Small societies often don’t have the resources (time, skills or money) to build and maintain a library or a formal web site. No problem! You can still have an effective online presence and keep your members informed. And, it’s not only easy, it’s affordable too. Let’s take a look . . .
If you can send an email message, you can post content to a Posthaven site. Not only is it extremely easy to use, it’s quite affordable at $5.00 a month. And, you can set up your members as email subscribers so that each new post published on your site is delivered to their inbox. So, with Posthaven you have both a web site and a email newsletter all in one package. Learn more at the Posthaven Gazette, a support site for everything Posthaven. You’ll even find a downloadable user guide (Posthaven Primer) to help you get started.
Want to build a library for your society? Why not do it digitally at Scribd? Not only is this online library free to use, but you can also use it to sell publications. There are a number of advantages to publishing digitally, including these: color publications don’t cost extra, the publication is searchable and hyperlinks actually work. Once you’ve created an account for your society, you can upload Word or PDF documents and organize them into collections. Documents can be either public or private and can be read online or downloaded as PDF documents (if you allow downloads). Take advantage of Scribd’s store to sell past issues of your quarterly journal, local research guides and other publications. Scribd handles all the sale, download and customer service tasks, taking a 20% commission from the sale price. To learn more, see Publish for Profit with Scribd.
PayPal is another service with no upfront costs. Your treasurer can set up an account in minutes and you can use it to collect dues online or at meetings. It can also be used to make donations. Your members don’t need a PayPal account to make payments, they can use their credit or debit card if they prefer. PayPal takes a percentage off each transaction – a cheaper percentage than most credit card processing services. Want more information? Here are some articles discussing PayPal.
It’s important that your society’s board and staff members use society email accounts – not their personal accounts – for society business. These accounts can be passed on each year as officers and board members change. Once the new officer changes the account’s password, she has control of the account as well as a historical record of the work that went on before her. For more information, see Managing Society Email.
These are just a few examples of easy and affordable tools available to you for building your society. Now all you need to find is time . . .