Wild Apricot Monthly Newsletter

May 2014

Software News May 2014: Roadmap Beyond Version 5

by Dmitry Buterin (Chief Apricot)

As this issue of Software News is published, more than half of the ~13,500 organizations using Wild Apricot will have been upgraded to Version 5! This blog post offers a look at what comes next – beyond the Version 5 release. Here’s an excerpt:

Our Product Roadmap Beyond Version 5

The good news is that reaching this major milestone – releasing Version 5 – has:
  1. Provided a foundation to release additional new design themes (aka site templates) much more rapidly – we plan to release about 7 more sets by end of 2014.
  2. Broken the logjam of accumulated requests about other enhancements, and we can finally go back to releasing more frequent updates, as we used to do. For example, we plan three more releases (5.1-5.3) before the end of 2014, representing about  50 enhancements in total.

Developing our Product Roadmap

So in the last few months, while our development, QA and system operations teams have worked tirelessly to test, finalize and roll out Version 5, our product design team has been working on our Roadmap of what comes after Version 5.

To read the entire blog post with details on our Roadmap process beyond Version 5 – and the actual live Roadmap - check out: Wild Apricot Software: Roadmap Beyond Version 5.


Key Insights - Small Membership Advisory Community

We’re 3 sessions in! The first month of Wild Apricot’s Small Membership Advisory Community has been a huge success.  (This is the grassroots industry group we’ve launched to facilitate discussion and sharing of challenges, best practices and advice about managing small membership organizations.)

Our goal for the advisory community is to provide you with peer support as well as actionable advice. We’ve only scratched the surface but the group discussions have offered a fascinating spectrum of insight.

Topics of discussion have included:
  • How to engage volunteers and employees
  • How to increase member retention
  • Tools used to improve communication
  • How to delegate and execute organizational tasks
  • What strategies to use to grow membership
  • And many more
If you are interested in participating, please fill out this form so that we can consider you for our teleconference sessions in June (we are limiting each session to about 10 people so please sign up soon!).

Check out this blog post to find out more about the advisory group and how you can participate.  Read more…

Membership Knowledge Hub

Here is a sample of the resources available in our Membership Knowledge Hub:

How to Start an Online Forum:
A forum can be a great way for your members or supporters to congregate virtually – to post messages, ask questions, start conversations, offer and receive information from their peers. It can also provide an opportunity for members to connect with your organization – your board or staff. This guide is designed to help the staff and volunteers of small non-profit and membership organizations that are just getting started with member forums.

Are you having annual report angst?  Here are a couple of resources that might help:

Getting Started With Annual Reports
A practical resource offering general guidance for individuals tasked with producing an annual report for the first time. It includes thoughts on: why organizations create annual reports; what to include; tips on telling stories and using visuals; thoughts on the types of formats.

Annual Report Checklist
This is a quick reference guide offering a list of questions to help guide those new to annual reports get started with annual report planning.  

What's New on the Wild Apricot Blog?

Visit the blog to subscribe via email and receive posts such as these!

Is Your Membership Forum A Virtual Ghost Town?
Is your forum going like gangbusters or a virtual ghost town? Here are some tips and links to additional resources to help you start a new forum or refresh an existing forum.

Making the Biggest Membership Marketing Impact With Limited Resources
In this guest post, Amanda Kaiser, offers tips for getting the biggest impact with membership marketing when you have limited resources.

20 Free Non-profit Webinars for June 2014
Along with our own Wild Apricot product sessions, we've rounded up 20 free non-profit webinars for June 2014. Topics include: Smarter Email Marketing; the Future; Getting Your Donors to Fall In Love With You; and much more.

Interested in being a guest author on the Wild Apricot Blog?
We’d love to feature guest posts from the staff or volunteers of small membership organizations. So if you’d like to share – your thoughts, ideas, stories about your organization’s efforts, successes or challenges – with our readers, send us an email (and a blog post outline or draft) to: lori@wildapricot.com.

Upcoming Product Webinars

Here are the free product webinars (with live Apricot Q & A) that we’re offering in the coming month:

Getting Started With Your Wild Apricot Account:

Managing Your Membership Database in Wild Apricot

Version 5 Overview Webinar Recording:

If you missed the live webinar about Version 5, you can watch the recording here.

What Say You?

We know that many of you are struggling to do more with less, so we’re always thrilled to hear that Wild Apricot software has helped.  Here is what one of our customers told us in a recent survey:

"[Wild Apricot] Does away with the need to send letters to members re membership, renewals etc. Allows rapid and easy way to analyse member database. Takes away need for Membership Secretary to handle cash, cheques etc. and to keep paper records of payments made. Registering/paying for events on line simplifies organizing events and again means organizer does not need to handle money."


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