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Why We Built Membership Management and Recurring Payments for Small to Mid sized Communities


Managing members and recurring billing for your small to midsized chamber is something many dread, it can be expensive, and it can be time-consuming yet it's a mission-critical activity.

We've also seen a growing number of Main Streets and Downtown Associations launching membership programs, or friends of Main Street which behave similarly, but are stunted by inefficient processes for their lean staff.

In the crowded space of membership management and billing platforms, the decision to create a new solution wasn't made lightly. We recognized the unique challenges and needs that you face and that other solutions missed. Many existing solutions were either too complex or not tailored enough to the specific needs of smaller teams.

Our mission was clear: to offer a solution that simplifies membership management and consolidates the tools required for seamless effective local marketing.

Understanding the Status Quo for Small, Rural and Mid-Sized Chambers

Small and rural chambers often find themselves entangled in the web of manual invoicing and financial management through QuickBooks. This status-quo is labor-intensive and also terribly inefficient, diverting precious time away from meaningful community engagement to focus on billing and the tedious task of chasing down payments.

The cost of collections and missed renewals can be significant leaving these communities in need of a solution that frees them to concentrate on growth and member services.

On the other hand, other organizations have gone further but have been stuck with tools that were designed with their larger counterparts in mind. These platforms, while often feature-rich, introduce unnecessary levels of complexity and significant costs.

The result is a feeling of underutilization as if merely scratching the surface of an elaborate tool, leading to wasted resources—both in time and money.

This mismatch highlights the pressing need for a more fitting solution, one that aligns with the actual needs and capacities of these organizations.

In both cases, chambers or associations are typically required go beyond a single platform and utilize a separate email newsletter platform like MailChimp or Constant Contact (learn how to do email newsletter right), specialized tools for local event registration and promotion, and more which makes things even more time-consuming and expensive.

The purpose of membership management should not be just administrative—it's about building connections, supporting local businesses, and creating a thriving community. However, the industry status quo often left much to be desired.

Complexity Versus Usability

While existing membership management solutions incorporate features that can be powerful tools for organizations with larger staff and specialized needs, smaller or rural chambers consistently trip over complexities or customization options designed for a larger operation. 

The added weight of the system is akin to using a commercial 747 airline jet to run out to your local grocery store - it's overkill.

What smaller chambers need is a streamlined, intuitive platform that allows you to manage your operations efficiently without a steep learning curve or the need for dedicated staff to manage the system.

We know you have a small team that wears multiple hats. The challenges you face are fundamentally different, focusing more on community engagement and local impact rather than specialization.

On that note, we noticed that marketing was an afterthought and wasn't a fundamental component of membership management which means the other tools fall short in helping organizations amplify their community impact.

Building Membership Management for Small Teams

We saw an opportunity to bridge this gap.

Recognizing that membership management and local marketing are two sides of the same coin. Our marketing tools offer unmatched impact and timesaving benefits so the need became clear.

We envisioned a platform that not only simplifies the administrative workload but also empowers organizations to engage their community, grow their local presence effectively, and even increase the value of membership and attract businesses that traditionally don't see value in membership.

We knew we could deliver a platform that offered simplicity, affordability, and a set of tools specifically designed to enhance the impact of small teams within your communities.

Notably, Locable facilitates local engagement and support like no other—features like local event promotion, our automated community event calendar software, automated business directory software, content creation and distribution, Express Email Newsletter which helps you break free from the tyranny of drag-and-drop and tools that make it easier for members to connect and collaborate with one another locally.

Onboarding and Adoption Without the Pain, in Minutes

On a related note, we've heard time and again about the painful experience people had getting wramped up to use their current membership managements software - there's often a bit of PTSD - and as a result they're hesitant to move for fear of reliving that experience.

To combat this and ensure rapid adoption, we implemented multiple done-for-you-onboarding options including migrating all of your membership data where you simply provide us with a membership spreadsheet and we do the rest.

Our solutions for small to midsized chambers as well as our solutions for Main Streets and Downtowns all include our Unlimited Support Guarantee to add more peace of mind.

A Unique Perspective based on Marketing 3-4-5™

Our approach was to build a platform that makes small teams more effective by combining marketing and membership management into one local-optimized solution.

Our Marketing 3-4-5™ approach has been taught to thousands around the US and provides a simplified yet effective framework to communicate your story through simple 15-minute activities. By leveraging examples from your business and distributing content through multiple channels, you're able to clearly and consistently communicate what makes your business uniquely valuable.

This approach is woven into our platform to support your organization, your members, and community partners in ways that are otherwise too time-consuming to be practical.

All told, we wanted to deliver:

  • Simplified Membership Management & Ease of Use: Streamline operations for small teams and eliminate the complexity that often overshadows the benefits of conventional systems by focusing on what matters most.
  • Integrated Marketing & Email Newsletters: By combining membership management with local marketing tools, we help organizations grow their impact and reach while our Express Email Newsletter platform makes email marketing and communications into a 5-minute activity.
  • Community Collaboration Enhanced: We facilitate stronger ties within the community by enabling seamless collaboration with local partners and members to automate your community calendars, directories, and job boards
  • Affordable Pricing: We offer a competitive alternative to both specialized membership solutions and standalone email marketing services, ensuring that even the smallest teams can benefit from our tools.

Automating Community Engagement i.e. Calendars and Directories with Local Connections™

Nearly every community is in need of a more resourceful and sustainable community calendar and related information.

Thanks to our Local Connections™ technology, we're able to automate the creation and management of community calendars, directories, and job boards.

Your calendar should be a solved problem that runs on autopilot - we previously created this how-to and webinar to show you how to quickly implement an awesome community calendar that stays current without your intervention. 

This automation allows small staff to focus on strategic activities rather than getting bogged down in the day-to-day maintenance of their online presence - which can be boring, soul-crushing work.

Your ability to foster and leverage relationships with community partners stands out as a crucial community benefit. By making it easier for organizations to collaborate and share resources, you are not only amplifying their efforts but also strengthening the community's social and economic fabric.

You also avoid the top 17 reasons why your community calendar sucks or sucks the life out of you.

This collaborative approach is particularly valuable in rural and small-town settings, where the interconnectedness of businesses, nonprofits, and civic organizations plays a vital role in community resilience and growth.

The Impact of Integrating Marketing and Membership Management

By marrying membership management with sophisticated local marketing tools and community engagement technologies, we're able to address a previously unmet need in the market.

We offer a holistic solution that not only simplifies the operational aspects of running a small to mid-sized organization but also amplifies your ability to engage with and serve the community. This dual focus on efficiency and impact is what sets Locable apart, making it not just a tool for managing members but a catalyst for community development and growth.

By automating essential tasks, facilitating local engagement, and enabling greater collaboration among community partners, Locable enables you to achieve their goals with fewer resources, strengthening communities from the ground up.

Ready to Schedule a Demo?

Our platform isn't just about managing memberships; it's about empowering your organization to thrive at the heart of your community. Let us show you how.

  • See the Simplicity: Experience firsthand how Locable can streamline your daily operations.
  • Discover the Impact: Learn how our integrated marketing tools can elevate your local presence.
  • Explore Automation: Find out how our Local Connections™ technology can transform your community engagement efforts with minimal oversight.
  • Visualize the Collaboration: Understand the potential for community growth through enhanced partnerships.

Schedule a Demo Today and take the first step towards transforming your organization with a solution that's built for you.

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