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4 issues committees need to watch for in 2018

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From a lack of resources and volunteers to losing members and attracting the next generation, we've identified four of the issues facing membership organisations and committees in 2018, and how you can tackle and solve them. 

1.Lack of resources and volunteers

Whether you handle the admin side of things yourself, hire staff or use volunteers, manual processing of forms and payments can take a lot of time and money.

This can be a real problem if it eats into your spare time, or if you don't have time to concentrate on the organisation itself because you're too busy doing the paperwork. We’ve found that lots of clubs have people willing to volunteer but with people so time poor in this day and age, people are happy to donate fewer hours a week and only when it suits them.

Moving away from paper-based or excel spreadsheets to online membership software has a number of advantages. Firstly, it can automate a number of processes. Membership sign-ups and renewals can happen with little to no intervention - automatically reducing the time needed.

Secondly, everything you need is on a single platform, and because it's hosted securely in the cloud, you can access it anywhere you have an internet connection. So that means that your membership coordinator can do it when it suits them.

Plus, you can give different club members different privileges so while one person can be responsible for managing your members, one person can easily manage your event online, another can look after the merchandise sales online. Moving online helps you reduce the workload, share the responsibilities easier, and give people the flexibility to donate their time sitting on their lounges at night.

2. Losing members

There are a number of reasons that your club’s membership may be dropping off.

With everyone’s lives so busy these days sometimes the things that require the most effort get pushed onto the back-burner and left until another day. We are fast becoming a society who wants everything to be easy and convenient for us. And like when you sit in a drive-through for more than a few minutes, we've become expectant that everything should be ready in the instant that we want it.  

So consider having to manually sign-up and wait to become a member of a club. The effort involved for your members

  • to drive somewhere;  pick-up a form or even downloading and printing it;

  • complete the form;

  • scan the form back in or posting the form;

  • pay cash (and remember to drive past the ATM to get it out);

  • then wait until their membership is processed so they can start benefiting.

Manual processing isn't just annoying on the admin side. Your members could also easily get frustrated if they have to print out and mail their membership renewal form every year and wait for it to be processed.

Upgrading to an online membership system shows your members that you value their time. The streamlined online renewal process can be completed in a matter of minutes, with fees paid securely by credit card. It also has the added bonuses of being able to deliver a more personalised service.

3. Not Adding Any Value

Improving convenience isn't always enough to make sure your members stick around. You also need to find ways to add value to your membership offering, to maintain their interest as well as appeal to new people.

Everyone these days is trying to get us to sign-up or become a member of something - from the clothes shop we walk into to the online wine store. I don’t know about you but my wallet is exploding for all of these cards that I sign-up and I don’t really seem to benefit from any of them. Half of the VIP clubs and membership sign-up programs just seem to all be a bit of a scam that is really only so they can track me as a customer.  

It’s the same for my soccer club and my son’s football and daughter’s dancing, loyalty seems to be a thing of the past and players are constantly swapping clubs. I must be old-school I think, the same club for 12 years and my kids haven’t changed yet either.  

But one of the big issues facing clubs in 2018 is that members don’t feel that they are valued as members or receive any benefits in being a member. 

4. Getting Younger Members

It is surprising how many clubs have mentioned recently that they are struggling to get the younger generations to join. It certainly has become a focus and concern as organisations are faced with finding ways to get and keep Gen Z members.

The younger generation of members are wanting more personalisation, are influenced by friends and social media and like engaging content such as video. According to the iGen Goes to School study, in a world where we are constantly bombarded with emails and marketing, those born between 1994-2004, sending emails with generic terms of Dear Member, are likely to be ignored and perceived as being a nuisance.

Gen Z, who can’t live without their phone want personalised messaging and want control over their communication. So membership in 2018 is the start for many clubs of planning for how they can attract and keep Gen Z members and ensure their club is sustainable into the future.

If you want to chat about how Member Jungle can help your club deal with some of these issues and start growing in 2018, contact us today.

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