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The FundRaiser Software Blog is an excellent resource for nonprofit organizations looking to learn more about fundraising, donor management, membership management, and much more.

5 ways your donor management software can help create a thriving membership organization

Membership5

Key to a thriving membership organization, is giving each member the sense that they are your most important. How can you do that, when members have different reasons for joining and different preferences for how you communicate with them? Your donor database can be your closest ally. With it, you can tune in to what it is that motivates a person to be a member, and record special preferences. That will help you to give each member the sense that you have them specifically in mind when you communicate with them, even as your membership continues to grow.

1. Make each member feel like they are your most important member

In a donor database, each donor/member has a record where you can enter information that is specific to that member. These specifics can be as basic as name and contact information, however to truly personalize your communications you need to go well beyond that. By recording information on what is important to a particular member about your organization, you can tailor your messages to speak to those interests. If you know what brought a member to your organization to begin with, what events each person participates in, and what friends, business associates or relatives of a particular member also belong to your organization, you are well on your way to understanding how to best connect with a particular member. 

Whenever you communicate with a member, whether in person or through correspondence, you can use your donor database to personalize your communications.

2. Speak to groups of members based on their mutual interests

Because not all members are created equal, it is not usually possible to send out one message that is an ideal fit for all members. Your donor database, however, can help you group members by common interests, so you can send messages to them that are more targetted to their interests.

For instance, if your membership interests differ depending on where they live, you can easily create slightly different messages that are sent to different zip codes. This is one of the most basic ways for creating personalized correspondence.

Targetting can be adapted endlessly to your specific organization. Perhaps there are several reasons that motivate members to join. You can note this on donor records and send out communications to donors based on their particular motivation. Do some members particularly enjoy certain events or projects? Your donor database can help you notify the most interested members when these events are occuring.

3. Keep a steady flow of membership renewals coming in

Renewal dates of memberships can be a headache to track. Members who are not reminded to renew often don't, even though they still value the work of your organization. Timely reminders to renew are key to maintaining membership numbers and keeping membership donations flowing in. Your donor database can keep track of renewal dates and generate a list of member renewal records to mail to at the appropriate time.

4. Follow up in an intelligent way on lapsed donors

Your donor database can also help you track and follow up on lapsed memberships. Many organizations continue to send newsletters, invitations, and other membership updates for a period of time, even if a member is lapsed. After a certain period of time, though, you may  decide that the investment of resources  could be better used elsewhere. 

Your donor database can help you send out special 'rejoin' letters after a donor has been lapsed for a specific period of time. What is more, it can also show you the members how have been lapsed for so long that they can safely be designated as inactive. At that point, you can stop sending out regular notifications. Your donor database still allows you to see who these long-lapsed members are in case you want to send out a message to them now and then.

5. Keep tabs on the health of your organization by keeping a steady eye on membership levels

Changes in membership levels are a key indicators for the organization's health. Reports that show numbers of members, total donation amounts, and membership levels are all important indicators, and crucial in keeping board members and staff up to date. Reports can also show other details that may be of interest to your specific organization such as board members that know key donors; location of members; and much more. The details your record are completely up to you and what you need to have included in your reports, within certain limits of your oarticular donor database.

To learn more about how FundRaiser can help your organization with its membership management

Explore the Membership Management Module in FundRaiser

Increase Donor Loyalty with a Membership Program
Do you know the difference between the 2 types of ...

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