The almost infinite number of small clubs and organizations that exists tells you a little something about how people like to spend their free time. After all, when you're passionate about something, you get involved, pitch in and lend a hand. And for each club that exists, there's a group of members that is willing to devote time, money and energy to the group's cause. For clubs and other small organizations, the importance of their membership can't be overstated - it's the reason they exist in the first place, and the force that keeps them going. But the challenge of managing all those members is a significant one, particularly for organizations that are largely run by volunteers. While many hands can make light work, a disorganized process can make the effort seem monumental and there can be even more detrimental effects, like lost revenue. The reams of paperwork that used to define managing club membership made it easy to lose track of information and miss crucial deadlines. Luckily, tech tools like Excel have made it easier to enter information and save it on a computer - but even spreadsheets and other documents are limited in the ways they can make a tangible difference in managing membership. Specially designed member site software like Wild Apricot picks up where simple data entry leaves off. Member records can be stored online, accessible to club board members or authorized volunteers, so that potential for losing data is kept to an absolute minimum. The key tasks associated with membership management should all be addressed by your club's membership software system: * Membership records * New applications * Renewals * Membership fee acceptance An online solution like Wild Apricot not only makes it easy for those running the organization to keep tabs on membership tasks and challenges, it also makes it easier for members to participate. As life increasingly moves online for everything from maintaining friendships to paying bills, many people appreciate the opportunity to avoid the perceived hassles of a trip to the post office and writing out checks. Every step you can take to make it easier for people to be members of your organization can pay you back for years to come. Other essential functions of operating a small club or organization can also be taken online, thanks to recent software developments. Managing events is far simpler when participants can sign up online and pay fees all in the same visit to your website. You'll then be able to track participation and income as more people sign up. And for those who might be curious about joining you, being able to point them to a user-friendly website that lists events and other news can help drive interest. Pursuing your passion for a sport, cause or charity with like-minded people is one of the most rewarding things you can do with your free time. Making it easy for others to get involved and keep participating is a great way to ensure that your club will keep going for a long time to come. For more information, visit www.wildapricot.com.
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