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How Many Groups Are You a Member Of?

With apologies for the ending preposition, let’s think about this question for a moment. I’m personally a member of:

  • Amazon Prime
  • Delta SkyMiles (and about 7 other airline frequent flyer programs)
  • My church
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • The Society for Scholarly Publishing
  • Hilton HHonors (and about 5 other hotel loyalty clubs)
  • Costco
  • My local public library
  • Consumer Reports
  • National Car Rental’s Emerald Club
  • Best Buy Reward Zone (and many other stores)
  • My homeowners association

Conservatively, I’m a member of roughly 30 organizations/clubs—not to mention my “membership” in my family, my community, the management team of my company and the human race! If you take the time to list your memberships, it’s likely you’ll find a similar amount.

Why do we join so many organizations? Probably the most common incentives are the benefits of membership. The benefit of library membership is the ability to check out materials. The benefit of Hilton HHonors is to accumulate points which can be redeemed for hotel rooms later on. The benefit of my church is the spiritual nourishment I gain there.

It is estimated that there are 100,000 trade and professional associations in the U.S., not including charitable organizations or special interest clubs. There’s an association for every interest under the sun, including an association for associations! (this previous post explains reasons behind the rise in membership-based groups.)

And all of these associations, especially those with tens of thousands of members, need systems to track membership applications, dues payments, member profiles, membership levels, and benefits. They also need to provide web portals where members can change their address, renewal, make payments, review their benefits (internal and 3rd party), opt-in and opt-out of newsletters, view and manage donation history, change membership type, update their profile, view continuing education credits, and discover other members.

As I announced back in June in this blog, AdvantageCS is now launching Members Advantage, which is an integrated solution designed to handle all of the requirements in the previous paragraph for medium-to-large-sized organizations. (See the whitepaper here for details.)

But there’s an added bonus. At the same time as it manages the memberships, it manages other subscription and product purchases by the member, that is, the “publishing” and “product” sides of the organization. Most professional membership organizations publish content either online or in a print journal or magazine. However, most publishing management applications do not handle memberships well. And most membership management applications do not handle publishing well.

Advantage does both. We designed it for just that purpose.

If your member services or marketing people are struggling to navigate across multiple systems in order to get the information they need to service or market to your members, then Members Advantage is your solution. Just fill out the red envelope on this screen to get in touch for a demo or more information.

Filed under: Dan's Blog, Homepage-News

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