Following financial best practices is one of the most important components of effective membership organization management. After all, with so many stakeholders involved in and impacted by your success, you need to carefully maintain and grow your resources. In this guide, we will explore these key strategies that can enhance your financial management prowess:

  • Add detail to your budget.
  • Plan for contingencies.
  • Maintain transparency with members. 

Whether you represent a fraternity, association, or union, these tips can help you improve your membership program’s offerings and sense of community.

1. Add detail to your budget.

You already budget each year to manage your expenses and revenue, but the more detailed

your budget is, the better. Aside from maintaining transparency and accountability, a detailed budget sharpens your strategic planning and resource management. Follow these best practices to make your budget comprehensive and actionable: 

  • Review your current budget to understand where you can improve.
  • Include numerous fund categories, such as personnel expenses, administrative expenses, bargaining expenses, membership benefits, political action/lobbying, and contingency.
  • Account for revenue streams such as membership dues, agency fees, investment income, sales or assets, fundraising, and grants and donations

Ensure you have the right software that can help you track and implement financial information that pertains to your industry. For instance, a union might choose a management software solution that accounts for payroll deduction and other union-specific financial fields. Also, ensure your software can integrate with budgeting and bookkeeping tools such as QuickBooks so you can automatically export financial membership data and incorporate it into your budget. 

2. Plan for contingencies.

It’s incredibly important that membership organizations are prepared for anything. Contingency plans help member organizations navigate unexpected expenses, overcome economic fluctuations, and maintain operational stability. You can plan for contingencies by:

  • Diversifying revenue streams
  • Building emergency reserve funds into your budget
  • Leveraging additional methods to collect payments besides payroll deductions

A membership management solution can provide financial stability by offering a payment processing system that allows you to internally collect dues instead of relying on external platforms or parties. For instance, if you represent a fraternity, you can easily collect dues through the same platform in which you can communicate with members. That way, you can maintain financial freedom and collect payments on your terms. 

3. Maintain transparency with members.

It’s crucial to give members some insight into what’s going on with your membership organization behind the scenes, as they’re paying you for representation. Keeping them consistently informed will foster a greater sense of trust and open the door to increased future support. Maintain transparency by:

  • Communicating regularly, both on and offline.
  • Giving them access to member portals so they know exactly when payment is scheduled.
  • Asking for feedback on your financial transparency over time. 

UnionWare suggests looking for management software that offers a range of features that can help you maintain transparency with your members, such as email and SMS blasts, member portals, and specific modules for member-facing activities. 

Wrapping Up

Effective communication, streamlined dues management, interactive events, and feedback collection contribute to a culture of transparency and active member involvement. By putting these financial management tips into practice and leveraging intuitive, industry-specific management software solutions, you can enhance member engagement.