How To Save Your Gun Club Time And Money
The level of organisation, reporting and forms required to run the average club is large enough that an entire industry has sprung up to help clubs. However, no club, no matter the industry, has more things to organise, more paperwork, more numbers to track and more high-stakes reporting than Australian hunting and gun clubs.
Today, we will look at some of the challenges facing hunting and gun clubs in the modern era and what you can do to help solve these problems.
Now, I grew up around guns and gun people; I was taught to shoot on the family farm at 7, but I am by no means an expert on this stuff. However, Jeff Pond, Member Jungle's Technical Operations Director is an avid hunter, pistol and rifle target shooter. He is also the owner and primary marksman for AusTiger Conservation - Contract Shooting Specialists. So, I sat down with Jeff to talk about all things firearm and gun club to help ensure that this article is as informative and well-researched as possible.
What Problems Are Gun Clubs Facing?
One of the biggest and most common problems facing gun clubs today is manual paper systems. Organising everything your hunting club needs to organise via the old-fashioned pen-and-paper system is, as I'm sure you're aware, massively time-consuming.
You have to track membership renewals, track member engagement to know if your members are fulfilling their licensing requirements, organise events, fulfil your reporting requirements, and much more. Doing all that on paper and outdated websites is only making a difficult task that much harder. At the end of the day, you want to be shooting paper, not writing on it.
So, with that in mind, what is the solution here?
A Membership Management System For Your Gun Club
If you don’t know, a membership management system is an online digital system designed to streamline and automate the process of running your club. They have been around for a fair while and have helped a lot of clubs and associations, including many gun clubs.
What membership management systems offer to your club will vary based on the system.
Still, generally speaking, the majority of them will provide some version of the following:
- Automated member joining
- Custom forms to collect custom information from joining members
- Automated membership renewal
- Easy communication with members
- Email campaigns
- Member engagement tracker
- A custom website
- Event management software
- Data analytics about how your members interact with your club
That’s not all the things these systems offer, just some of the headline features. It is worth noting that some companies also provide digital membership cards and an integrated mobile app that goes along with their systems.
We at Member Jungle offer both those things, but in the interest of being unbiased, so do Wild Apricot and several other competitors.
The idea of membership management systems is to automate and streamline a vast number of your general club functions, allowing you more time to enjoy and improve your club. The added benefit for gun clubs is that the amount of reporting you need to do can be a massive time sink, and it’s certainly not something you can afford not to do. So, using a membership management system allows you to improve and streamline your normal club processes, so you have more time and energy for your reporting responsibilities.
Like, for example ensuring all of your members know better than to do what this actual police officer did.
How Your Gun Club Can Benefit From A Membership Management System
There are a whole host of ways that your gun club can benefit from a membership management system, but let's have a look at some of the big ones in detail.
Engagement Tracking And Reporting Requirements For Gun Clubs
As you are running a gun club, you will almost definitely need to be tracking how often your members are attending events and having range time so that you can ensure they are complying with their licensing requirements. A membership management system will allow you to track your member's engagement easier than ever before.
The way this works will vary slightly depending on which membership management system you use. I will run through the way it works with Member Jungle, and generally speaking, whichever company you choose will have a somewhat similar process.
If you host an event at your club, whether a regular range day or a shooting competition, your members can register for it online. This will give you an accurate idea of how many members will be attending. On the day of the event, you can use the scanner on the Member Jungle app on your phone to scan your member's digital membership card when they arrive. This will automatically log their attendance for that particular event.
The attendance information will be stored on the event itself and on the individual member's profile. This means you can easily view how many events a member has attended and whether they have complied with their minimum required visits with just a click of a button. You can also track how engaged your members are with specific events and use this information to improve them in the future.
Essentially, a membership management system will automate a great deal of the reporting you are required to do and ensure that the numbers you are reporting are accurate.
Automatic Membership Renewals For Your Gun Club
Automating your gun club's membership renewal process is a standout feature of membership management software. It can turn all those renewal letters, emails and painstaking bookkeeping into a streamlined and inexpensive system. Saving you time and money.
The majority of membership management software automates the renewal process in the following way:
As a club administrator, you can schedule membership renewal reminder emails to be sent a certain number of days before or after the renewals are due. These emails are fully customisable and can include optional "dynamic fields" to add a personal touch. When a member's membership is due to expire, they will receive an email prompting them to renew their membership online.
Once a member renews their membership, you and they will receive a payment and renewal receipt. There is no need to send new letters out to them informing them that their membership has been renewed; the system will just do that for you.
David Avery, the secretary for the Hunter District Hunting Club, had this to say about his experiences using the Member Jungle system to manage their nearly 3,000 members.
"It did all the base things that we needed it to do and provided an opportunity for us to take the money, to do the mail-outs, to do the whole lot and put it all online, which saved us an immense amount of work and an immense amount of money." David Avery, Hunter District Hunting Club.
You can watch the full interview with Hunter District Hunting Club here.
Product Catalogue And Selling Merch For Gun Clubs
Most membership management systems will allow you to sell your club’s merchandise and products via a digital store. Which can massively increase the amount of merchandise you can sell.
These systems will allow you to sell to members, accept digital payments via the system, and allow your members to buy directly from your online store without bothering you. These systems will also keep track of your stock for you so you always know how much of a particular product you have left.
To use Member Jungle as an example again, the product catalogue is also available on the integrated app. This means that your members can easily purchase your merchandise on the go. You can also sell your products in person and accept digital payments without needing an expensive EFTPOS reader.
To learn more about how the product catalogue works and how it can be used at in-person events, please read Your Club’s Product Store Is Now On The Mobile App.
Save Your Gun Club Time And Ensure The Accuracy Of Your Reporting
At the end of the day, membership management software will make a whole lot of sense for the vast majority of gun clubs. If your gun club has less than 50 members, then maybe a membership management system isn’t the best choice for your club right now. At the end of the day, my opinion on whether or not membership management software is right for you is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike. This is your decision and one only you can make.
If you want to know more about the Hunter District Hunting Club’s experiences with using Member Jungle, please read Hunter District Hunting Club - Customer Story.
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