2016 YMCA Membership Summit

By | Engagement, Events & Happenings, Industry, Leadership, Membership, Mission Delivery, Mobile | No Comments

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the YMCA Membership Summit in Dallas. With over 600 executives in attendance and the energy at the event, it is clear that the future of membership is a critical and compelling topic for Ys. After attending sessions, listening to speakers, and engaging in conversation with many YMCA executives, I noticed a recurring theme: change is inevitable; and with change, comes opportunity.

So how will Daxko support our customers through these changes?

  1. MOBILE The newest generation of members and program participants are digital natives. Mobile solutions are simply an expectation. That’s why we’ve been working closely with our customers build out the latest version of Daxko Mobile from the ground up, using the latest in Mobile development tools. Our pilot Ys love the usability and the member experience of the new solution. This project is just the beginning of Daxko’s new member experience priorities that will poise our customers as progressive, member-minded organizations in their communities.
  2. NON-TRADITIONAL MEMBERSHIPS (You may think of this as a virtual membership.) Creating a virtual health and wellness community represents an opportunity to reach the 82% of the US population who don’t belong to any gym. This is particularly true with the millennial demographic who want to work out where they want, when they want, and are accustomed to having a social network integrated into everything they do. With that in mind, we’ve excited by the launch of Daxko Well, which is being piloted by the First Coast YMCA in Jacksonville  and the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs. 
  3. DATA As a result of having 600+ YMCA customers, Daxko has more data, over a longer period of time, than any other provider. And we want that to mean something. We are actively working with Y-USA to make that data available and meaningful across the Y Movement.
  4. DAXKO ENGAGE Engaging your members is more than just sending out well-designed emails and short text messages. You can’t impact your members and consistently build relationships without a systematic and intentional approach. That’s why we developed Daxko Engage, the only engagement solution that is powered by data that accurately shows which members are engaged and who’s at risk of terminating their membership. 

I’d like to hear your your thoughts and comments. We can have a much greater impact when we all work together. 



How Non-traditional Competition will Impact the Future of Membership

By | Engagement, Industry, Membership, Mission Delivery, Mobile, Online | No Comments

For a long time YMCAs, JCCs, and community-centers have faced increasing competition from for-profit clubs. The new wellness landscape has become even more complex with younger demographic groups (you know who you are millennials) spurring trends like boutique chains like Pure BarreOrange Theory, and CrossFit, experiential races like Tough Mudder and Color Run, YouTube fitness celebs like Blogilates, or even newer virtual solutions from old players like Jillian Michaels and Weight Watchers.

Non-traditional competition deserves a forward-thinkng solution. At Daxko, we are committed to providing technology that supports our customers as they face these new challenges. We’ve done a lot of research on the future of membership and we are currently testing a potential solution for our customers. More on that in the months to come. Along the way, here’s what we’ve learned that will help member-based nonprofits differentiate themselves from the pack.

1. Play up the mission – Use your nonprofit status as a differentiator. Promote the causes that you champion and that their membership supports. Work to be specific too. According to a Millennial Marketing blog post, specific cause-driven examples are more effective at spurring millennials into action than vague pleas to “make a difference” or donate money for no specific purpose. Emphasize a special charitable or outreach program that is particularly successful for your center. Finding one program that really speaks to the types of charitable work you do so you can help your members understand the mission in a more direct way.

2. Build a communityJeff Fromme from writes, “millennials value a communal environment…[and]millennials are taking their desire to be social into the fitness arena.” For member-based nonprofits, it helps if your member community exists both in the real and digital realms. Creating a virtual community of members working towards similar wellness goals is something Daxko is working towards to provide flexible wellness and fitness communities for the future of membership.

3. Be flexible – According to the 2014 Neilson Global Consumer Exercise Trends Survey 82% of gym members also exercise at home. Millennials are busier than ever and they are looking for options that fit into their lifestyle. Exercising at home is a great supplement to a membership. Offering a virtual solution that provides an online wellness community and quality online fitness classes is a must to reach this generation. Ys, Js, and community centers can solidify their appeal with this demographic by offering options in and outside the facility walls.

At Daxko we are working to reimagine membership with technology tools that will enable you to live your mission in new ways by meeting your members wherever they happen to be and supporting them whatever their interests. Be sure to check our blog for new topics related to future products and industry topics for member-based nonprofits.


Ideas to Create that Program WOW: Part 1

By | Customer Experience, Engagement, Industry, Membership, Mobile, Programs | No Comments

This is the first part in a 2 part series from our Adoption Team Lead Jay about creating programs that will excite participating members and non-members. In this first installment, Jay goes over ways to deliver exceptional experiences through the registration process and when providing reminders during your programs.

When we think about a truly exceptional experience for program participants, there should be four distinct components – registration, a reminder, participation, and follow up. Let’s look at each of these areas sequentially for tweaks we can make to improve the member experience – and deliver that program WOW!

Program Registration:

Use your website to your, and to your program participants’ advantage. We live in a world where information is easily accessible from pretty much anywhere. We’ve been conditioned to expect the same from everything else we consume. For this reason, it is important to keep program descriptions and information up-to-date online. Make sure programs are easily searchable by using intuitive naming conventions in your operations software and entering descriptions during set-up that contain certain keywords. For example, using the term “swim lessons” versus “aquatics” during set up can save frustration for registrants.

Your in-house registration can also be influenced by what you provide online. Some of the biggest registration pains that people will have involve paperwork. Why not expedite the program process and make all paperwork available online so parents can get a jump-start on the process before walking in the door. It’s also a good practice to create a landing page on your site with all the necessary program paperwork and reminders that will appear at the end of the online registration process.

Program Reminders:

Having a coach or instructor reach out just before the start of the program session is a great way to ensure participants are prepared for the first day and it also helps build rapport and ease any nerves the parent or participant may have. Give the key highlights, like the date and time to arrive for the first day, the easiest area to park/enter the facility, appropriate dress, and anything else they need to bring like snacks, a towel, or a change of clothes. A personal touch is a huge win in connecting with participants and it also ensures an easier first day for everyone.

If reminder texts, mobile application messages, or a personal touch is just not an option, reminder emails are also a great way to connect with participants just prior to the start of your program. Email also may work better if you have a lot of detailed information to impart. Whether your email is a professionally designed piece to send to program participants or a personal email message from the instructor to the student, both can have a lot of impact and help create that WOW experience for program participants.

In the next installment of the series, posting later this week, Jay will discuss ideas to improve programs during the participation phase and the followup phase. Stay tuned.




The Myth About Board Members

By | Board, Industry, Mobile | No Comments

Board members are an integral part of any organization, especially a nonprofit. While they help make strategic decisions and influence the direction of the organization, they are often over-looked when it comes to driving focus and efficiency.

We met up with Dottie Schindlinger, VP of e-Governance for BoardEffect, to discuss the perception of board members and technology, and how a reputation for not being tech-savvy leaves them wanting more. 

Are you one of the many thinking, ‘How would we convince our board to use an online tool? Many of them are older and aren’t tech-friendly.’ 

Dottie shares, “Your board members’ age is not a good benchmark to determine whether e-governance will be a successful venture for your board. In a survey of nonprofit boards conducted by BoardEffect, there was no correlation between a board’s likeliness to use technology and the average age of its members.”

Research shows that adults ages 50+ are very active online, and that over 70% of Americans ages 50-64 use the internet—and this is the age range of almost half of all U.S. nonprofit board members. In addition, 50% of this age group own laptops, while 40% regularly use mobile devices to access the internet, a number that grows every year.*

Regardless of your board members’ average age, their readiness for e-governance depends more on their perceived need for improvement, a desire for greater efficiency, and their willingness to try a new way of working.


*Pew Research