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Membership Software Choice: The Ostrich, Cable Guy, & Heisenberg Way

Membership Software Decisions and Options

I have been a software adviser for over 15 years. So, my work consists of assisting nonprofits with finding their best software fit. Sometimes the calls which I receive are quite painful. Executive’s call me who are mad as hell with their current system and quite frankly are not going to take it anymore. In this article, let’s explore your membership software options and what road you may take in moving forward.

Membership Software Decision Options

You always have a choice.

When it comes to the membership software you have in place, it usually boils down to several options on how to make a decision on what is your best course of action. Here they are:

  1. No Decision –This is the Ostrich option. In other words, you simply continue to use what you currently have in place. This is the enemy of many and a friend to no one. No decision is a decision. And, despite knowing the the costs for switching systems and the perhaps the time it takes to do so, some organizations decide not to do anything. Keeping in place what you already have is certainly an option. But, no decision without having the right reasons is nothing more than putting your head in the sand.

  2. Get Er Done – This what I like to refer to as the Larry the Cable Guy option. With this decision, rather than drop kicking your existing system, you attempt to make your existing system work better. If this is on premise or legacy solution, this may mean upgrading to the newest version. If you haven’t trained your staff in 5 years, you get the team up to speed on how to use the system better. Or, you may simply need a 3rd party add on which may help fill a gap in your existing solution. Regardless, you are “getting er done!”

  3. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. This is the Heisenberg. If you are fearless and have the courage to make the change and replace your system, I applaud you! Maybe you are Walter White in Breaking Bad! Also known as “Heisenberg“. In my opinion, this guy was one of the most fearless characters on TV in recent years.Taking on the mafias of pot industry in Mexico just on his own using his knowledge of chemistry. Heisenberg proved that “Knowledge is Power”. And, knowledge about your software decision is what you need to make a switch or not.

The Cost Isn’t Just The Membership Software License 

Today, for many large associations it’s not uncommon to spend six figures on a system. And, sadly over 45% of associations find out that even after spending an arm and leg, their membership system “ain’t all that and a bag of chips”. It truly is necessary to change. And, other times it’s some of factors such as no training, staff changes, processes which are faulty, or simply put, expectations are out of whack!

That’s the challenge which is faced by many nonprofits. Should they keep what they have or should it go! Should you be bold and venture out without investigating the facts and doing your due diligence. No! I don’t think so.

Be Cautious, Prudent, Not Blind 

I must admit that I am very cautious about recommending that someone obtain a new membership system. Often times, it’s not a technology problem. In most cases, it’s training, support, or adding a component which you didn’t even know about.  I find those clients which take the time to truly assess before selecting a new system are more satisfied and usually end up making a quicker and smarter decision for their organization when the time is right.

What Persona Are You Taking On?

What persona will you take on? Over the years, I have learned that every organization is unique. And, their is no unicorn.  But, as an Executive you are charged with “Getting Er Done” so often times it is worth seeking good counsel to be sure that you are making the right choice.

Yes, you have three options in making a decision. But, I believe it’s important to take a step back and understand what you have in your existing assets, people, processes, and technology. This will help solidify that you are making the best decision that you can for all stakeholders.

Until next time, keep SmartThoughts in mind.

Membership Software Advice


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