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20 December 2013, by , in New article, No comments
I’ve posted a new article on my website. The best consultants don’t just supply answers, they ask the right questions. Here are 10 questions every organization needs to consider about how they manage data. Click here to read the rest of the article. Of course, if you’re already on my announcements list, you would have received notice of...
2 December 2013, by , in Data Management, Executive, 1 comment
In late October there was an article in The Washington Post about poor financial controls at DC non-profits. Last week there was yet another article, this one about a woman stealing millions of dollars from AAMC. As you read the article it’s clear there were very poor financial controls in place. Don’t let this happen...
I’m often asked by my clients about using credit card auto-renewal for membership dues (or donations or other recurring charges). Auto-renewal has been around for a long time, but it’s taken a while for associations to start adopting it, in part due to the technology catching up with the need (i.e., AMS vendors have only...
25 November 2013, by , in Data Management, Executive, No comments
In a meeting with a client recently, we were discussing some of the challenges the association was having with managing their data. Although they have decent technology for managing the data, they were still struggling. As we discussed some of their issues, we determined  that one problem they had was that staff didn’t really know...
22 November 2013, by , in Data Management, 2 comments
I’ve written several items in the past about why associations are better off with off-the-shelf association management software rather than trying to build their own. Another reason that I prefer off-the-shelf association management software is that when software is already designed, by definition it creates restraints. And restraints are good things. I was working with a...
I got the opportunity to attend the Euclid ClearVantage Users Group Conference earlier this month. One of the reasons I attend user group meetings is to learn what the vendors are planning with their product. Euclid has rolled out a couple of new features that I found pretty slick. As part of what they call their...
On November 5, 2013, I did a 30-minute webinar with Matrix Group International on “Mining Your Association Management Software for Business Intelligence.” Matrix Group has been kind enough to make the recording of that webinar available for free on their website. Click here to view the recording.
18 November 2013, by , in New article, No comments
I’ve posted a new article on my website. As the title of this article suggests, there is a difference between data management (using the data) and database management (keeping the tool running). It is analogous to  your car and your car’s mechanic. As the owner of your car, you know how to use it, and how...
7 November 2013, by , in Executive, No comments
I recently had a client ask me to help them find a new association management software system. They were very interested in premise-based solutions (i.e., a database they could install and run on their own servers). As I reviewed their functional needs and budget, and started comparing that to the list of off-the-shelf AMS vendors...
If you’re a manager at a non-profit, this story in The Washington Post is a must-read. As I wrote here, two decades ago I had a part-time person on my staff stealing from my association. As the article explains, the thief was caught very quickly after the accounting department discovered some anomalies during the monthly...

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Testimonials

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance