What should you look for in community sports foundation software?
When you’re responsible for supporting community programmes and engagement for your Foundation or Trust, it’s important that you are supported by the right tools. You want your focus to be on rolling out new programmes, events and activities that support funding and your vital work in the community, and that is hard to do when you’re bogged down in administration tasks and spreadsheets.
Putting in place the right community management software to support the team will help to streamline tasks and automate some of the work. If you’re not sure what that should include, we’ve put together a list of all the things to look out for when researching options.
1. Centralising your data
If you’re managing the contacts from multiple community and school programmes in spreadsheets, it can be hard to maintain and keep the data secure.
Community management software, like LoveAdmin, can bring all your contact information together in one place with multiple data fields about themselves and their children held under a single ‘account owner’. With a master list of contacts, you want access to a range of filters to group and filter them by, whether it’s based on attendance, purchasing or a grouping of your choice.
Once your contacts are moved to a central database, you want to manage how you communicate and report on their engagement with you. It’s also important that they have control over keeping their data and preferences up to date. Ideally, families can be managed in a single account with a parent or guardian being responsible for multiple children.
It’s vital to maintain good communications with your community and that is made easier when you have a secure contact database to store up-to-date information and preferences.
Think about the ways that you want to communicate with people, with email and SMS messages forming the minimum channels. When you want to provide updates or promote events and programmes you are running, you want to send an email or SMS message to groups of your choice.
Also look for the ability to use pre-built templates or create your own, with the option to change colours, font and add branding logos or images. Consider the ability to add attachments and videos as certain platforms are limited in this capacity. You want as much flexibility as possible when it comes to creating your messages, as this is key to getting people’s attention and getting them the information that they need.
Finally, you want to view engagement reports to check who has received and seen your messages. And if you can then create groups of highly engaged or non engaged, even better! Think of the communications you can then send to reward those who are you most engaged, or what else you need to do to turn around those who aren’t.
3. Website integration
It doesn’t matter what website you use, you need to integrate your new software with it, so people can easily find and book onto sessions and events that you have created. Make sure that it’s easy to make payments and manage their details and preferences in their own account. This can save a lot of administration time and chasing payments!
You want a good looking booking page that aligns well with your current website and branding, plus an easy to use back-end to do a range of administrative tasks like viewing attendees, contacting them by email or SMS and managing contacts in a secure CRM for future use.
4. Simplify payments
It’s a consistent theme that people expect a smooth booking process online and key to that is making payments as simple as possible. Make sure that you find a system that can offer a range of payment options, such as direct debit, credit and debit card and the likes of PayPal. You should be able to choose which types you offer and also take payments on site if you prefer.
To make sure you can easily record payments, you need strong financial reporting that shows you invoice amounts, any payments made and any amounts that are outstanding.
Something that will help with your administration tasks is automatic payment reminders and chasing when a payment has been missed, you can even have automatic retries for payments that fail. All of this will help you stay on top of your finances and make sure that you’re getting the funding that you need to run your activities.
You can expect to pay a small transaction fee for payments, ranging from 1.5% upwards, depending on the payment provider. We recommend looking at passing this cost on to people as a booking fee, as people are used to paying these small amounts for a range of services and it keeps your operational costs down.
5. Events management
Event administration is a core part of LoveAdmin, with the ability to set up events such as workshops, courses and community ‘get togethers’ as just a few examples.
When using software to support your events, you want features that allow you to choose how you build the event, setting dates and timings, prices, capacity plus any other registration rules you decide on. As the events booking pages will be key to getting those important registrations, you want to be able to add images and enticing information that helps encourage bookings.
You need the capability to promote events to your database, manage attendees in one place and view reports on revenue generated, attendance rates and more.
We hope that you’ve found this article helpful, if you need any further advice on how communities and community sports foundations are streamlining their admin operations or you’d like a chat about your own requirements, speak to one of our experts.
Working with Sports Foundations and Community Trusts
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