Membership renewal is once again coming round, which means once again we are all going to get to test our wits against the (awful) GMS user-interface.
Progress last year…
Last season we cutover the youth section (the vast majority of our members), and now have almost 1,300 active members according to GMS.
The process itself was not entirely painless for anybody signing up, and it certainly wasn’t painless for Michelle and I as we dealt with the many ‘features’ of GMS. In fact only about half of people trying to sign-up for membership were able to complete the process without our help.
This season I am quietly hoping that it’s going to be MUCH easier:
- The vast majority of data issues have been resolved (I personally merged >150 duplicate records)
- Most parents should have their username & password, and for those who have forgotten hopefully they will have updated their email, so they can reset their own password.
- Senior players are more likely than parents to know their username/password and have better data quality.
Even so, it’s a lot of work – so why would we do this?
There’s a few reasons for us choosing to move our membership onto GMS…
- At this point we have separate processes for tracking senior players, youth section and vice-president memberships. Some of our process are also manual which can introduce errors, and goCardless is a payments platform not a membership system. This makes pulling together an accurate list of all paid-up members time-consuming.
- In either case, we are required (as part of our RFU accreditation) to keep some data with GMS current, it’s the system used for player registration, qualifications, etc. Anything else we chose to use for membership would cause us to have to duplicate data that is held in GMS.
- Having a single source of the truth which is provided and maintained by the RFU takes a lot of the burden from TWRFC in remaining compliant with data privacy regulations and GDPR… There’s still much improvement required in GMS in this regard, but we can see the RFU are working on it.
Speaking of GDPR & Data-Privacy, what are you doing about that…
We’ve released our privacy statement
The youth exec are planning to move all Youth TWRFC communications to happen via mail-groups (probably on googlegroups). This will give us a consistent approach, which automatically hides the email addresses of our members, and also includes an opt-out link on each email. A side benefit of this is that the club will (for the first time) have an easy way of communicating to it’s youth parents.