I was sitting in a meeting recently for an organization I do volunteer work with. The organization was explaining that they are tracking “face-to-face” engagement by tracking in-person meeting registrations. When I asked if they were also tracking face-tof-ace meetings like the one I was sitting in, there was an uncomfortable pause and then a less-than-confident “yes” response. I’d be willing to bet the real answer is “no.” And the reason is simply discipline.
To track meeting registrations, especially for paid meetings, requires very little discipline. After all, there’s money involved, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep track of the money (and thus, the attendees).
On the other hand, tracking volunteers who show up for a face-to-face meeting DOES require discipline. Someone has to be responsible for tracking who actually shows up and then has to enter that information into the database. That’s (seemingly) a lot more steps than just tracking paid registration.
I’ve pointed out in other posts that the most successful organizations I work with are those that are most disciplined about how they manage data. ALL the data.
How disciplined are you?
“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.”
“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.”
Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
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