It’s time for your association to integrate your web presence with all of its moving parts.
Association executives need to engage multiple services to help run their organizations as efficiently as possible. Modern member organizations typically have a stable of web-based solutions to help run and manage everything from member registration to job applications. Integrating these solutions into your web presence is convenient for your members and requires less work from your staff to update and maintain your ecosystem.
All such web services provide access to Interoperability, typically with an application programming interface (API.) An API is a standardized method of sharing data from one online source to another. Essentially, it is a communication protocol for web developers to access and leverage data from other systems.
Interoperability is a Big Word ...
... but, basically, it refers to the ability of different computer systems to communicate with one another. This communication is what we are discussing here.
Here are some examples of third-party services your website can integrate.
- Customer Relationship Management (e.g., SalesForce, iMIS, Blackbaud)
- Payment Gateway (e.g., Moneris, Paypal, Bambora)
- Fund Raising Platform (e.g., Gofundme, Canada Helps)
- Learning Management System (e.g., Moodle)
- Job Board (e.g., Career Builder, Woofoo)
- Intranet (e.g., SharePoint, Mango, Igloo)
- Email Marketing (e.g., Constant Contact, MailChimp)
- Event Registration, Polling, Analytics, Social Media and many more.
Top 6 Reasons to Integrate
- Don’t miss important data that should be shared between systems.
- Provide better customer and membership service with seamless cross-platform logins and single sign-on.
- Consolidate collecting and administrating your association's member data.
- Password management in one place.
- Member profile management, registration, and renewals.
- Sharing the total function load as each does what it is best at.
Integrating your CRM
Without getting too technical, there are a variety of ways a website can connect with your customer relationship management (CRM.) Depending on the level of integration and CRM solution, you can simply and securely pass values to validate members and share member information. Most modern CRMs have integration documentation that goes along with a web service. Such documentation will also apply in a situation where the CRM is a custom database connected directly to the primary database. This allows the custom database to access required data using standard SQL.
Don’t let information you collect from your website sit off in a corner by itself. And don’t let your website ignore your CRM. There is a wealth of details your website can pull from your CRM and push into other processes. This helps both systems stay current and relevant without any extra work. Your website users and association members will appreciate it.
Learn more about making the most of tech by attending The Future Is Now: Leveraging Modern Technology to Increase Member Engagement and Create Operational Efficiencies with Joanne Charlebois and Jeff Horne at the 2018 CSAE Conference & Showcase in Ottawa.