With technology as an ‘enabler of communication’, how has your organisation developed to manage expectations of both older, established membership and younger members? With mounting pressure on associations to retain the ‘older’ membership, and attract and then retain a younger demographic there are a plethora of tools to assist. So, how do you as association executives decide which is the best for you and your organisation?

A recent article ‘Use of modern technology by societies’ in NZ Lawyer magazine overviewed the situation and suggested that we look to younger potential members for answers. So, we’d like to use as an example AuSae’s recent development of their new mobile app – as they say: “The app provides you with a great way to keep up-to-date with current information and news on the global association sector… and saves you having to spending hours sifting through hundreds of e-bulletins for the few good bits.” But, what are the alternatives if you don’t have the capacity within your organisation to build such an app to add value for your members?

“I’m not an association executive of course but as the “younger generation” (I am careening towards 23!) I question whether this app will be successful. I personally see too many companies and organisations getting over-excited about developments in technology and spending money in dead end areas. I refuse to download apps that are solely information based, that’s what mobile websites (see here for great NFP examples) are for, and they are much cheaper to develop than an app. NZ Herald is a great example of an information-based website doing mobile REALLY well. I actually enjoy using their website on my smart phone.

I think apps work for organisations that are mobilising large numbers of volunteers and members. They are useful communication tools and can be used to list venues and get feedback. I know a lot of advocacy groups use them to rally their supporters at spontaneous protests. A responsive website is 100 times more of a priority for us and our clients than app development.”

We are also very interested in your feedback and invite you to respond in the comments.

Click here for a pdf file of the article as appearing in NZLawyer.

And, if you are interested in the AuSae mobile app for your association here are your options for access:
If you are on your Android smart device click here to download the app.
If you are on your Apple smart device click here to download the app.
Go to the AuSAE web site and download from the bottom of the Home Page.
Go straight to the Apple or Google store, search for AuSAE and download it.