The All-Inclusive Website Solution for Associations and Societies

The All-Inclusive Website Solution for Associations and Societies 



Introduction

 
This brief document explains how associations and societies can greatly reduce their administration burdens, better support their members and grow their subscription base using a simple internet service.
 
 

Background

 
Associations, societies and clubs have many common goals and tasks.
 
They have to
 
  • continually market their services to build their member base
  • provide prospects with an easy and painless way to join and pay
  • distribute information to their members
  • promote their organisation to non-members including the press, MP’s, suppliers, pressure groups, etc.
  • enable members to share expertise between themselves
  • understand the collective view of their members
  • create a sense of belonging and loyalty so that the organisation continues to prosper
 
Most of these organisations are characterised by having a small core team serving hundreds or even thousands of members. The challenge they face is balancing the admin chores with providing their members with the support they need.
 
The internet is the perfect medium to facilitate all these activities.
 
Many tedious and time consuming tasks can be automated, whilst at the same time knowledge can easily be shared.
 
The internet can support many requirements:
 
  • Marketing and promotion of the organisation
  • Payment collection and renewal can be automated
  • Member details can be captured and stored making them easy to manage and search
  • Most costs associated with creating and distributing a newsletter or magazine can be eliminated
  • Knowledge can easily be distributed, searched and shared
  • Members can provide real time feedback
  • Members can interact with each other creating a sense of community and increasing loyalty
  • Events can be organised, and promoted
 
So why do so FEW associations, societies and clubs take advantage of the benefits that the internet has to offer.
 
In recent research undertaken by SubHub the main reasons that were given for not using the web to its full potential were:
 
  • Lack of knowledge about what to do and how to do it
  • Perceived cost of building a complex site
  • Insufficient time
  • Unsure of the benefits
  • Concerns about managing a website
 
The organisations that had developed a comprehensive website unanimously said it had greatly improved their efficiency and the way that they operated. Much of their work was automated, duplication of tasks was minimised and the members were happier because they were better informed.
 
We want to enable every organisations, whatever their size, to reap the rewards of using the web.
 
 
What Features Should an Association Website Have?
 
An association website should have a range of features when they launch and the flexibility to add new ones as the requirements develop. At launch they should have:
 
  • Flexible design templates so it is easy to change how the site looks
  • Content management – easy and intuitive for non-technical people to add new content such as articles, events calendars, news, announcements, etc.
  • Payment processing – the ability to take membership fees over the internet and automatically renew membership every year
  • Member Database – a list of all member details which can be searched and grouped
  • Password protection – a member area which is only accessible using a password
  • Email facility – the ability to email all or selected groups of members directly from the website
 
As the site grows, new features that could be useful include:
 
  • An events calendar – events can be scheduled and members can add their own events
  • A discussion form to enable members to interact with each other
  • A shop – the site could sell books, reports, branded goods, etc
  • Audio and video – the ability to have audio and video content on the site
  • Classified ads – allow members to sell stuff to other members via the site
 
This sounds complicated, and indeed it can be. However there are solutions available today which have all this functionality and more built in. This means the hard work is already done and a website can be launched in less than a month of required.
 
The best solution are built on a platform which means they can be rapidly built, the technology is proven and they inexpensive to set up.
 
 

An Introduction to SubHub

 
SubHub was founded in 2004 by two internet veterans who had been building, buying and managing internet businesses for the last 10 years.
 
Based on this experience they knew that there was a real need in the market for a platform dedicated to sites whose primary goals was to collect revenues and distribute information. Such a platform would meet the needs of many groups, one of the biggest being associations and societies.
 
The software took two years to write and now the company are creating 10 sites a month for a broad range of clients, from individuals to FTSE 100 companies.
 
SubHub supports the client through the whole process of designing, building and managing a professional and comprehensive website. This enables associations and societies to focus on what they do best - looking after their members.
 
At the heart of the solution are three elements:
 
  • Content management – makes it easy to add articles to your website
  • Membership database – makes it easy to collect, store and search member data
  • Payment processing – automatically processes payments so members can pay their subscription over the internet
 
This software is run on SubHub’s servers so that clients don’t have to worry about monitoring, maintenance, upgrades, security and back up.
 
All the extra features and functionality are built as modules which can be added to your website like Lego building blocks when you need them.
 
By making the build process like building a Lego model, websites can be created quickly and be a lot cheaper than developing a site from scratch.
 
SubHub is one of the best solutions of its kind in the world. 
 
For organisations that need to manage members, take payments and distribute information it is a revolution.