Continuing on our never-ending quest to empower associations to achieve ridiculous productivity from their software, I am excited to announce what we’ve been working on over the last few months. The MemberSuite Summer ‘12 release is the biggest release we’ve done to date, and it’s chock full of over 50 bug fixes, 75 new features and improvements, and five brand new modules. This type of release highlights the best part of SaaS; the fact that we are able to listen to your feedback, rapidly innovate our platform, and deliver new functionality to you – all without you having to pay any additional fees or install any more software.
We’re hosting a webinar on Thursday, April 26th to go over the new features, and we’re hoping you will join us for a great event:
We’ve added five brand spanking new modules to the product – Fundraising, Volunteers, Documents, Forms, and Prospects.
We’ve actually always had a fundraising module, but it’s been primarily a “donation-taking” module. In the Summer ’12 release, we’ve completely rewritten this module for the needs of more sophisticated fundraising organizations.
- Support for pledges as well as cash, stock, recurring, matching, and planned gifts
- Rapid gift entry support, so you can quickly enter in multiple gifts without clicking to different screens for each entry
- Support for soft credits automatically allocated based on relationships
- Support for tributes, allowing you to tie meaning/intent to gifts
- Formal support for donor acknowledgments and receipts, including the ability to set rules for different kinds of acknowledgment letters so that your $10k donor gets a different letter than your $50 donor
- Support for “premiums,” items that donors at certain levels automatically receive when they make certain donations
- Ability to track fundraising expenses and tie them to funds, campaigns, or appeals
The volunteers module is a sophisticated module allowing you to track and manage your volunteers and the jobs that they must perform. It’s designed for organizations that need something more sophisticated than a “spreadsheet” approach to volunteer tracking.
- Support for multiple volunteer “types” with configurable requirements
- Support for tracking configurable volunteer traits such as Medical Needs, Special Needs, Licenses, Qualifications, etc
- Ability to tie traits to jobs as required or optional
- Support for automatically scoring and matching volunteers to jobs based on matching required/optional traits
- Ability to conduct and track volunteer screenings based on the type of volunteer
- Support for volunteer fees
- Ability for volunteers to manage their profile and update information in the portal, as well as view job history
The documents module is perhaps the most requested feature since MemberSuite’s inception. After much fanfare, I’m excited that we’re able to offer a full featured module to allow customers to store and upload documents, and enable our customers’ members to do the same.
- Support for “file cabinets” that can belong to committees, chapters, sections, or organizational layers (i.e. regions) , along with a nested file folder structure
- Ability for committee administrative members and chapter/section/organizational layer leaders to upload documents and create nested folders in the portal, including the ability to restrict write access to administrators only
- Lightning fast full-text search inside of uploaded documents at a folder level, or globally throughout the all file cabinets, at any time
- Support for file and folder “properties,” keyword descriptions that can be searched along with file contents
- Support for private/public folders; public folders can be accessed with a link that you can distribute, private folders can only be accessed by logging in to the portal/console
- Ability to tie folder access to products, so that customers can buy “digital” products that allow them to access a folder in the portal for a specified period of time
- Ability to upload files/attachments directly to individuals, organizations, leads, opportunities, and volunteers
The forms module allows you to create custom forms for display in the portal. This is very useful for collecting information from your members, or from your website visitors via anonymous forms.
- Drag and drop visual form layout editor
- Create over a doezen different types of fields for imput
- "Anonymous" forms let you capture information without requiring the user to login. You can then redirect back to a custom URL, which makes this functionality perfect for inclusion into your website; visitors don't even need to know they've left your site
- Restrictions on form submitters by customer type, membership status, and date
- Ability to restrict number of form submissions
- Allow users to (optionally) view, edit, and delete form submissions in the portal
The prospects module is designed for our customers to track prospective members, donors, grantors, sponsors, or any type of prospective partners.
- Support for tracking “leads” – records that aren’t yet ready to put into the database but that you need to track nonetheless
- Formal support for opportunities, with configurable stages and probabilities
- Ability to convert leads to organizations & opportunities
- Support for tracking activities and tasks on leads, opportunities, individuals and organizations
In addition to the new modules, we’ve also added a ton of new features to the product. You’ve requested changes to MemberSuite through your conversations, emails, and support tickets – and we listened. We compiled and ranked the most popular feature requests and added them to our product.
- Entitlements – We’ve added the ability to track “permissions” for your portal users. This concept gives us an extensible framework to deal with people in the portal having the “right” to do things, whether it be post jobs, view resumes, run reports, or view documents
- Improved “Find” commands – We heard your feedback loud and clear – the Find commands were hard to use. We’ve added ranges and made these commands much more useful
- Improved 360 ° Screens – we’ve made the 360° screens less cluttered and easier to use
- Chapter Zip Code Mapping – we now have the formal ability to automatically suggest or assign (your choice) chapters based on a member’s zip code
- Membership Add Ons – this feature allows you to track the merchandise that members purchase as “add-ons” to their membership. Think about it as features or attributes that can be attached to the membership
- Quick-Renew – We’ve made it even easier to automatically create a renewal order for a single membership
- Support for Write Offs – we’ve added the capability for direct and allowance based write-offs of posted invoices, including deferred revenue adjustments
- Ability to modify invoices after batches have been posted – you can now adjust posted invoices via “invoice adjustments” that get posted in subsequent batches
- Support for reapplying payments to different invoices – you can now take any payment to “reapply” it to different invoices
- Support for viewing/tracking refund requests – check refunds can generate refund requests, that you can track and report on
- Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) Tracking – we now allow you to track COGS via LIFO, FIFO, and Weighed Average costing mechanisms – automatically
- Support for inventory reordering notifications – you can set inventory reorder points at the warehouse, product, or warehouse/product level, and automatically be notified when items need to be reordered
- Product Cross-Sell - cross sell your customers relevant products at check out
- Invite Only Events – designate events as “invite-only,” and they will only be visible to people who have been invited to the event. Upload invitees en mass via the Data Loader, and email them via our eMarketing module!
- Event Registration Add-Ons – allow your registrants to “add-on” records to their registration via the purchase of Event Merchandise
- Support for Cloning an Event – You all twisted our arms on this one J. But it was a long time coming.
- Update Upcoming Events Screen – We’ve tweaked the Upcoming Events screen in the portal to better present information to your members
- Portal Reports – you can now use entitlements to make reports available to specific users in the portal automatically
- Exhibitor registration/management through the portal – you can now allow exhibitors to purchase booths directly, purchase booth “types,” or simply specify booth preferences through the portal
- Display exhibitor showfloor plan in the portal – upload a PDF/image of your showfloor and let exhibits see in the portal
- Subscription management in the portal – your subscribers can now manage/renew their subscriptions in the portal
- Automatically merge members into subscription fulfillments – when you do a subscription run for an issue, you can automatically include members based on type/status
- Support for administrative committee members – You can now designate members as “administrative,” which gives them the right to manage committees in the portal
- Support for open committees – you can designate a committee as “open,” which means you can join it in the portal
Customer Release Assessment (CRA)
With so many features and improvements, we want to make sure all of you have the best possible opportunity to make use of these tools. To this end, we’re offering a Customer Release Assessment to our customers. This entails the following:
- Review – we go through all of your past support tickets and emails, and review the archived conversations from your implementation project
- Assessment – based on the review, we build an assessment of how we think you can use the new features in Whistlers, and which improvements/bug fixes apply directly to you. For instance; something that we may have had to work around during implementation may now be a full-fledged feature in the product
- Recommendation – based on the assessment, we’ll compile recommended courses of action, including additional system configuration.
- Conference Call – we’ll schedule a call with you to review the assessment
- Training (optional) – depending on the assessment/recommendation, it may make sense for us to do a web-based training session for you to go through the new features/functionality
You can request a CRA by submitting a support ticket or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org; we’ll email you back a quote and a timeline.
This is a massive release! But you all deserve it. So many companies claim to be SaaS because they’ve got a monthly billing plan and a hosted solution, but the real test (and benefit) of SaaS is rapid innovation. We continue to strive as a company to meet the needs of our customers, and to innovate in a way that enables our customers to meet their challenges head on. I’m excited about this release and what we’ve accomplished, and I’m looking forward to showing it to all of you.