Association Checkup

You’ve got all the internal processes under the sun to ensure continuous improvement and prevent complacency, and for that you deserve a pat on the back. By all means, you should keep that approach of self-criticism going. However, every once and a while, it’s nice to get a bit of a sanity check from outside the bounds of your organization.

Only you know the details of how your association operates – what works and what doesn’t. But, sometimes a bit of high-level reflection can spark ideas that allow you to improve your offering just a little bit more.

Below, we’ve provided a few checkup questions for your association to contemplate. This is by no means an exhaustive survey, nor does it intend to explore every nook and cranny of the association day-to-day. As we know, that would be a never-ending list. However, these questions serve as worthy considerations to exercise during your next executive meeting or conversation.

How fitting is your AMS solution for day-to-day operations?
To elaborate, how customizable is your member management software for the way your association prefers to do things? Far too often, associations are forced to relinquish the manner in which they’d like to accomplish specific tasks in favour of the method required by an incompatible solution. Remember, your association doesn’t bend to the solution’s will – it should always be the exact opposite.
How functional is the learning management component of your AMS solution?
First off, I should ask this up front, because it’s quite a prevalent oversight – does your AMS even offer learning management capability? If not, you need to ask yourself why you would continue with a solution that doesn’t provide as much bang per buck as many other AMS offerings. However, if your solution does empower you to host e-learning courseware, the next question is – does it work well? We’re well into the 21st century now – it’s time for clunky learning management components to go the way of the dinosaur. Unfortunately, there are still many AMS solutions that seem to treat their learning management platforms as afterthoughts. Fortunately, associations don’t need to put up with that kind of approach, since there are other solution options that think your e-learning courses are some of your association’s most valuable resources, and should be supported in such a way that pays respect to that.
How does your AMS solution allow you to streamline event management?
Your association-hosted events are a great time and should be fun to conceptualize, plan and execute. Unfortunately, that’s not always how it turns out. With so many moving parts, an event can be an administrative nightmare if you aren’t supported appropriately by your event management tools housed within your AMS. How much weight does your current event management component take of your shoulders? Are you able to create visually appealing event invitations natively? Can you attach break-out events to the main conference? Are you able to automate communication to your entire membership? How comprehensive is the tracking for registration? All of these elements and more should be made easy with your event management component. If not, you need to ask yourself if you’re being made to do an unfair share of the lifting.
What does your AMS solution provide in the way of automation?
Are your administrators being forced to dip in and out of different software to accomplish simple tasks – causing duplication of effort? What your AMS should do is integrate as many processes as possible, so the solution can communicate with other software – preventing the unnecessary repetition of the exact same thing. There’s no need to have administrators feel burned out by monotony when a comprehensive AMS can automate certain tasks.
How accessible does the AMS solution make your members (communication)?
At the end of the day, the most important function of your AMS is to comprehensively connect your membership to the association and its representatives. What’s embarrassing is that many member management solutions fail to accomplish this in a meaningful way. If your solution can’t even effectively deliver on its purpose than what’s its use? If your administrators find it clunky and confusing to access member inventories, or if they find it cumbersome and time-consuming to engage the membership with their communications – it’s time to consider whether you’ve got the right system at your disposal. The right AMS will put your members right at your fingertips, just a couple of clicks away.
Does your AMS provider offer direct support to your members?
Last but certainly not least, how does your provider respond to your administrators and your members? Your focus as an association should be to manage your membership, not your members. Having a provider that directly supports your members when they have an issue with the system will save your administrators untold hours and will result in greater performance from your association as a whole.

It’s important to get a checkup every so often. The above questions should have stimulated some good self-reflection and conversation. As long as your association is always striving to improve, you should have no issue.

Guild is an AMS solution backed by a team that is obsessed with supporting the continuous improvement of associations. If you’d like to learn more about Guild, or schedule a live demo of the solution, please click here.