This post is by ELGL Executive Director Kirsten Wyatt. You can renew or join ELGL here.
Earlier this year, ELGL invested in new Association Management Software (AMS) to keep track of our growing membership. The investment resulted in the new members.elgl.org portal and we’ve been actively using the portal for the last three months for renewals and new memberships, as well as job postings, event registration, and voting.
There’s a saying: “garbage in, garbage out.” It’s the idea that incorrect or poor quality input will always produce faulty output. And, one thing that growing start ups (like ELGL) never fully disclose is how piecemeal operations sometimes can be, and that’s very true of ELGL’s membership database up until we got a real AMS.
When Kent and I started ELGL, we had no idea we’d grow so quickly from a 16-member lunch bunch, into a 4,000 member international organization. We were using a WordPress plug in to keep track members, the features were minimal, and it didn’t collect any information on our members that we could access and use.
And so, when we installed the new AMS, we were essentially loading it with poor quality input and have been working out the kinks for some members whose data didn’t transfer correctly. We also had a situation where we didn’t have renewal dates for any members who had been with us for two or more years. And so, some people may have received renewal notices that weren’t consistent with their original join date.
Here’s what ELGL is doing to address this:
- We gave a complimentary extension to everyone who didn’t have a renewal date associated with their membership to May 1, 2018. This means that many of you will have a renewal reminder in your inbox, and you’ll continue to get lapsed membership notices until you either renew or ask to be removed from the ELGL membership list.
- We’re hiring a part time (ten hours per week) ELGL staff person who will be solely dedicated to ELGL membership database maintenance.
- Kent and Stacy from the ELGL board continue to work as a subcommittee on materials and outreach about what ELGL membership means, and what you get for your investment in our network.
Thank you for your patience as we move ELGL into the 21st century and a real AMS. We greatly appreciate all of our members and your continued confidence and engagement with ELGL!