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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
1 [4.76%]
10 [47.62%]
5 [23.81%]
5 [23.81%]
0 [0.00%]
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Richard Creer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Richard Creer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 10 at 7:19pm
Hear, hear!
http://www.sailingclubsoftware.com
http://www.dutyman.biz
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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: 08 Nov 10 at 1:37pm
Shame I couldn't get any more responses. I suppose a spreadsheet would work OK for the technically-minded....
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Stuart O View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Stuart O Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 10 at 4:32pm
One thing I would say about medusa is the ability to get more out of the reporting system than just who is a member so I would say for the fee it represents very good value for money. The support team are really helpful and friendly
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jezza View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jezza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 11 at 7:20pm
What do you think would be a reasonable amount to pay for a hosted solution with support?
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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: 08 Nov 11 at 7:59pm
How long is a piece of string.

What do functions do you want it to do?.  Does the software exist or do you want custom functionality?.  What response time do you want from the hosting company?. 

Too many unknowns to give an answer.  My first estimate for most sailing clubs in the current economic times would be approximately £0.00 per month.


Edited by marke - 08 Nov 11 at 8:01pm
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jezza View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jezza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 11 at 8:25pm
Ok, so for the purpose of answering this question, we make the following assumptions:

- the software and services exist
- clubs need a solution to help them manage their operations
- there are limited resources including time for the often volunteer staff
- users will require support

And custom functionality may incur some additional costs
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JohnW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 11 at 11:25pm
Originally posted by jezza

What do you think would be a reasonable amount to pay for a hosted solution with support?

As above - how long is a piece of string? It depends on how much support is required, many clubs have a resident nerd so don't need much support, others would want to outsource it.  But I will try and answer with the approach I have taken for my club when I couldn't find anything suitable for a sensible price.

Clubs (particularly the smaller ones) are very cost sensitive, relying on volunteers rather than paid services, so any offering has to offer a clear benefit (perhaps measured in new memberships) and not commit the club to ongoing costs when they can do it themselves.

To illustrate this, I am currently putting together a system for my club.  It is a web based solution and uses stable readily available open source software with a strong community to support it (so it not a home brew solution) - all that is needed is a suitable hosting account and configuration for Sailing Club use. It provides:
  • Full contact and membership management (including, individual, family and organisation type memberships eg Schools, Scouts Companies etc)
  • Custom data fields (eg boat park management)
  • On-line Membership renewal
  • Payment management (including off line and/or on-line payments)
  • Email lists with personalisation and tracking and synchronisation with "Mailman" lists.
  • Mail merge
  • Event Management (eg social events)
  • Task Management (eg duty rotas, work parties etc)
  • Calendar integration
  • Reporting, including charting and map based reports (Google Maps)
  • Import & Export
  • Web site integration
  • Cloud based document management (for all those club forms etc where no one knows who has the latest master copy).
The only cost is web hosting which we already have for our web site at £50/year.  

Im still testing, but the response from the Committee was very positive (in particular the Membership Secreatry).  To install and configure it for another club I would probably think something around the £100-£150 mark would be about right once installation wrinkles are sorted (say, two new memberships). Any more than this and I don't think it would happen for most clubs.

Ongoing support would be depending on needs. With a reasonably capable IT literate person, many clubs would be able to support themselves as the base solution is well documented. Others may consider it worth the price of one or two membership fees to have some one to call on.

This approach offers the best of both worlds, an open source environment is consistent with the volunteer ethic, with support available when required for those who need some assistance.




Edited by JohnW - 08 Nov 11 at 11:49pm
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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: 09 Nov 11 at 11:12am
We have something like JohnW described too.  Web based and built around open source software (joomla, apache, mysql, php etc.) - though using commercial (but low cost) database application builder tool to do much of the coding donkey work.  I think we pay ~£100/year for website/database(s)/applicationcode hosting.

Our experience is that requirements change from year to year - so each year after renewals we tweak the code a bit (V4 due out next April).

A couple of years ago I did look at the possibility of providing a managed solution - but the likely return from sailing clubs was way below what would be needed to make it sustainable (never mind profitable).  You could extend the service to other non-profit organisations, but then you start to compete with existing membership management solutions and delve into domains that need the code to be much more flexible.

I stick with my current estimate - about £0.00

Mark


Edited by marke - 09 Nov 11 at 11:15am
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Richard Creer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Richard Creer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Nov 11 at 4:22pm

As one of the team that brings you Medusa this thread is of great interest to me!

 

Medusa is a fully-featured sailing club membership package from a professional team who provide excellent on-going technical support. In a nutshell, with Medusa you get a PC application for club officers covering membership records, financial management, boat parking, duties and so on. Plus secure web-access for members to maintain their own records, etc. This is all driven from a database in the cloud running on our own server so there is no need to rely on the club “resident nerd”.

 

In fact we find that clubs increasingly want to escape from reliance on willing amateurs and invest in professional solutions. For the record Medusa costs £550 (inc VAT) per year or £495 with RYA discount – less than £1 per member per year for many clubs and very reasonable when compared with other products. See http://www.wildapricot.com/price-comparison.

 

Besides, the software cost is but one component in the total cost of membership management – something to be borne in mind when looking for economies. We all like something for nothing but unfortunately the real world doesn’t work that way.

http://www.sailingclubsoftware.com
http://www.dutyman.biz
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Gregw View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gregw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 11 at 5:04am
Great discussion!

In my spare time I help run a volunteer yacht club and for my day job I develop open source software (jetty webserver) which is supported by selling support.

I'm really keen on finding a solution that will help with the yacht club and I have the skills and experience to be able to help develop it.  So Marke and/or JohnW I'd be really interested to look at your emerging open source systems and see if I can help in some way.

The good thing about open source solutions are their flexibility - if they don't do exactly what you want, you can change them (if you have the skills or know somebody that does).

However, I'm also looking at Medusa, as I don't under estimate the effort that open source software can take... even when it is mostly done by others.   Even a small income from software like medusa can inspire the developers to improve quality and services etc. However I do note that info@sailingclubsoftware.com is currently bouncing, so Richard Creer - you need to check your site if you want to appear like you are more available than open source solutions.

cheers


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