Organization: 150-year-old society with a worldwide membership of 47,000 chemical scientists, ranging from students to Nobel Prize winners. Activities span education, conferences, science policy and the promotion of chemistry to the public.
Challenge: Like all associations, the group is faced with maintaining and growing membership fees in this challenging economic climate. The association has to manage a complex matrix of information, as individual memberships often span many decades and have diverse interests ranging from qualifications, professional conduct, conferences and publications. It is vital that the association easily collect, maintain, analyze and process current and accurate contact and member data. Members, particularly those who have a long history with the association, expect the society to understand their individual requirements and communicate accordingly, the membership director said. Also the Internet has raised expectations for member service and what information technology can deliver.
Action: The organization upgraded its association management system, so that it has a single, central database that supports relationship management, marketing, events and education, website management, billing, financials, e-commerce and business intelligence.
Result: The society’s application process has shortened significantly, and new members have a positive experience with the association from the beginning. The membership director said, “We can now easily see a complete picture of an applicant’s or member’s interaction with the society in one single view. For example, staff can provide his or her application status quickly and easily.” The society is now able to implement highly targeted member recruitment and marketing campaigns, which was not offered by the older system. A recent e-mail campaign designed specifically for lapsed student members, for example, resulted in 200 new subscriptions. For more on association management systems, contact Advanced Solutions International, www.advsol.com.