New Year, New Membership System?

Silverbear Membership Solution |

If you’re hoping 2014 will be the year that brings your association a new membership solution, then read on. 

We thought we’d cover the basics of what a modern membership solution should include to ensure it covers all your organisation’s needs, now and in the future.

Basic Membership Solution Requirements:

A good membership management solution needs to be able to satisfy a set of basic functional requirements, in order to maintain “business as usual” status. These functions include:

  • Maintaining details of individuals and organisations
  • Maintaining membership levels across the membership base
  • Managing the application process
  • Managing membership communications and engagement
  • Managing events and conferences
  • Managing education and accreditation information
  • Managing committees and regional or special interest groups
  • Management information and business intelligence – clear member insight

In addition to being able to offer a complete range of data and functional management as outlined above, the perfect membership management solution will be highly intuitive to use, simple to learn and should be easy and inexpensive to adapt as business and member needs dictate over time.

Online Requirements

Online self-service channel opens up a world of new opportunities for a membership organisation. These may involve adding benefit for the members, such as offering online access to membership benefits, and members only content areas, as well as the ability to register for events online and make secure purchases.

It could also be for the benefit of the organisation too. For example, by putting back office membership management functionality, such as membership and subscriptions renewals, into the hands of members themselves, the organisation will benefit from the resultant efficiency gains.

Online Profile Management Requirements

Giving members the power to manage their own profile online is now a key requirement for many membership organisations. An online self-service portal lets members:

  • Update their personal profile
  • Manage their interests
  • Online Renewal
  • Manage their Mailing Preferences


In order to deliver a complete end to end membership solution, both online and offline, and to be able to deliver clear and accurate membership insight, it is essential that your selected membership management solution can be easily and seamlessly integrated.

This means encompassing any the third party applications and solutions that you currently use, as well as the ability to integrate with new applications you may decide to use in the future.

Social Media

Social media technologies allow the membership solution to be linked in with these channels and, in turn, with your members in order to engage as you and your members wish.


The critical element, when choosing a membership solution right now, is to ensure that it provides a future proofed platform which will allow for the easy adoption of new technologies, strategies and business processes.

A perfect membership solution will allow you to do the membership basics, extensive thought they may be, well and efficiently in the back office. At the same time it should offer the ability to open up the organisation to your members online, and to alternative engagement channels such as social media and the mobile market, whilst retaining control as far as you need to (or are able to).

The perfect membership solution will be highly intuitive and easily adapted to handle the ever changing demands of your organisation, your membership and the technology landscape within which it sits.