For a lot of small organizations, the transition to a more digital world has been a tough one. At first, cost seemed prohibitive. Then as costs came down, concerns arose about having the expertise to really develop a worthwhile online presence. However, in today's fast-paced world of technology, if there's a need, a solution isn't far behind.
In fact, some new technologies have emerged that make life not only easier for those managing small organizations, but for members, too, turning the headaches of the past into streamlined processes.
Take membership dues, for instance. Collecting dues and fees by hand is a huge bother, making the job of treasurer one that only the hardiest souls will volunteer for. Having to keep track of personal checks, cash and multiple-installment payments is chaotic at best, and can cause a club to lose money, at worst. And for tech-savvy members, paying in person or mailing a check can be a nuisance.
As the explosive spending of online shopping events like Cyber Monday have shown, the general public is becoming far more comfortable with paying on the Web. For small clubs, online payment processing ability can be a real game changer - one that lets them play with the big guys. For example, a software solution like Wild Apricot, specifically designed to meet the needs of clubs and organizations, lets clubs take online payments in a safe, secure and infinitely simpler way than they've been able to before. And because all of the payments are tracked, you can quickly generate financial reports and track your club's receivables with just a few clicks.
Just as clubs can use online payments to help develop a positive financial outlook, they can use their Web presence to drive new interest and communication. However, it's important to make sure that you know how to make the most of your club's online identity.
One critical thing to remember is that your website and your social media are two different tools with different purposes and capabilities.
Think of your website as your home base - this is where your identity really lives. Your website is the place to send people for information that doesn't change too often, but it can also be a place where the functional aspect of your Web presence lives (like your payment processing page, for instance).
On the other hand, social media is the place for of-the-moment information and updates, and it's also a tool to drive people to your website. Using Facebook and Twitter for updates can get quick hits of information out to members and interested people. Adding a link to your website within those updates can help with driving traffic, so make sure that you take advantage of the opportunity to do so.
Small clubs and organizations run on the passion of their members. Combine that enthusiasm with the benefits of technology and your organization will be looking toward a very bright future.