Maximize Engagement with Your Association Using Technology Tools

Technology plays an important role for associations in connecting with your constituents. Associations rarely address a single, cohesive audience and each category has certain expectations of what a relationship with the association provides. Typically, a website is the portal to highlighting an organization’s offerings, however, all the behind-the-scenes technology that supports the association is vital to a content-rich experience that demonstrates value. With thoughtful planning and execution, technology can be used to attract and retain constituents including members, donors, volunteers, and other interested parties.

A variety of criteria needs to be considered when determining the best technology plan for your association including size, goals, and budget. We’ve compiled information on how technology can benefit your association and some pointers to contemplate as you build your technology plan.

Keep your website engaging and up to date:

Regardless of audience, the website needs to be engaging. If visitors aren’t engaged, they won’t stay around long enough to benefit from what the association can provide to them.

  • Make the website easy to use to provide a streamlined experience.
  • Ensure your brand and key messages are incorporated throughout to enhance recognition.
  • Streamline the member join/renew process including navigation that is highly visible throughout the website to allow for a positive and simple experience.
  • Prioritize security by implementing strong member passwords and password changing policies and implement solutions to prevent prevalent smartphone malware that puts hooks into your technology from outside sources.
  • Provide online accessibility through mobile devices by implementing website access and readability (dynamically sizable).
  • Keep content fresh to help your stakeholders see the value of your offerings.
  • Enhance inclusivity by providing multi- language options, varied text sizes, and a vibrant dimension through the addition of graphics and videos.

Leverage your membership or association management platform:

The value of the data you collect can be maximized by sharing information among technology tools.

  • Connect your membership/association management platform with other tools and solutions to streamline information flow and enhance your technology capabilities.
  • Investigate options to integrate marketing tools, merchant services, event management, blog capabilities, and website solutions.

Provide e-commerce options to users:

Being able to complete transactions online has become the norm.

  • Support for electronic transactions is pivotal to online success. Many e-commerce solutions provide transaction services and there are usually alternatives to fit your budget. 
    • Be aware that some packages seamlessly integrate, while other packages bring members to the solution’s website to complete the transaction.
    • Hidden credit card fees may apply, so read your package agreement thoroughly.
  • Mitigate security risks by implementing regulation compliant solutions.
  • Reduce or eliminate the need for paper or call center transactions by providing online event registration and payment options.

Support e-learning resources:

Constituents increasingly expect to be able to access educational content through a website or other technology portal.

  • Offer access to online learning and research materials which is a vital membership benefit and may also be of interest to other constituents, depending on the topic. Users will be looking for written documents, presentations, on line videos, and webinars. A diverse and up-to-date set of materials will keep members renewing and other users engaged.
  • Create learning and research tools that incorporate relevant sites and include various types of content. 
  • Consider specific e-learning technology including:
    • course development (HTML or through an Authoring Package),
    • tracking of learner progress (perhaps with a Learning Management System (LMS)) and
    • a system for managing course files (video, graphics, sound, text) with a Content Management System (CMS) or a combined system (LCMS).

Offer on-line event management:

Whether it’s a meeting, conference, or other type of event, incorporating technology for an event from beginning to end enhances engagement.

  • Streamline the user experience with online event registration, scheduling, attendee profiles, and location logistics. 
  • Provide connectivity to attendees during an event, such as business card scanning, live schedule updates, dynamic attendee lists, and exclusive social networking.
  • Leverage social media to attract volunteers. Capture profiles, availability and skills in the recruitment phase.
  • Track training, scheduling and volunteer communication with online tools or packages. 

Use analytics to support continuous improvement:

A lot of data is captured as users interact with the association. Capturing and analyzing that data can provide feedback to inform necessary changes.

  • Implement analytics to provide insight as to where users are spending the most time on your website. Understanding how your website is being used helps prioritize content and technology updates.
  • Integrate your systems with reporting solutions to ensure that you are prioritizing enhancements based on user experience. Analytics can monitor your goals and objectives as well as identify areas to apply trends and future expansion.

Ninestone has a diversity of experience that sets us apart. We work alongside you to uncover your association’s requirements, identify opportunities for improvement, and implement a solution that fits your needs. Regardless of size or sector, taking a proactive view of your technology is a recipe for success. The objective is to set you on a path to improvement with attentive support that aligns your business, technology and budget concerns.


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