Why Nonprofits Benefit From Web-Based Membership Functionality
If you look at the nonprofit world, you may have noticed some significant changes in the last 5-10 years around how organizations are acquiring, maintaining, and strengthening their membership bases.
Something that the Red Cross, the Humane Society, and many other nonprofits 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 appealing way to present these programs on their website.
This creates a hub – a central space for admin and staff to access member information and display their offerings.
The time, energy, and resources nonprofits are saving by having their membership programs on their website is significant. They’re easy to access, paperwork isn’t scattered across multiple laptops or offices, and updating is easy.
This is something that is often overlooked in the nonprofit sector, when in reality it shouldn’t be. It is vital that online membership programs stay organized. By doing this, your members, donors, and social impact will remain strong.
Here are more benefits for nonprofits adding an online membership program to their website:
Exclusive access for members
A significant benefit of a nonprofit membership website is that 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 (CREA) allows members to access meeting recordings, reports, and even grant proposals.
Everyone wants to be informed and understand what is happening within all these seemingly secret organizations that we interact with. This works very well for CREA, one of our clients who helps their donors understand where their money is going.
This saves back and forth communication staff from having to go through these topics as the information is prominently displayed on your 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 its innovative way of creating a non-profit website.
All members are producers from the province of British Columbia, and there is a special section on their website that highlights where the producers are located, a blurb about them, and their unique logo.
This provides much-needed marketing for these growers in a hyper-competitive market, while showing all BCFI website visitors how many farmers the Institute supports.
This provides a significant amount of credibility when you have more than 20 featured farms. Furthermore, having all your members visualized in this way creates an organization and cohesion like no other.
Nonprofit websites are difficult to maintain and we understand how resources can be reduced most days.
Finding fresh, exciting, and industry-relevant content to keep your website up-to-date can be a struggle. So wouldn’t it make sense for your members to help you out on your website?
That is exactly what Abbotsford-based FarmWest has accomplished. With news and updates on their website that members can contribute to, they create a very community-based feel about their non-profit online membership, as well as sharing an interesting website!
Members will feel that they are genuinely contributing to their industry and that contributes greatly to the reputation of a non-profit organization. Not to mention, it’s a lot less maintenance for hard-working employees.
READ: Competitive Positioning for Nonprofits
Does your nonprofit have a positioning statement? It’s an important question every organization should ask itself: what sets you apart from the competition?
The competitive positioning of nonprofits focuses more on the “why”: what is their mission? Your product is the good that you are doing.
Read this article for tips on how to create a nonprofit positioning statement for your organization.
Visit our website to read more.
Save everyone’s time
Have you ever felt 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 outlines all the benefits of joining their membership program?
The Music Therapy Association has an excellent introduction to its member benefits in its information section, with clear and concise paragraphs to represent your information.
External links provide a more detailed picture and contact information is provided for those questions that go beyond what is on the site. So you are saving your members time and your own time!
Also included is a searchable directory with member information, to show how qualified your members are. In general, they provide an attractive online advertisement for their credibility.
The nonprofit industry is becoming increasingly competitive. From 2006 to 2016, the number of nonprofits registered with the IRS increased from 1.48 million to 1.54 million, an increase of 4.5 percent.
It’s time for each and every nonprofit to find ways to remain competitive in the online space, just as all for-profit businesses are changing. Building online communities, saving time and resources, while solidifying impact, are all goals that nonprofits must achieve.
These unique sections within a non-profit organization’s website are vital to organizations and to maintaining the brand image that each organization has worked hard to build. Do yourself, your employees, and the nonprofit a favor and see how this can benefit you today.
We have lasting success integrating online nonprofit membership programs into our clients’ websites for lasting results. Feel free to reach out to take your website to the next level!
For the success of your business,