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Go ahead, DON’T take my advice…
30 July 2009, by , in Rants and Kudos, 3 comments

Over the past two weeks I’ve been contacted by two associations who were in the market for a new association management system. In one case, the association had already chosen a vendor but then things didn’t work out, and they had gone back to the drawing board. In the second case, the association had begun to review potential vendors, but had not made any decisions about how to proceed.

In both cases, the associations were contacting me for help, asking for feedback on what to do next. I explained to each that they could take advantage of my remote consulting services (available here). These services range from $500 to $3500.

Remarkably, in both cases, the associations told me “we can’t afford you.” Keep in mind, both these associations are considering spending tens of thousands of dollars on a new association management system. Yet both decided that tapping my two decades of experience with hundreds of associations and dozens of AMS vendors was “too expensive.”

I don’t know about you, but if I’m about to make a $50,000 to $100,000 decision, and I can get expert advice from someone for $500, I’ve got to believe that’s money well spent. (But hey, don’t take MY word on it. Just ask my clients.)

Associations need to be very careful about being pennywise and pound foolish, especially in this economy. A $50,000 decision made incorrectly now could have ramifications for years to come.

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  • Dave Janes

    Classic. Absolutely classic. I bet these folks then complain if one of their IT-clueless friends asks them to look at their home computer for free.

  • Some not-for-profits cut marketing and public relations to save money. So, how will anybody know what they offer? Same way of thinking.

  • Thanks, Dave and David, for your comments.

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“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
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