Until the end of February, Member Engagement was the Membership and Association Sector’s key goal for 2020 (and had been so since 2016). In less than a month that shifted to Member Value*.

So how do you do that? Trying to do the same amount of work with less staff is near impossible. We’ve seen a growing trend in the Membership sector, with managers asking:

“Surely we can do this more efficiently?”

COVID-19 is highlighting many shortcomings of processes which need to be revaluated. Old ways of working need to be streamlined and new, innovative solutions put in place. Making improvements now could have continued benefit later down the line when staff return to work.

One of the greatest gains can come from providing a system for members to self-serve e.g. via a Member Portal. This reduces admin time for staff, whilst enriching the online member experience.

A Member Portal can do pretty much anything you need it to:

  • Members can manage their contact details and contact preferences which updates your CRM automatically – reducing admin time
  • Allow members to renew or upgrade their membership online and pay via Debit/Credit Card or Direct Debit
  • Get access to exclusive documents and data
  • Book and pay for member-discounted events and training online which automatically registers their attendance on your CRM
  • Store Member’s past purchases and allow them download invoices to reduce admin
  • Automatic reminder emails based on CRM data, e.g. to renew subscriptions and attend their booked events
  • Members can post their own events, news, offers and tenders to generate income and reduce the need for interference from staff
  • Personalise what content members see based on their interests and expertise
  • Upsell other membership packages to boost profits


Not every Membership organisation or association runs the same as the next; which is why it’s important to make sure that the system is tailored to how you and your members need it to work. Custom features are often the most successful since you can replicate your specific processes to make things more efficient and provide genuine value to your members.

What would make your life easier? If you could do ‘XXX’, how much time could you save?

With less staff and just as much to do, would a Member Portal improve efficiency, increase membership engagement, release staff from routine admin work so they are less stressed and free them up to focus back on providing value to Membership?

*Figure taken from MemberWise Member Value Webinar (March 2020)