Why Not-for-Profits Benefit from Web-Based Membership Functionality

If you look around the non-profit world, you might have noticed some significant changes over the past 5 to 10 years around how organizations are acquiring, maintaining and strengthening their membership bases.

Something that The Red Cross, The Humane Society and many other non-profits have in common is their successful online membership programs. They have all built global customer bases by creating a form of online communities among their members, and the potential is limitless.

Now, once they have these successful membership programs, they need a convenient and visually attractive way of presenting these programs on their website.

This creates a hub: a central space for admin and staff to access members’ information and showcase their offerings

The time, energy and resources non-profits are saving by having their membership programs on their website is significant. They’re easy to access, paperwork is not scattered across multiple laptops or offices and making updates is easy.

This is something that is often overlooked among the non-profit sector, when it really shouldn’t be. It’s vital for online membership programs to stay organized. By doing this, their members, donors and social impact will remain strong.

Here are more benefits for non-profits who add an online membership program to their website:

Exclusive Access for Members

One significant benefit of a membership website for non-profits is they can grant their members access to areas of the organization that most people would never normally see. For example, The Council To Reduce Elder Abuse allows members access to meeting recordings, reports and even grant proposals.

CREA Council Members

Everyone wants to be in the know, and to understand what is happening within all these seemingly secretive organizations we interact with. This works so well for CREA, one of our clients who helps their donors understand where their money is going.

This saves the back-and forth communication staff might have to go through on these topics as info is displayed prominently on their website.

An Organized Directory

I think we can all agree on the phrase “Give credit where credit is due”, and that is exactly what the BC Farmers’ Institute is doing through their innovative way of creating a non-profit website.

All the members are growers around the province of British Columbia, and there is a special section on their website that highlights where the growers are located, a blurb about them and their unique logo.

BC Farmers’ Institute Directory

This provides much-needed marketing for these growers in a hyper competitive market, while also showing all visitors to BCFI’s website just how many farmers the Institute is supporting.

This provides a significant amount of credibility when you have 20+ farms featured. Also, having all your members visually displayed like this creates organization and cohesion like none other.

Content Creators

Websites for non-profits are hard to maintain, and we understand how resources can be stretched thin most days.

Finding content that is fresh, exciting and industry relevant to keep your website up to date can be a struggle. So, wouldn’t it make sense for your members to give you a helping hand on your website?

Farmwest News

That’s exactly what Abbotsford-based FarmWest has achieved. With news and updates on their website that members can contribute to, they generate a very community-based feel about their non-profit online membership, as well as sharing an interesting website!

Members will feel like they are genuinely contributing to their industry and that goes a long way for the reputation of a non-profit. Not to mention, it’s a lot less maintenance for the hard-working employees.

Saves Everyone’s Time

Do you ever feel like you spend a lot of time on the phone explaining the same benefits over and over to curious callers? Wouldn’t you save a lot of time with a beautiful website section that shows and describes all the benefits of joining your membership program?

The Music Therapy Association has an excellent introduction of its benefits for members in their information section, with clear and concise paragraphs to represent their information.

External links give a more in-depth picture and contact information is given for those questions that go above and beyond what’s on the site. So, you’re saving your members’ and your own time!

A searchable directory is also included with members ‘information, to show just how qualified their members are. Overall, they provide a compelling online advertisement for their credibility.

Music Therapy Association members directory

The non-profit industry is slowly becoming more and more competitive. From 2006 to 2016, the number of non-profit organizations registered with the IRS rose from 1.48 million to 1.54 million, an increase of 4.5 percent.

It’s time for each and every non-profit to be finding ways to remain competitive in the online space, just like every for-profit company is shifting towards. Building online communities, saving time and resources—while solidifying impact—are all goals non-profits should be working towards

These unique sections within a non-profit’s website are vital for organizations and maintaining the brand image each organization has worked hard to build. Do yourself, your employees and the non-profit a favour and see how this can benefit you today.

Originally published here.