Following is a transcript of this special podcast episode, which features two bonus minutes on top of our normal two minutes of content. Audio/video is below.
Welcome to the Two-Minute Treasurer’s Tip Podcast. I am your host Cyndi Meuchel with MoneyMinder where our goal is to make your life as a volunteer way easier.
Madison writes: My group is considering an “all-in-one” technology solution to manage the various aspects of our PTA. What advice do you have for us?
Heads up, this is going to take more than 2 minutes to cover. So hang in there. On the surface, those all-in-one solutions appear to be quite convenient. But the reality is that most of the time groups pay for those and don’t even use 10% of what they paid for.
Honestly, finding enough volunteers to do all of the things that those solutions offer is next to impossible. Not to mention, it’s often overkill. I liken it to pulling a weed out of your garden using a backhoe.
Another source of contention with all-in-one solutions is the idea that you’re basically telling each board member what app they’re to use to get the job done. Those solutions oftentimes are really good at one aspect of managing a nonprofit, but not others.
So, for example, the membership software might be super good, but the website aspect or newsletter aspect might leave much to be desired. And while these components often “talk” together, oftentimes there’s no need for them to do that. For example, who cares if the newsletter app and financial app tie together? It’s way more important that the volunteers doing the job are comfortable and happy with the solution they use. And that they can get the job done easily.
I personally recommend identifying what you want to accomplish and then finding solutions to get the job done. So, you might decide what you want to be able to put on your website first, and then find the solution that meets those needs. For example, a 3-page website is a whole different beast to develop than a 12 page site with a shopping cart, fillable forms, and specific domain. You’ll also want to be able to take it for a test drive to make sure it’s easy to use, give you exactly what you need, is cost effective, and is most importantly is easy to transition to the next person in that role.
Some of my favorite apps that my group uses are things like Zoom for meetings, we use social media. Which ones you use might depend upon your group and where they spend most of their time. Doodle, we use that to find consensus on meeting dates. Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy some of those sites offer website solutions that are easy to use. Then of course, we recommend MoneyMinder for your finances.
When it comes to collecting money from folks who want to pay using plastic, we recommend CheddarUp. It’s specifically designed for nonprofits and stays with the nonprofit, as opposed to the individual who set it up. Bonus, it also allows folks to use both credit cards and e-checks.
Some other things we use to make our life easier, especially while we’re social distancing, are QR codes, so folks can go online with their phones and easily pay for things without having to stand in line and to be able to comfortably social distance these days.
Fundraising software and auction software is really specialized, so make sure you find the right fit for your goals. Membership software also varies greatly. JoinIt is a great solution, as is MemberPlanet, or MoneyMinder’s built in membership management component. They all have different features so be sure to find the right match for you.
Hopefully that helps give you some ideas and some things to think about. Check out our YouTube channel and our website for guides, other podcasts and blogs that provide even more ideas. That’s it for today!
Thanks for hanging in there! If you have a question you’d like answered, just email it to me at [email protected]. My name is Cyndi Meuchel and this is your Two–Minute Treasurer’s Tip for today.