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Club membership admin software

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Race Management
Forum Discription: For race officers and competiors to discuss the topic
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=7148
Printed Date: 24 Nov 20 at 11:21pm
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Topic: Club membership admin software
Posted By: samways
Subject: Club membership admin software
Date Posted: 15 Sep 10 at 12:45pm
Is your club in the dark ages like ours? Are fancy computerised systems worth the money?!



Replies:
Posted By: vscott
Date 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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Mk IV Osprey 1314 Think Again

Kielder Water Sailing Club


Posted By: jeffers
Date 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.....

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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: Late starter
Date 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.




Posted By: marke
Date 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.


Posted By: A Seabadger
Date 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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I don't suffer from insanity...I enjoy every moment of it.


Posted By: samways
Date Posted: 17 Sep 10 at 11:16am
I found Medusa - seems expensive. But you're saying its worth it?!


Posted By: A Seabadger
Date 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.

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I don't suffer from insanity...I enjoy every moment of it.


Posted By: JohnW
Date 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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Posted By: marke
Date 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


Posted By: JohnW
Date Posted: 18 Sep 10 at 9:59am
Originally posted by marke

Hi

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
 
Mark, I would love to give it a try. Also happy to do some testing if that would help you out.
 
I think a web centred solution is a good way to go because as you say, a lot of club management is done from home and the data needs to be available to a team of people.
 
John
 


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Posted By: laser4000
Date Posted: 18 Sep 10 at 10:34am
Originally posted by Late starter

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.


You mean you're not using dutyman? You can set people up at levels relevant to their experience (OOD, AOD, Saferty Boat, safety boat helper etc) and it then makes sure the 'roster is full' and you have enough AOD to OOD etc. Duty swaps easy for the members to carry out etc. Not quite sure how it handles 'family' rostering but it obviously does...

Originally posted by Late starter



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.

Funny - I reckon that's ahead of most clubs, but is a great idea...


Posted By: samways
Date Posted: 18 Sep 10 at 10:38pm
Yes, the cost of Medusa does seem a bit much when you have to pay it every year. I looked at the website and can see that appears to have a 'master' database, so that people at home can make changes on their own database, and then control how the changed are synced back to the master.

In the light of instantly-updatabled web-hosted databases that seems a bit like too much work. But there isn't anything else on the market. In fact, each of the main products seems to have a monopoly: Medusa, Sailwave and DutyMan! (Ok there is HAL but I havent seen it used much.)


Posted By: A Seabadger
Date Posted: 19 Sep 10 at 4:26am
Anyone know how you get Dutyman to cope with family memberships?

Eg. In our club every member over 16 has to do a duty. As a family of 4 we have to do 4 duties. As only 2 of us sail we do duties for the other 2. We need to have our duties credited to us as a family not as individuals.

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I don't suffer from insanity...I enjoy every moment of it.


Posted By: bert
Date Posted: 19 Sep 10 at 7:45am
The easy way round it is just to sign in for the duty as the other family member - that would work wouldn`t it?

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Phantom 1181
AC-227 IC 304
blaze / halo 586




Posted By: Richard Creer
Date Posted: 07 Oct 10 at 6:29pm
 

This is all very interesting to me as a member of the Medusa and DutyMan development teams!

Firstly the poll, albeit of rather few voters, suggests that there is a need for a good membership package for sailing clubs. And secondly price is, not surprisingly, an issue – it always is.
 
Some here think Medusa is expensive yet we have clubs using it at the published price so it is clearly not too expensive for everyone.
 
But let's have a think about pricing. When purchasing software that is going to be crucial to the way they work, people, and that includes sailing clubs, are interested not only in functionality but also support and ongoing commitment. We who develop and support Medusa and DutyMan are professionals and are in it for the long-term. Our aim is to create a thriving and sustainable community of users of our software.
 
A club which invests in software without such ongoing commitment will, I suggest, be little better off than with a home-grown database or spreadsheet.
 
A quick calculation will reveal that we (4) are not going to get rich from providing software for sailing clubs - there are simply not enough of them. But we do need some income to cover the costs of our servers, websites, PCs, phone bills and such and with a bit left over to keep us motivated. If you are receiving fees you have a duty to keep earning them; if you are doing something as a favour you can walk away any time.
 
There are a lot of issues here so please keep up the dialogue either here or offline. And BTW, there is a 10% discount on both Medusa and DutyMan for RYA-affiliated clubs.


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http://www.sailingclubsoftware.com
http://www.dutyman.biz


Posted By: jeffers
Date Posted: 08 Oct 10 at 9:21am
Part of the issue here is that sailing clubs range from small, member run affairs (run by the members for the members) and are non-profit clubs and as a result have little if no spare cash and would find it difficult to justify spending money on things like that. All they way up to the likes of Rutland, Grafham and Hayling Island which are run more like businesses and as such will be able to justify the expenditure on something like this.
 
Don't get me wrong I am not knocking this idea at all, quite the opposite in fact, but you may want broaden your horizons and open it up to other types of clubs (Hockey is another sport I am involved in. Most clubs have nothing to register their members in). I would imagine the underlying database would easily cope with that but you would not need some of the functionality that a sailing club would.


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Paul
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D-Zero GBR 74


Posted By: patj
Date Posted: 08 Oct 10 at 5:57pm
We're a small paper and spreadsheet club but for duties we have one good system. A blank sheet of all the years' duties is taken to the AGM and everyone attending gets to sign up for their choice of dates. It gets the AGM attendance up considerably! The duties officer then contacts the rest of the members and fills in the blanks. Duties are then held on a website database that I put together and it's easily updated by the duties officer and visible to all on the web. With the buy-in from choosing your own date there are far less swaps than at other clubs.
 
I looked at dutyman but it costs about two memberships and as far as I could see it isn't even hosted on your own servers so you just rent use of it. Then what happens if they fold?


Posted By: Richard Creer
Date Posted: 08 Oct 10 at 8:25pm

Absolutely – sailing clubs come in all shapes and sizes and so with Medusa and DutyMan we must pitch our offerings at the typical mid-range club with a few hundred members.  We thought long and hard about pricing our products according to club size but that raises all manner of practical difficulties with keeping track of numbers of members. Besides you can have a wealthy 300 member club and a less wealthy 300 member club so we concluded that variable pricing was not going to work and kept it simple with one price for all.

 
However there is always the possibility of ‘Lite’ and ‘Pro’ versions in the future. We will have to see how things go but it is clearly in our interests to make our products available to as wide an audience as possible.
 
Medusa is for the foreseeable future going to be aimed only at sailing clubs and their unique requirements, like boats and boat parking. That isn’t to say that other types of club can’t use Medusa; it just means that the terminology might be a bit strange like when sailing clubs use software designed for golf clubs!
 
What happens if DutyMan folds? My partner and I have no plans, or reason, to fold!


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http://www.sailingclubsoftware.com
http://www.dutyman.biz


Posted By: marke
Date Posted: 09 Oct 10 at 11:17am
While I wouldn't disagree with Richard's comment that nobody is going to get rich on the annual licence charged for Medusa/Dutyman, and it provides good functionlaity for the cost, I would dispute that 'bought' software has a longer supported life that open source software.  There is a lot of published evidence (e.g. Easterbrook et al.)  that open source software has just as good support as purchased software - indeed there a number of national infrastructure organisations in Europe and the USA that positively discrimnate in favour of open source to avoid the problems of commercial organisation "just moving on".  Indeed the last time I looked at the research the most likely reason that commercial products don't get supported long term is that they were not making enough profit!.

I use both open source and bought software tools in my professional life and without exception the level of support I get from the 'users' of open source software is at a higher level than the bought software.

Some clubs will feel happier with bought software and some clubs will feel happier having open source software with no license costs and support from a users group at the cost of needing members with some software skills .  Membership software is not exactly rocket science and there will be many clubs who have members with skills perfectly able to install, maintain and locally customise this type of software.

Clubs should be able to use the approach that best fits there own circumstance - if a spreadsheet works why change.  Similarly there should be a place for open source and commercial solutions.

Mark



Posted By: Richard Creer
Date Posted: 11 Oct 10 at 7:19pm
Hear, hear!

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http://www.sailingclubsoftware.com
http://www.dutyman.biz


Posted By: samways
Date 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....


Posted By: Stuart O
Date 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


Posted By: jezza
Date Posted: 08 Nov 11 at 7:20pm
What do you think would be a reasonable amount to pay for a hosted solution with support?


Posted By: marke
Date 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.


Posted By: jezza
Date 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


Posted By: JohnW
Date 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.




Posted By: marke
Date 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


Posted By: Richard Creer
Date 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 - 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.



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http://www.sailingclubsoftware.com
http://www.dutyman.biz


Posted By: Gregw
Date 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 mailto:info@sailingclubsoftware.com - 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




Posted By: JohnW
Date Posted: 19 Jan 12 at 1:05pm
I see a few sailing clubs use Group Spaces for their clubs
http://groupspaces.com/ - http://groupspaces.com/  

Does anyone on here use it, if so do you have any feedback?
Failing that I may give it a try as it has a free option.




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Posted By: Doug Roberts
Date Posted: 09 Apr 13 at 6:13pm
 Mark

Have you developed your new membership software? We are looking for a new internet based system.

Best Regards

Doug



Posted By: Doug Roberts
Date Posted: 09 Apr 13 at 6:15pm
Smile
My current evaluation is that it will work as a wed site but not as a membership database for a sailing club. However still investigating
 Regards

Doug


Posted By: Kev M
Date Posted: 09 Apr 13 at 8:28pm
At the moment we;re trialling an access database we've built.  We tried running it from a PC at the club using remote access software (Teamviewer) but the PC contracted that thing that seems to kill all PCs over five years old and that combined with a dodgy broadband connection killed that idea off.

So now we're trialling Office 365 to run the database which gives us a five user license for the key users for £80 a year in total.  Looks good so far except it doesn't work on any PCs running Vista or older.

Someone reccomended a specific sailing club software website but the license is £500 a year and there's no way a club our size will stomach that sort of cost on an annual basis when we've lived without it for 111 years.


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Successfully confusing ambition with ability since 1980.


Posted By: iGRF
Date Posted: 09 Apr 13 at 8:36pm
There should be another option

Some old bat who is rude to everyone.


Posted By: marke
Date Posted: 09 Apr 13 at 9:05pm
Doug

Yep  I got the first release out just before Christmas to do this years annual renewals - just in time development (or as I'm sure some of the officers at the club would say "cutting it bloody fine" code development).

Currently it supports:
- membership records management
- mail merge for template letters and labels
- renewals process (custom forms, reconciliation etc.)
- sailing programme development/management (links to race management software) - including display on website
- rota/duty management
- berth management
- asset maintenance records
- 'interest' lists (fleets, qualifications etc.)

Its web based, php/mysql, and has a security model to allow the various club officers to access different information.

Right now I'm working on integrating our online open meeting management code into it - as it fits better in this application rather than the race management application.  This generates the customised SIs and NoR from templates and provides an event web page with online entry and such like.

Next release 'might' have
- email reminders for duties
- mass emails from templates
- a visual berth map

We are still debating how far to go with the online stuff for members (payments, duty swaps etc.).  I expect we are typical of most clubs; about 20% of the member emails routinely bounce, less than 50% of the members are regular (weekly) users of the website - so whatever we do online is only going to be a part solution (at least in the near  to mid-term).  Our approach will be to tread carefully with this.

I'm having a bit of a break from it now while I do some new features on the race management code (get dead heats to work properly - grrr).

I did look at GroupSpaces before I started this development and for a smaller club I think it could be made to work pretty well.

Mark


Posted By: jezza
Date Posted: 10 Apr 13 at 7:47am
Hi Doug

Would you like a free trial of the ClubManager service? Please call 01983 241615.

http://www.boxstuff.com/solutions/club-manager-details

ClubManager is web application specifically designed to simplify managing the membership and operation of sailing clubs, yacht clubs and class associations.

Designed by an experienced team including sailors, club administrators and event organisers, ClubManager is easy to use and flexible enough to fit the way different clubs and classes operate.

Start using ClubManager today. All you need is a modern web browser and a broadband internet connection. No software downloads or configuration. The support team will help you with initial setup and importing your existing member, boats and related data.

The system includes the following ‘modules’:

Contacts/CRM

  • full records of all contacts, including members past and present, suppliers, customers, professional services etc
  • store multiple addresses, telephone numbers, emails and records of qualifications, skills and availability
  • facility to record and track history of all communications (phone, email, meetings etc)
  • tagging and list management
  • extensive search and filtering capabilities
  • importing and exporting by csv and vCard
  • secure data storage and backup

Mailings

  • integrated html email marketing facility
  • customisable templates
  • flexible mailing list management
  • delivery reports

Calendar

  • shared calendar for organising and promoting club activities
  • duty roster with automated reminders and notifications
  • publish calendars and duty rosters to club website
  • duty management tools can be integrated in to members area of clubs website
  • bookable events

Boats

  • full records of all boats associated with the club or organisation (e.g. kept on club mooring or in boat park, owned by members etc)
  • each boat can be linked with one of more contacts (e.g. owner, part-owner, skipper, crew)
  • store photos and all relevant details about a boat

Moorings

  • full records of all moorings, hard standing and storage spaces owned and/or managed by the club/organisation
  • allocate spaces to boat
  • issue renewal notices

Membership

  • records of all memberships, past and present
  • define multiple membership types (e.g. single, family, cadet, group etc)
  • details of all members on a membership
  • issue renewal notices
  • reporting and analysis for financial planning

Projects

  • project management tool with task lists and to do items assignable to admin users

Website Integration

  • easy integration with existing website with secure member login
  • authorised and logged in members can:
  • update own contact details
  • update own boat details
  • check status of membership, confirm renewals and pay bills
  • check duty rosters and confirm availability/request swaps
  • view member list and send private messages

Invoicing

  • sales ledger for managing the invoicing of all memberships, mooring allocations and ad hoc items
  • VAT accounting if required
  • invoices, credit notes, statements and automated reminders by email
  • track payment status and record payments
  • optional integration with 3rd party accounts packages

Multi User System

  • create multiple user accounts
  • access from any web enabled device (desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone)

ClubManager is designed for teams – everything you do is logged with time and user, which makes it easy to track what’s going on in your business. It also lets you share information between your staff, improving internal knowledge of your customers, suppliers and products

Additional modules available:

DME (Digital Media Exchange)

  • A Virtual Press Office and Digital Media Library for storing and distributing photos, videos, audios files and text documents

Website CMS

  • a best in class Content Management Solution making it easy to keep your website up to date

Integrated Webmail

  • each admin user can access their email account and store sent and received emails with contacts and projects

The solution is entirely web based and requires no software installation (other than a modern web browser). The service can be accessed from any device with a modern web browser and a good internet connection. Access is controlled by username and password and all activity is recorded.

Databases are backed up daily, weekly and monthly.



Posted By: Richard Creer
Date Posted: 11 Apr 13 at 10:55am

Seems sailing club management systems are akin to buses – none for ages then several appear at once.

For the record, Medusa has been available since 2010 and is developed entirely for sailors and entirely by sailors. These latter sailors also just happen to be IT professionals and the same people who bring you DutyMan. Medusa is purely for sailing clubs, catering for their many foibles and eccentricities; it is not based on a golf club, gym or any other package.

Medusa is cloud-based with the membership data held securely on our server, desktop access for club administrators and web access for members.

The pros and cons of free vs paid for software have been discussed earlier in this thread and, yes, Medusa does cost money but then so do secure servers! Clubs will make up their own minds but our aim is to keep the annual sub at less than a pint per member for the average club – not, I suggest, an unreasonable amount for a professionally maintained product.

See http://www.sailingclubsoftware.com - www.sailingclubsoftware.com and http://www.dutyman.biz - www.dutyman.biz for details.



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http://www.sailingclubsoftware.com
http://www.dutyman.biz


Posted By: AlexM
Date Posted: 11 Apr 13 at 11:06am
There seems to be lots of different software out there!
I think our club is considering http://webcollect.org.uk/
Bewl Valley are currently using it

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Posted By: SUGmeister
Date Posted: 11 Apr 13 at 12:33pm
Originally posted by Richard Creer

<SNIP>Clubs will make up their own minds but our aim is to keep the annual sub at less than a pint per member for the average club – not, I suggest, an unreasonable amount for a professionally maintained product.

See http://www.sailingclubsoftware.com - www.sailingclubsoftware.com and http://www.dutyman.biz - www.dutyman.biz for details.



That's quite a bit more than you pay for Sailwave


Posted By: JohnW
Date Posted: 11 Apr 13 at 3:25pm
One of the plus points of  dedicated sailing club software is that it will best suit the needs of a sailing club.  
However this is also its downfall,  the market is limited and club funds are often tight so development and support are going to be restricted.

Home brew solutions can also work well, but once the club IT guru moves on, such systems often become unsupportable.

The approach we have taken at Maidenhead is to identify an open source CRM system with a large user base and development community that meets pretty much all our needs - there may be some areas that are not fully covered, but the key aspects are there:
Membership & contacts database (including sub groups eg schools, scouts ) , family members etc.
Subscriptions, payments (online and offline).
Email lists
Web site integration.
Reporting
Geocoding

Being a fairly generic CRM and suited for non profit type organisations it can be tailored to meet requirements - it supports custom fields and tags. 
Furthermore we benefit from new enhancements as they come along.   

At the end of the day, whatever system you go for, what you really end up paying for is the  support of the system.  
The open source approach allows this to be provided internally on a volunteer basis, (ie "free") much in line with the ethos of many sailing clubs, however it also has the benefit of being able to outsource the support when a suitable person is not available in the club.




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