Running any kind of organisation is not easy and running a club is especially difficult. There are typically many members, all of whom are very passionate about their favourite pastime and have diverse requirements and interests. On top of this, most committees have to run the club in their spare time. A tough job for anyone.
Something that is critical to enable the right decisions to be made is information about what people want. Not only have clubs got their own plans for growth but new models are becoming classic, new people are getting involved and new tools are available to deliver new services to members. What do you invest in? Which social media channels do you use? How do you get the right mix of digital content versus magazine or bulletin?
Traditionally many clubs run a members survey, perhaps each year or every couple of years and this is obviously useful. It does have some serious limitations, however. It is infrequent, usually only is completed by a portion of the membership and it is only asking questions of members, not of would-be members which for a growing club is very important.
Today there are many new ways to gather information which is up to the minute, far reaching and detailed. Just take facebook as an example. You can measure how many people saw your facebook post, how many people replied to it or liked it, what age group and region they are from, when they responded and much more. With this information, it’s possible to see how things are running and more importantly which posts are most successful when and with whom.
The same is true for e-newsletters where open rates, click rates and seeing which clicks were most successful is easy. The same for the website – with the correct analytics you can see where most of your visitors came from, who they were and where they went to on your site.
These are all powerful in themselves, but the real power comes when you bring them together and add new data on Membership, survey results and other feedback give you a combined picture of how the whole club is working to support members.
There are a number of ways you can gather this information, but working with our client clubs, we’ve developed some live dashboards which give any committee member access to this information at any time. Much of the information is gathered in a ‘hard wired’ way, but other information such as membership numbers can be added manually if a link to the database is not possible.
Whilst having this data and these reports doesn’t stop us still having a lot of work to do running our clubs, it does help ensure that work is directed where it has the biggest effect on member satisfaction and new member attraction.