Having good data about your members is the foundation for most of the work you do. Information is how you shape your association, recruit new members and provide the members you do have with the best experience possible for your association. Not to mention set a road map for your future. In this article, we're exploring why information about your members matters, what info you should collect, how you can use it and tips for collecting it! What do we mean by member info? Member info can mean a few different things; Both demographic and general info, and additional info. Demographic info included: Name Age Gender Location Contact info Then there's additional info you should collect about your members, like: Join dates Preferred contact method Why they joined your organization How they found you Interests If they're on social media Etc Then there's a few other additional types of member info you can collect like: How they use your website If they open your emails What events they attend Etc Why having member info is important Having Both types of information about your members is what empowers you to run you organization. It helps you determine: How you connect with members When you connect with them What type of events you host How you want to price your memberships What sponsorships you go after How people are finding you How to collect member information The problem is actually collecting and processing that data. Members are already pretty busy and likely do not want to take the time to fill out a lengthy user profile within your AMS or answer a lot of questions when registering for an event. It’s probably like pulling teeth to even get a response to a quick survey testing the success of an event or a quick check in. But never fear. It’s not as bad as you think. HOT TIP: Collect member info in chunks. You don't need to send out a massive 25 question form for members to fill. You can collect that info over time. Member application form When members join, they are in a position to give you some info about them. It's expected at this point. This is a great way to collect a lot of that basic information like: Name Contact info Location Why they joined We have a whole article all about member application forms with tips, tricks and templates. You can read that here! Member profiles When your members join, you can remind them to fill in their member profiles as part of their onboarding. Your member profiles can prompt for into like interests, event types, communication preferences, etc. The reason member profiles work so well, too, is that it's a natural part of onboarding. We are used to adding in additional info into our profiles from social media. Again, you aren't pulling teeth to get this info; Your members will be in the headspace to fill it in! Struggling to get members to fill in their profiles? How about offering a little incentive? Maybe a contest, free registration or waived dues to someone who signs on and completes his or her profile. It's a great way to get your members engaged! Your association, chamber or nonprofit analytics You have more information than you think at your fingertips. Check out your membership roster, your past event registrations, and your social media. How do just those raw numbers look? Are they growing? Is there a ton of interaction? Which events worked well and which had lower attendance? How about budget reports? Any and all of this information deserves a second look and could help you and your board reach important conclusions. Event feedback Even though your success rate might not be 100%, it’s not hard to ask for a quick comment card or post-event survey after a meeting or event. Something short and sweet with only a few questions can give you plenty of information for running your next event. Use your online community or social platforms Another interesting way to get information from members to keep them more engaged is simply to interact with them more online. People share and post about things that matter to them and any of that information could be golden and inspire your next great event. Monitor your online community for trending topics or common questions. Follow your members online to see what they care about. For example, if you notice several members on social media posting about books they’ve enjoyed reading, why doesn’t your association hold a book club with relevant books related to your interest or field? Using your association management software to make info collection easy Your AMS really should be the central hub for the collection and secure storage of your membership info. Having forms that automatically sync to member profiles, reports that draw member info and knowing that your data is all in one place makes life so much easier for you and your team. Does your software make you manually enter and dedupe data? Book a demo of MemberClicks to see how the right AMS can save you time and make member info collection easy.