American Association For Budget and Program Analysis
How information sharing systems shift the focus onto engaging new members
When the American Association for Budget and Program Analysis signed on with MemberClicks they knew they were in for a cultural shift of game-changing proportions. It was a long time coming; AABPA’s system of spreadsheets and a single hard drive wasn’t cutting it anymore for the few hundred members and volunteer-driven board and staff. But as is true with many small staff associations, a shift of any kind took a lot of planning.
For AABPA, finally settling on MemberClicks after seemingly endless comparisons and conversations about different association management software providers was just the beginning. During implementation they found that MemberClicks was willing to tailor the software to meet their needs. “MemberClicks was very sensitive to the cultural change that was going on. There was no ‘you have to do it this way'”… but instead a guide towards discussions that should happen” reports Jon Stehle, previous President of AABPA and current Board Member.
That realization that we could do that and it was very cost affordable and it was easy”… that created the energy among the volunteers to come up with new ways to engage their members.
AABPA, which was formed in response to the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, has members all over the country and it’s essential to be able to share information in real time. Prior to implementing MemberClicks software, the Director of Membership in West Virginia would have to call the headquarters in Washington, have a volunteer sort through paperwork until the information was located, and then call back to West Virginia. MemberClicks enabled AABPA to easily update and share member information in a centralized location that all of the administrators and board members could access from where they sat. Jon said that information sharing went from days or weeks to just 15 minutes. “That realization that we could do that and it was very cost affordable and it was easy… that created the energy among the volunteers to come up with new ways to engage their members” according to Jon.
The streamlining of office processes freed up AABPA volunteers to focus on what Jon calls the “real time benefits to members.” For example, AABPA can concentrate on essential speaker series, sharing content, and meeting members’ needs where they are as opposed to making the members find AABPA.
As with any volunteer-driven organization, there’s regular turnover and always tons of questions. Because of this, AABPA benefits from MemberClicks’ extensive customer support. Jon says interactions with MemberClicks have always been helpful and pleasant. “There is no staff (with AABPA) to fix that problem. It has to be us. MemberClicks got into our shoes and understands where we’re at. MemberClicks is part of the AABPA team.”