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Club membership admin software

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Poll Question: What does your club use to store member details and send out letters?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
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10 [47.62%]
5 [23.81%]
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samways View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote samways Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Club membership admin software
    Posted: 15 Sep 10 at 12:45pm
Is your club in the dark ages like ours? Are fancy computerised systems worth the money?!
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vscott View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote vscott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 10 at 1:15pm
Not paid for but provided by a member as a cut down version of something they had already written commercially.  Keeps membership records, creats and sends forms, emails newsletters, contact management records, enables searching and jobs to be done in bulk.
 
Not perfect as not designed for this but not too bad.  More plusses than minuses I think
(I am this year's membership sec)
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jeffers View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 10 at 1:54pm
We have an access database that was written many years ago and has since been updated several times to handle all of this. They are even looking at doing an export for use with DutyMan.....
Paul
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Late starter View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Late starter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 10 at 2:45pm
We find that a club website and email newsletters has helped reduce the cost and effort over the old days when we used to snailmail people.  New members also tell us they found us via the web, so I think this area is a priority - though most clubs I know do seem to have some form of website or other now.

We've also got spreadsheets with membership details, and the membership sec uses this as a basis to send out reminders etc. Not slick but it seems to work - quite a lot of manual intervention though.

In terms of duties, we're still in the dark ages and tend to spend ages at the start of each season agonising over the duty rota's, ie trying to match members to duties they are qualified for, trying to match family members to duties at the same time, and trying to get a balance of experienced and inexperienced members on duty together to effect some knowledge transfer.  There's probably a better way of doing this, its always a pain in the neck to do.

One of the most useful technology areas we've found though is providing the ability for members to pay for subs, socials etc via the website, eg through Paypal. This has been incredibly popular.


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marke View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote marke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 10 at 5:23pm
At our club we have a web based membership database that I developed about four years ago.  This allows the membership sec, berth master, junior officer, safety officer etc. to maintain their parts of the database from home using a web browser and other club officers to get read-only access when they need to get in contact with a member.  It also manages the renewals process - generating member specific renewal forms for 500+ members each year.  With four year practical use I think I can now develop a better mousetrap and 'productise' it a bit - so that is going to be this winters project.

I'll probably make it open source next source and let other clubs have a copy if they want to use it.

At the moment the membership system is loosely integrated with our Race Management software (e.g. I can automatically generate a list of duties for OOD, Safety Boat, Bar etc. in dutyman format, by combining information from the Race management database and the membership database).  The next version will have more integration.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote A Seabadger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Sep 10 at 3:56pm
We use a system called Medusa. Those running our membership and duty rotas are very impressed with it. They say it reduces hassle, they use less time on admin and our records are now more accurate. Was also store extra infomation on the system such as the duties people are able to do, which duties they have done ect. We are starting to run Dutyman alongside it
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samways View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote samways Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Sep 10 at 11:16am
I found Medusa - seems expensive. But you're saying its worth it?!
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A Seabadger View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote A Seabadger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Sep 10 at 12:46pm
Our admin team (all sailors volunteering) seem to think so. If you are keen and want to contact them I can give you an e-mail address.
I don't suffer from insanity...I enjoy every moment of it.
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JohnW View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JohnW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Sep 10 at 3:25pm
I looked at Medusa a while back and the features looked very good.  But then I saw the cost - an annual subscription of 420 Shocked 
Strikes me as very steep for your average small club.
 
I also note also that Dutyman (same company) subscription has rocketed - I think it was about 30 last year, current subscription has gone up to 85 per year.
 
Ive been trying to drag my club into the 20th century (still working on the 21st), with email lists and dutyman etc, but there are still many members who take pride in the fact that they dont have an Internet connection, so I think  it would be hard to justify oer 500 per year on admin software.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote marke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Sep 10 at 4:05pm
Hi

The Medusa software looks pretty good.  I think the software we have covers pretty much the same ground, but our system does link more directly with our race management software.

The major difference if I understand the Medusa product is it is a desktop product which uses file exchange for synching database changes from different PCs.  The web based solution we have is a central database which any club officer can access and update (subject to controls on access permissions).  The Medusa product would be good for those clubs that do all the administration on site - most of ours is done by club members working from home, and I can't see them wanting to swap files each time a change is made.  I may have misunderstood how it works though.

Anyway - should have an open source offering out in the spring if anybody wants to give it a try.  Support will be on a best efforts basis though as I do have a day job.

If anyone has any specific "got to have" requirements please PM me - can't promise to add them, but at least I'll consider it.

Mark
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