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Running Club Membership

South West Road Runners is one of the largest running clubs in Devon. Since forming in Exeter in 1984, the club now has 300 members comprised of males and females, juniors and seniors, and competitive and social runners. Despite their name, they don’t just specialise in road running – many of their members take part in cross country, trail running and triathlon. Most importantly, South West Road Runners pride themselves on being an inclusive and supportive club that offers runners of all abilities the chance to enjoy sport.

The Challenge - Before LoveAdmin

South West Road Runners previous membership database consisted of old school lever arch folders. People interesting in joining sought out the membership secretary for paper forms and these were filed into the folders. Renewals were managed using a spreadsheet to record who had paid and who hadn’t, and the only way members could make these payments was via cheque.

Looking for someone with an IT background to take over their membership management, the chairman approached Mark Tait, who was a member at the time. Mark assumed this was digital, however, he couldn’t have been more wrong! His first task was managing renewals. This “painful process” involved paying an external company to send out an e-shot to their members, collecting cheques in person every Wednesday and manually reconciling these.

On the search for efficiency and making life easier

“My main priority was to make our renewal process slicker as it created an awful amount of admin.” Mark said, “It also meant that our treasurer had to make continuous trips to the bank to cash cheques. Whilst this was the driving force, we needed a proper online membership database.”

As Mark designs databases for a living, he created a database for the club. This generally worked well, but it didn’t address renewals, so Mark got in touch with LoveAdmin. “As a club, we don’t have a huge amount of money to spare so the cost was a big factor for us. LoveAdmin was a no-brainer. It did everything we were looking for, and it wasn’t expensive compared to other systems available.”

The Solution - After LoveAdmin

Membership management has taken a turn for the better since South West Road Runners came onboard with LoveAdmin. For starters, it’s a lot easier for new members to join by filling in a form on the club’s website and their members pay via Direct Debit.

Painless renewals and payment collection

Renewals are smoother and no longer require much manual intervention. “The beauty of LoveAdmin is that I can set everything up beforehand and because many of our members are pre-authorised, we’ve already got a big chunk of payments collected within a few days of the new membership year starting.” It’s painless for the club’s members as this happens automatically and for those without pre-authorisation, they simply get an email, and they make payments at their own convenience.

The club offers an early payment discount, but this has nearly become redundant as most of their members now pay within the required timeframe. There’s less chasing to do and for the handful of non-payers, LoveAdmin’s reports enable Mark to instantly see who hasn’t paid and schedule automated reminder emails.

General email communication is facilitated better, and the club’s committee members can quickly create groups of members and send out emails. For example, notifying their winter marathon training groups of routes and training plans. From a GDPR perspective, South West Road Runners is more compliant as their data is held securely online and Mark has also found it useful to have access to this on the go.

The Results

Mark commented, “LoveAdmin has made our membership and payment management a lot more efficient and streamlined. It’s reduced my workload by 80% and saved me a huge amount of time and effort, especially with renewals.”