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Saltash Sailing Club is a vibrant, thriving and inclusive club situated on the Cornish banks of the River Tamar, not far from the English Channel and Britain’s finest sailing waters. Since establishing in 1898, they have developed into a diverse community from day 1 novices to experienced world-class competitors. Whether it involves sailing dinghies, yachts, cruising, racing or spectating, their 600 members all have the same aim which is to go “down to the sea in boats”.

The Challenge - Before LoveAdmin

Saltash Sailing Club managed their membership information in a bespoke database that was developed in the late 90s. Consequently, many of its functions gradually stopped working and it lacked security and GDPR compliance. As you can expect, an old database also needed a lot of manual input.

Falling short of income

The joining process was prolonged because it required to-ing and fro-ing between membership administrator and prospective members. People called up to request a form via post, returned the documents with a cheque, and then waited to hear back. For the club, this incurred postal charges and lots of time spent posting letters, making trips to the bank and entering data. Existing members were encouraged to pay using a card machine at the clubhouse or via BACS bank transfer. All payments were recorded and reconciled one-by-one and the club had no idea how short they were falling in terms of income.

Saltash Sailing Club was looking to improve “just about everything” with their membership management so they approached LoveAdmin. Steve Gerry, Management Committee Member said, “I pushed for LoveAdmin strongly over a dedicated sailing club system because they were either overcharging or too niche so they could go bust at any time. LoveAdmin has the strength, depth and capacity that other systems can’t provide and that too with a flexible charging model.”

The Results - After LoveAdmin

Most of Saltash Sailing Club’s members are 60+ so they were quite resistant to the change that LoveAdmin bought about. Luckily, this was quickly overcome with the presence of COVID-19 which forced them to change their ways. Many members now pay online which has sped up payment collection and reconciliation therefore reducing the time spent on admin. The club also offers a monthly instalment plan through LoveAdmin which has made it more affordable for members to join and stay. Instead of forking out a big lump sum, the cost is spread out over a year.

People join the club immediately and at their own convenience on the club’s website which is “viewed positively at a management committee level”. After the first lockdown ended, the club experienced a flurry of new members, and there was no need to vet each one individually – they simply filled in an online form and were added automatically into a database.

A totally compliant system

As LoveAdmin sits securely in the cloud, there is no longer the worry of upgrading their desktop pc or keeping it in a private room. Some of the major buy-ins for LoveAdmin were its GDPR compliance, data encryption and password protection making it a “totally compliant system”. Multiple people at the club have access rights to send out emails, carry out audits, chase non-payers and set up events. “Talking with my cybersecurity hat on, LoveAdmin is one of the few companies that does Identity and Access Management (IdAM) properly – identity control gets you into the system, but access rights give you careful control and granularity over who can do what.”

The Results

Steve commented, “From a financial perspective, LoveAdmin has been very good. This was the first year that we woke up to the fact that nearly a third of our members weren’t paying their membership fee. They don’t like being separated from their cash and if they can get away with it, they won’t pay – people had been swanning in assuming they were members. But now we have visibility of this so we’re able to chase individuals and explain how this affects the club.”

“LoveAdmin has also enabled us to quickly identify what our membership numbers are from one place. We’ve never been able to answer this before and so it was a joke thrown around at every management meeting. How many members have we got? How many members have resigned? How many people want to join? We just could not get that information in the past.”

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