Digital Marketing

How Online Membership Is Beneficial For Nonprofit Websites

Why nonprofit organizations benefit from web-based membership functionality

If you look at the nonprofit world, you may have noticed some significant changes in the last 5-10 years in how organizations acquire, maintain, and strengthen their membership bases.

One thing that the Red Cross, The Humane Society, and many other nonprofit organizations have in common is their successful online membership programs. All of them have built global customer bases by creating a form of online communities among their members, and the potential is limitless.

Now, once they have these successful membership programs, they need a convenient and visually appealing way to feature these programs on their website.

This creates a hub: a central space for the admin and staff to access member information and display their offerings.

The time, energy, and resources that nonprofit organizations are saving by having their membership programs on their website is significant. They’re easy to access, paperwork isn’t scattered across multiple laptops or offices, and it’s easy to make updates.

This is something that is often overlooked within the nonprofit sector, when in reality it shouldn’t be. It is vital that online membership programs stay organized. By doing this, your members, donors, and social impact will remain strong.

Here are more benefits for nonprofits adding an online membership program to their website:

Exclusive Access for Members

One important benefit of a nonprofit membership website is that they can give their members access to areas of the organization that most people would never normally see. For example, The Council To Reduce Elder Abuse (CREA) allows members to access meeting recordings, reports, and even grant proposals.

Everyone wants to be informed and understand what is going on within all of these seemingly secretive organizations that we interact with. This works very well for CREA, one of our clients that helps their donors understand where their money is going.

This saves back and forth communication staff from having to go through these issues as the information is prominently displayed on your website.

An organized directory

I think we can all agree with the phrase “Give credit where credit is due,” and that’s exactly what the BC Farmers’ Institute is doing through its innovative way of creating a nonprofit website.

All members are growers from the province of British Columbia, and there is a special section on their website that highlights where the growers are located, a review about them, and their unique logo.

This provides much-needed marketing to these growers in a hyper-competitive market, while also showing all BCFI website visitors just how many farmers the Institute is supporting.

This provides a significant amount of credibility when you have more than 20 featured farms. Also, having all of your members visualized in this way creates an organization and cohesion like no other.

content creators

Websites for non-profit organizations are difficult to maintain and we understand how resources can be depleted on most days.

Finding content that is new, exciting, and industry-relevant to keep your website fresh can be a struggle. So wouldn’t it make sense for your members to give you a hand on your website?

That’s exactly what Abbotsford-based FarmWest has achieved. With news and updates on their website that members can contribute to, they create a very community feel about their nonprofit online membership, as well as sharing an interesting website.

Members will feel like they are truly contributing to their industry and that goes a long way to a nonprofit’s reputation. Not to mention, it’s a lot less maintenance for the hard-working employees.

READ: Competitive positioning for non-profit organizations

Does your nonprofit have a position statement? It is an important question that every organization must ask itself: what sets you apart from the competition?

Nonprofits’ competitive positioning is more focused on the “why”: what is their mission? Your product is the good you are doing.

Read this article for tips on creating a nonprofit position statement for your organization.

Visit our website to read more.

Save everyone’s time

Do you ever feel like you spend too much time on the phone explaining the same benefits over and over again to curious callers? Wouldn’t it save a lot of time with a beautiful section of the website that shows and describes all the benefits of joining your membership program?

The Music Therapy Association has an excellent introduction to their member benefits in their information section, with clear and concise paragraphs to represent their information.

External links provide a more detailed picture, and contact information is provided for those questions that go beyond what is on the site. Thus, you are saving your own time and that of your members!

A searchable directory of member information is also included, to show how qualified your members are. In general, they provide an attractive online advertisement for their credibility.

The nonprofit industry is becoming increasingly competitive. From 2006 to 2016, the number of nonprofit organizations registered with the IRS increased from 1.48 million to 1.54 million, an increase of 4.5 percent.

It is time for each and every nonprofit to find ways to remain competitive in the online space, just as all for-profit businesses are changing. Building communities online, saving time and resources, while solidifying impact, are all goals nonprofits should work toward.

These unique sections within a nonprofit organization’s website are vital to organizations and to maintaining the brand image that each organization has worked hard to build. Do yourself, your employees and the non-profit organization a favor and see how this can benefit you today.

We have enduring success integrating non-profit online membership programs into our clients’ websites for long-lasting results. Feel free to reach out to take your website to the next level!

For the success of your business,

Suzanne

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