Associations that serve — and depend on — membership took a powerful hit in 2020 as the global pandemic caused major disruptions across the nation. Even as early as 2019, membership organizations were feeling a pinch. In fact, up to 68% of them had trouble increasing their membership base and 25% were stagnant. Eleven percent of these organizations actually got smaller. The rest? They only expanded their membership base by 1 – 5%.
When the pandemic hit with its double impact of layoffs coupled with stringent social distancing rules, many associations saw an immediate drop in membership rolls — and the associated dues that help them survive. With the fear nonprofits and other associations would have to shut their doors permanently, the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) petitioned Congress for $25 billion in economic aid to help those membership groups that experienced significant losses as a result of COVID-19-related factors.
As we move into 2021, the picture is a bit brighter for many groups. Even after a marked one-year decline, the five-year forecast for the industry remains positive. But many industry leaders are advocating a strong focus on transforming the membership model to focus more on membership growth. To do so, associations must engage in more out-of-the-box thinking and use their resources to foster engagement.
How Document Management Can Foster Engagement
A new model for membership growth must include several focal points to be successful. These may include:
- Membership offerings that are both flexible and scalable
- Ways to remove barriers to entry and locate new markets
- Personalizing experiences in member communications across platforms and events
- Data analysis for better, actionable insights
Combined with a culture that promotes a single goal — to be member-centric — these pillars can help associations move forward with their membership goals. While some of these objectives can be achieved through brainstorming and planning at the C-suite level, others can be easily attained using document management software. Here’s how:
- Organizing Member Data
Organizing member data with a document management solution (DMS) can ensure you have fast, easy access to information when you need it. Digitizing paper documents reduces manual entry errors for more reliable contact and other data and easy search and indexing saves team members time that they can spend creating educational programs and events that will drive engagement.
- Understanding Member Trends and Data
The larger your member base, the harder it is to track. Document management simplifies the task by offering numerous ways to track member data and analyze trends. Data analysis can help you identify programs or activities that draw in new members — and those that do not. Event metrics can be instrumental in helping decision-makers target new opportunities for member ship expansion.
- Personalizing the Experience and Tracking Engagement
Document management software assists associations in organizing personal member details, including contact information and other pertinent data that can help your organization personalize letters, invitations, and other correspondence to increase engagement. Using a DMS also provides enhanced security to keep all that sensitive, personal information safe and help you stay compliant with any necessary data protection and privacy regulations.
Blue Technologies Has Document Management Solutions to Help You Grow
The right document management solution can help your association grow engagement through organizing and safely indexing your member data. But it also does a whole lot more than that. A robust DMS allows your staff to retrieve, edit, share, and archive any document used by your association. Versioning control is always on target, so there is less chance of the wrong version of memos, letters, and other correspondence being sent.
All documents, including invoices, rosters, human resources documentation, and more can be digitized for fast, easy storage, retrieval, and use saving your staff both time and money, in both the long and the short term.
At Blue Technologies, we offer the latest in document management solutions that can be crafted to meet the specific needs and goals of your association. Our team of DMS experts can deploy, maintain, and support you as you use your DMS to continue to grow your membership for years to come.
Adopt a document management strategy that works hard for your organization. Contact a Blue Technologies consultant explore our DMS options today.