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How To Get Great Club Management Software For Your Club

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Running a club is not without its challenges; there are membership renewals to organise, events to host, finances to run, members to wrangle, and a whole lot of different personalities to balance. 

It can all be a lot to juggle, and doing it or manually using spreadsheets, sticky notes, stacks of paper and pens that are forever running out of ink can add to the workload and stress of it all. 

This is where club management software comes into play. These specialised systems are designed to digitise and automate all the fiddly, time-consuming parts of running your club, leaving you to do the fun stuff.   

So, this article is going to look at what club management software is and why it is something you need to really consider investing in. 

Right off the bat, I need to say that I work for Member Jungle, a company that provides club management software. That means that I have an inherent bias towards using club management software in general and the Member Jungle one in particular. However, I promise to stay as unbiased as possible. Club management software isn’t the right choice for everyone, and Member Jungle’s software won’t be right for everyone either. So, now that we’ve addressed the elephant in the room let’s get on with the article. 

 

 addressed the elephant in the room joke

What Is Club Management Software?  

At its core, club management software is a range of digital systems designed to automate and digitalise many of the fiddly, time-consuming parts of running your clubs. Basically, it automates and streamlines your administrative tasks. It will save you time, effort, stress, and quite possibly money, depending on how your club currently operates. All of that is good, but the key here is that if you’re not checking spreadsheets and fighting poorly designed systems, you can get back to doing what you really love. 

 

drinking in the pool meme

 

Importantly, club management software provides a safe, secure place to store your important member data and keep that data updated as you and your members use the system. There is no need to edit the Excel doc whenever a new member joins or changes their address; the system will automate all that. The system will also be able to export member and financial data in common formats to make the headache of tax time a bit better.  

What membership systems provide to clubs varies a little depending on the membership system provider, the club's needs and the price range. Generally speaking, club management software provides clubs with systems to do the following: 

  • Manage Membership Renewals 
  • Manage Membership Sign-ups
  • Manage Events 
  • Email Campaigns 
  • Website
  • Online Store
  • Mobile App
  • Digital Membership Cards 
  • Integrations With Other Software   

As I already said, what club management providers offer will depend on the provider and how much you want to pay for your software, but those are, more or less, the core features. 

Club management software doesn't just help admins; it also allows better communications with members, which can give you more time to plan events and enable a better quality of events. They also make joining and renewing memberships easier. It's no wonder that clubs see, on average, pretty significant growth in member numbers while using a club management software

Key Features Of Club Management Software

Now that you know what club management software is and how it can help your club, let’s examine some of its key features in closer detail. 

Automated Membership Renewal & Sign-Up System

An automated membership renewal and sign-up system, as the name very subtly hints at, helps your club automate your membership renewal and sign-up processes. You can choose whether you have multiple membership levels, how much each level costs, whether there will be membership discounts for returning members, what payment methods are available, and much more. 

After making your decisions, you can enable your members to renew their memberships independently through your website without needing your input. This also applies to new sign-ups - you can simply sit back and allow the public to sign up and pay for their memberships digitally, all without requiring any action on your part.

It’s worth noting that while you can let new members sign up entirely on their own, you can also set the system so that new members must be approved by an administrator before they can pay and access membership privileges. If you do this, the system will notify you when you have new members waiting for approval, and then you can decide whether to let them in or not. This is great if you need to monitor member numbers, require particular information from members before they can join, or if you have something to hide.

 

searching 

 

It’s also worth noting that most club management software will still allow you to take payments via cash or check and then log them into the system later. This is great because we both know someone is going to refuse to learn how to use Internet banking. 

For more information on how automated membership renewal systems work, look at How to Save Time & Money With Membership Management Software. In it, I cover a few things, but I go into real detail about how Member Jungle’s automated renewal system works and how it can save your club time and money. Not to toot my own flute, but it’s worth the read if that’s something you’re interested in.  

Event Management System

An event management system makes event planning and management easier, faster, and more convenient. Most club management software enables you to create an event on your site, specify its location, the number of available tickets, and ticket prices, and add any other necessary event details. You can then publish your new event to your membership website so your members can see it and sign up for it. If you allow them, they can buy tickets for events online and pay just like they can for membership renewals and sign-ups. 

You will also be able to use the system’s communication tools to ensure that all your members know about your new event and how to register or buy tickets. How you can use your club management software to promote your events will vary depending on the service you use. Still, most will be some combination of emails, SMS, push notifications (if the service you use has an app), pop-ups on your website, etc. 

You can also use the club software to track how many people attend the event, how much money was made, and to gather feedback from attendees. This is a great way to start really pulling apart events after the fact and improving them. 

Long story short, club management software makes hosting club events easier and more efficient, so you have more time to improve events and host more. 

To find out more about how events work, read How To Run An Event With Member Jungle - A Guide

How Club Management Software Helps Improve Communications With Members  

One of the big benefits of club management software is its ability to help improve communication with members. They can do this by providing you with email campaign systems, on-site and in-app notifications, and SMS messages. All these systems are linked to your securely stored membership database, making it really easy to message the people you need to. 

Need to email everyone in a certain membership level? That's a click of a button. Need to send an SMS to everyone who is registered for an event that starts in an hour's time? That's a click of a button. It's a lot easier than pulling names and emails from spreadsheets and finding mobile numbers in a notebook. 

That's really it; club management software doesn't reinvent the way you communicate with members. They just make it easier and more efficient. So, you can talk to your members more and keep them more informed. 

To find out more about how club management software can help improve your club’s communication read How To Improve Your Club’s Communication With Its Members.

Websites & Mobile Apps

Here's a story for you: Today, I found a really cool bookshop in my local area that also runs a little book club (which is how I found them). I jumped on Google to find out what hours they are open so I can go tomorrow. Google informed me that they are closed down, and there was no indication of recent activity on their website. Most people would see that and give up, but because I am determined to find a bookstore I can hang out in, like an episode of Black Books, I persisted and was able to find out that they are actually still open. 

 

I'm in heaven meme

 

My point is, that most customers will not go the extra mile of digging around looking for signs of life and most of your potential members won’t either. You need your website to look good, look active and for it to be telling the right things to Google so Google doesn’t declare you closed while you’re still alive and kicking. 

Most club management software will provide you with a new website that is fully integrated with their membership system as part of the whole deal. Usually, you don’t have to use their provided website, but getting a new website customised to your club’s needs can be a massive boost to your club’s visibility. 

Likewise, a mobile app integrated into that membership system can make a huge difference in how easy it is to attract new (especially younger) members to your club. Plus, it can have a massive influence on how effectively you can communicate with your members. 

To find out more about websites or mobile apps for your club, check out either Why Your Club Needs A Well-Designed Club Website or A Club App To Help Your Club Or Association Thrive.

Those are all the major headliner systems that you want your club’s management software to have, and a bit about what makes them so useful for clubs and associations. Of course, there are other systems that are super useful, and that will be offered by the majority of providers, but this article is already looking like a long one, so instead of taking up any more of your time, I will link to them below so you can check them out if you’re interested. 

Other great parts of club management software you may need include: 

How To Find A Club Management Software Provider That’s Best For You

As I said at the beginning, I work for Member Jungle; we make club management software, and not to sound too egotistical, I think we’re pretty good at it. However, we aren’t the only providers out there, and a lot of our competitors are also great at what they do. So, I’m going to give you some help finding out more about us and some help finding out more about alternatives to us. 

If you want to learn more about some alternatives to Member Jungle, read The Best Membership Management Software For Your Club and The 3 Best Membership Management Software Systems In Australia.

If you want to find out more about Member Jungle, get your peepers on how Member Jungle’s Membership Management System works or 7 Reasons Why Member Jungle Is The Right Choice For Your Club Or Association.

What Types Of Clubs Can Club Management Software Work For?

Thanks to the wide range of club management software types and pricing, it can be used by an equally wide variety of membership organisations.

There will be a club management solution for a club with 50 members and one for a professional association with over 100,000 members. Basically, if you have members, you will be able to find a club management system that works for your club's size, budget, needs and industry.

Even more specialised membership clubs, such as licensed clubs, can use club management systems. Some software can work with the licensed club's POS system to make tracking member purchases and loyalty points easier.   

To learn more about how Club Membership sites can work for licensed clubs, please read Digital Membership Cards, POS Systems and Your Licensed Club.   

What Are Your Next Steps?

Club management software can be amazing for your club or association and can really help you rediscover the joy of running your club. Like I said, though, they aren’t for everyone, and not every provider will be right for everyone. The key to working out what is and isn’t right for you and your club is research. 

Read articles, watch videos, listen to customer stories, and find out what will work best for you. If you do that, you will make the right choice, and everything will be alright in the end. 

No matter what you decide, the Member Jungle Learning Centre will always have some great resources to help you run your club. Even if you decide to stick with how things are or sign up with one of our competitors, there will always be helpful resources in our learning centre to help your club out. Good luck out there, and happy researching. 

  

 

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