Paddle Australia is delighted to announce that our new Membership and Events Portal, GoMembership, is now live for all members of Paddle Australia, our State Member Associations (SMAs) and Affiliated Clubs.
“Paddle Australia’s [and the SMAs] initiative to implement the GoMembership platform should be applauded,” says Mark Bretag, Secretary of Newy Paddlers. “There are many benefits, no one more important than uniting the paddling community with a consistent message that paddling is a sport to be loved and enjoyed.”
“As a club we are particularly excited with how it will streamline administration and give us the ability to customise what we want and how to communicate with our members. The end result is more time on the water, which makes us all happy”.
Paddle Australia and our six SMAs have embarked on a transformation to attract, guide, support, develop and grow the paddling community in Australia and to connect recreational, club, pathway and performance paddlers to create a United Paddling Community.
The new Membership and Events portal is central to this vision and is the result of strong feedback from SMAs and Clubs during the strategic planning process that concluded around 12 months ago. Our SMAs invited Clubs to contribute to this process and our sincere thanks to those that did. The message was clear and close to unanimous – a new digital platform that supported Clubs and their members was the highest priority, as was Club Administrator training in how to use it!!
You asked and we have worked together to deliver. The development and roll out of the platform has seen some great collaboration between PA, our SMAs and Clubs.
Once the platform was identified and configured, with plenty of feedback from potential users, Clubs were invited by SMAs to learn about and set up the platform for their particular needs. It is a testament to GoMembership that, given the very different needs Clubs that we have, that most core needs have been met or clearly identified as upcoming system enhancements .
The roll out to 137 Clubs with some very different requirements was not without its challenges! An initial series of face to face workshops in every state, with SMAs inviting Clubs to attend, was followed up with a series of webinars. Further support came in the form of bookable, one-on-one online clinics involving a member of the PA team and individual Club representatives, and plenty of calls to the PA office for specific support where required. This has all been supported with a series of specially developed online set-by-step guides and videos.
The outcome is that there are now 120 of our 137 Clubs up and running on the system, with most, like Newy Paddlers, providing positive feedback. With over 550 members renewing membership and over 100 new memberships purchased via the system, it is great to see a growing level of engagement with the system by Club members. Of course, this wouldn’t be an IT project if there weren’t some issues, but these are being addressed. A big thank you to all the Club Administrators who have embraced the new platform so positively.
Whilst the intention was to introduce GoMembership whilst leaving the current membership structure unaltered, Paddle Australia and the SMAs did discuss some of the national inconsistencies and anomalies in membership categories. Some SMAs took the opportunity ‘clean up’ issues that they were already starting to address. For example, one took the decision to remove a category of membership that saw volunteers paying $20, concerned that some clubs may be using this category to avoid paying the usual adult fee.
We were also able to agree some other issues, such as a consistent, national approach to family membership and the discount applied to the PA and SMA fees. The single event fee charged to non-members has also been agreed nationally and will soon be charged automatically, not before first being presented with the option to sign up for membership!
The good news for Clubs is that GoMembership is being provided at no cost to them as a benefit of Club affiliation. They simply need to continue to ensure that their members as signed as members of their SMA and PA. The individual membership benefits have also been enhanced.
The new portal is more user friendly than the previous membership system so hopefully you will have a positive experience. However if you require any assistance in navigating the new Membership & Events Portal, please refer to the relevant Member Help Guide [click here] or contact your Club Administrator / Secretary, your State Paddle Association or Paddle Australia on 02 9763 0670 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We would love to hear about your experiences with the new portal! Any questions or feedback is welcome to be sent to email@example.com.