, it is imperative that they provide impeccable data protection.
With club management software, that’s easy. Such solutions provide advanced security features, including authentication, encryption, security protocols and safe cloud storage, so the integrity of critical data is guaranteed.
Best Membership Management Software
There are hundreds of club management solutions you can choose from, but the best one for you is the one that best fits your specific needs.
When choosing software, keep the following in mind:
- Setup fees and a free trial period
- Integration capabilities
Here is a brief overview of some popular membership management solutions for you to get an idea of what might be right for you.
This is an easy-to-use all-in-one membership management software implemented by around 3500 clubs globally.
You get a professional-looking mobile-optimized website and a mobile application where users can join your community, register for events and pay for membership/services online.
This omni-purpose Azure-based SaaS solution fuses together a content management system and a mobile application for Android and iOS. It facilitates the handling of multiple operations and provides services for numerous concurrent users.
- A website builder allows clients to create websites under their own domains.
- A CMS allows multiple clients to manage an unlimited number of teams, events, competitions, playing fields, workouts, content and other related activities through their personal workspaces.
- Mobile applications facilitate team communication and engagement through calendar administration, individual and group chats, push notifications and content sharing.
Initially designed for sports organizations, LigasApp is currently used by retail, healthcare, marketing, manufacturing and companies in other industries.
This is a cloud-based management solution for small and midsize nonprofit organizations. Key features include:
- Online registration form
- Constituent management
- Donation tracking
- Event management
- Email integration
Charityproud is available on a monthly subscription pricing model.
Take Care of Your Members
The client-centric approach is the basis of all businesses nowadays, but it’s especially important for membership-based organizations. Club owners need to provide favorable conditions and flawless customer experience for their members to help the community grow and flourish. Community management software, the tool designed with club owners and their members in mind, is the best way to achieve the goal.