Small clubs and organizations need to get savvy to stay afloat

Times are tough and budgets are tight for everyone, including small organizations and clubs. Membership is more and more difficult to cultivate, which stymies the group’s income. Existing members, who sometimes end up picking up the financial slack, are often forced to choose between participating in something that’s meaningful to them and simply getting all their household bills paid.

Discouraging as things might seem, it’s time to dig in and make the effort to grow your club – its survival depends on it.

For a lot of small associations, the Internet is the final frontier – and one they’re hesitant to travel into. In the past, creating an online presence was something that was expensive, mysterious and best left in the hands of a Web guru. While the expansion of the Internet has meant that it’s also become more intricate, it’s also become more accessible to the average Joe. That’s why it’s time to set aside any lingering worries and get your club online.

Even in the smallest organizations, there are as many opinions as there are members. If you’re leading the charge to create an online presence, you might encounter some resistance. You can support your argument with a number of salient points, including:

* Exposure. Simply put, there’s no advertising medium that will get you more visibility for your buck than online. Even something simple, like having a page on Facebook or LinkedIn, can start to spread the word. If your members are “fans” of the organization’s page, their friends can see it, creating a virtual word of mouth effect. Plus, if someone is searching for an organization like yours, it’s a great way to dispense basic information about what you do.

* Engagement. Going beyond a social networking site is essential because it provides value for members both old and new. Having a fully functional, separate website with features like forums, fundraising features and membership application forms allows you to make access easier for members and keep records online. Not only does centralizing information make it easier to find, but multiple people can have access to it, when needed.

* Economics. The returns on what can be a very minimal investment are perhaps the best argument in favor of developing a Web presence. In addition to the potential to bring in new members by providing them with a bounty of information about your association, you’ll also cut down on costs like mailing, paper, extra transportation to exchange documents and other information and more. Using a website builder, such as, makes the process easier and more economical, while offering the features that most organizations need.

The best part of getting your organization online is that it’s now so easy to create a website that virtually anyone can do it; if you can use word processing software, you can build it yourself. By using website builders that incorporate membership software, you’re just a few clicks away from having a site up and running.

Courtesy of ARAcontent