Only 1 in 10
In 2018, there is an association for everything, and many people are involved with at least one of these organizations. While associations are created to serve member needs, there is one area that many are falling behind in: technology. According to ASAE’s article, “Tech Success for Associations,” only 1 in 10 associations are managing technology and tech integration in ways that can be considered innovative. Of those polled by ASAE, 60% consider access to digital documents through the association website to be critical. The poll also found that members would like access to registration for conferences and events online and that this was essential to member satisfaction. Resolving the disconnect between what associations are doing and what members want could be the key to member engagement. How associations manage technology could change the nonprofit industry for the better.
Facing the Budget
Associations often face an uphill battle to meet members’ needs. The most difficult challenge is budget; new technology can be a huge investment and a risk, which associations tend to want to avoid. Members’ needs are also constantly changing, which makes investing in technology a nerve-wracking process. In addition, to justify the expense, any technology investment needs to also support the organization’s mission. Imagine you are shooting at a moving target and that target suddenly shrinks—that is how associations feel when trying to decide on technology to improve their members’ experience.
Navy Mutual Aid Association
How do we solve this? Let’s take a shallow dive into a project Mobomo recently launched with the Navy Mutual Aid Association. One of Navy Mutual’s main goals was educating members on the government benefits they were legally entitled to. To achieve this, they enlisted Mobomo to create their Survivor Benefits app, enabling Navy Mutual to put appropriate resources directly in the hands of their members and grow awareness of government benefits. The app achieved their initial objective while simultaneously allowing Navy Mutual to reach members directly through a new channel and increase its footprint in members’ lives. In this case, Navy Mutual found a way to invest in technology that supported immediate member needs and their overall mission—providing an excellent example of how associations can utilize technology to ensure continuing success.