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Association Software

Tracking Membership Dues: A How-To Guide

MemberClicks Avatar MemberClicks August 2, 2022
Table of Contents
4 min read

A car needs gas to travel, a runner needs proper nutrition to go the distance, and your association needs membership dues to thrive!

Membership dues are the fuel that keeps your organization going. Tracking membership dues is a crucial part of understanding where your organization stands when it comes to funding and member engagement.

Your association, chamber of commerce, or membership organization can greatly benefit from a standardized, centralized way to track membership dues. Having this lets you assess your organization’s needs and make changes where and whenever necessary to keep your membership strong and satisfied.

Looking to make tracking membership dues a painless process? We’re here to help!

In this article, we’ll cover key topics about tracking membership dues, including:

  • The importance of tracking membership dues
  • How organizations track membership dues
  • Benefits of using association management software to track member dues

Why Is It Important to Track Membership Dues?

Tracking membership dues is important for both basic administrative purposes, as well as larger strategic planning initiatives within your organization.

Tracking membership dues allows you to:

  • Assess changes: Growth or decline in your membership over time will be reflected in your membership dues. You can use this information to gauge the efficacy of your recruitment and retention efforts.
  • Gather informative data: Some members may like to pay their dues once annually, whereas others prefer splitting their payments into installments throughout the year. Tracking membership dues lets you understand your members better and ways you can update your policies and procedures to meet them where they are.
  • Send reminders: Odds are your members aren’t keeping a close eye on when they need to renew their membership. Tracking membership dues on their behalf makes it easy to give them a head’s up when it’s time to recommit to the organization.
  • Follow up: Even if a member has their membership set up for autopay, a variety of life events can lead to failed payments, such as expired credit cards. Tracking membership dues lets you follow up to get those failed payments resolved quickly.

How Do Organizations Track Membership Dues?

Organizations track membership dues differently depending on their services and characteristics.

For example, a small, local softball club’s needs are likely different from those of an international professional development association. The membership size, benefits, fees, and structure impact what the organization needs to track and how simple that process is.

Some of the approaches different associations take to track membership data include:

  • Ad hoc or honor system: Some small organizations can get by using an ad hoc system of collecting membership dues with email follow-ups or mass reminders. However, as organizations grow, they require a more established framework for collecting dues and sending reminders to members.
  • Spreadsheets: Programs like Microsoft Office and Google Workspace offer templates for membership tracking. Small to mid-sized organizations may find this approach useful. However, the manual burden of data entry can lead to mistakes and stretch the resources and time of membership management staff.
  • Membership management software: Many larger or growing organizations turn to membership management software to track membership data. These systems offer a robust framework for keeping track of membership dues and reminding members when it’s time to renew their membership.

How Do Organizations Track Membership Dues?

Association management software is an all-in-one system your organization can use to manage each aspect of your membership program. Rather than manually updating spreadsheets or keeping track of emails, this solution can automate and streamline many of the administrative aspects of your work.

When it comes to tracking membership dues, using one of these systems helps your organization’s leaders with features like:

  • Automated dues renewals
  • Membership database to track member-specific information, such as involvement history
  • Streamlined payment processors that can accept a wide variety of payment options
  • Accounting and reporting tools to track changes to membership dues, manage invoices, and export financial information

For example, a platform like MemberClicks makes tracking dues easy. With the MemberClicks dues payment solution, you can:

  • Add dues payment functionality to any new or existing website
  • Offer one-click renewals to members via email, your website, or their member profiles
  • Send automated, personalized reminders about dues payments or membership renewals
  • Generate automatic dues payment invoices
  • Send reminders to lapsed members to boost retention

Wrapping Up

Tracking membership dues is critical for maintaining your organization’s budget and assessing membership engagement over time. While there are different ways to go about tracking membership dues, using an association management software like MemberClicks helps keep this task organized, quick, and simple.

Not having to spend so much time on tracking membership dues lets your team expand into other efforts to make your association the best it can be for its members. Level up your overall membership management process by checking out some of our additional resources, including:

Free Member Retention Guide

Ready to retain members and keep them coming back forever and ever? This guide will teach you everything you need to know about member retention. We cover all the basics, like the first steps to member retention and how to map out your member journey. From there, we dive a bit deeper into retention tips.