The most successful associations use technology to better understand their members, improve communication and streamline how they manage financial data.
But for technology to truly help your organization, you have to track the right information. Here is where key performance indicators (KPIs) are highly valuable.
KPIs provide organizational insight into the health of your membership and your operational efficiencies. KPIs help you find solutions, set expectations for the future, and increase visibility and communication across the organization and with your members.
Establishing the right KPIs is essential for successful membership management and tracking membership growth. Association management software capable of gathering data you need to meaningfully measure KPIs is essential for associations.
As we’ve discussed previously, for associations, measuring member retention should be a top priority.
In addition to member retention, also consider KPIs in the categories of financial reporting and performance metrics.
Financial reporting: Just like any business, associations have to understand whether the services they offer are profitable. Use KPIs to dig into the details and decide where to focus your resources. A good understanding of your financial KPIs also helps you figure out which new initiatives are worth pursuing while establishing and forecasting revenue goals, and then measuring on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis.
Remember that you should track dues revenue and non-dues revenue KPIs. Dues revenue is your membership renewal fee. Non-dues revenue sources are more varied and could include certification fees, conference registration fees, publication and product sales, educational classes, and so on.
When it comes to financial KPIs, make the data easily accessible for your staff, with the exception of proprietary or personal data (such as salaries). Data on how much money you’re earning from meetings and sponsorships, for instance, helps your staff to make better financial decisions. Also consider sharing this kind of data with your members when appropriate, as the visibility may help you attract more sponsors.
Performance metrics: KPIs in this category revolve around the work you do and how well you do it. Ask yourself if you’re able to provide the quality of work or service you promise within the time and budget restraints you have.
To get an answer, try producing a “report card” for your organization that scores performance metrics such as whether you met your goals this year for member retention or meeting attendance.
Establish KPIs by comparing your report card to results from previous years. Grade your organization based on your internal goals or industry trends.
If you grew your membership by 10 percent, that might merit an “A” grade. If your meeting attendance declined, you’d probably give yourself a low score in that area.
Using performance metrics allows your association to understand where it’s doing well and where improvements are needed. The best part is that with good association management software you’re able to see these scores on a daily basis with real-time data. That allows you to proactively address issues and make quick decisions.
The key to making KPIs work for your association is to figure out what’s most important for your unique needs. Technology and data must be aligned with your goals. Once you know what you’re seeking to achieve within your organization, turn to your data for help. There may be hidden gems of information hiding right in front of you.
Does your association management software help you effectively measure KPIs? Download our free e-book, “Top Key Performance Indicators For Successful Membership Management,” for valuable guidance in making that assessment.
About Brian Bruffey
Brian Bruffey is the CEO of Protech Associates, Inc. For more than 25 years, he has helped drive the overall performance of the company, spearheaded by his unwavering dedication to delivering excellent customer service. Bruffey has helped Protech develop a comprehensive, flexible and easy-to-use solution for associations to deliver remarkable experiences to their members today and into the future.