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HomeCase Study NAVA

The North American Vexillological Association
Streamlining Content and Member Management

The North American Vexillological Association (NAVA), a membership organization devoted to the study of flags, faced an issue many associations face: its core administrative functions—from member data management and communications to website management—were maintained on multiple and unconnected platforms and applications.

NAVA’s membership comprises a broad range of scholars, designers, collectors, advocates, merchants, and hobbyists within the flag community–mostly in the U.S. and Canada but also in 25 other countries. NAVA publishes a scholarly journal, a quarterly magazine, and an extensive website—all devoted to flag news and information. Volunteers run the entire organization, which holds meetings in person and virtually. Members helped with the controversial change to the Mississippi State flag, including the design of the precursor, the Stennis Flag. Members were also involved in the creation of the original Pride Flag. Their interests and motivations run the gamut, but the current administrative setup just couldn’t keep up.

Member information was held in a poorly-functioning low-end membership system, backed up by Excel spreadsheets. Flag news went out to an e-mail list maintained in Gmail. Member email communications required constant list uploads to another web service. Surveys used yet another application. And NAVA’s website needed updating.

While overhearing his wife participate virtually in the League of Women Voters annual convention, Ted Kaye, NAVA’s secretary, listened to the pitch for ClubExpress—a preferred partner for the national, state, and local leagues.

Ted thought ClubExpress might be the solution NAVA was looking for, and his assessment matched recent market research by NAVA’s president. He proposed ClubExpress to his board, and signed up days later. Ted has been pleased with the platform and service. “The ratio of value to price is very high,” he says.

The member database in ClubExpress is a “single combined resource” for NAVA, avoiding the extra work and the possible human and technological errors created by multiple databases in several places.

Not only does the ClubExpress platform allow NAVA to keep its member data, communications, calendar, event management, surveys, on-line shop, and a wealth of other information all in one place, the different modules and components integrate seamlessly, allowing, for example, members interested in a certain topic, such as Revolutionary War Battle Flags, to see content and events relevant to their interests and receive messaging around that interest.
Not only does the ClubExpress platform allow NAVA to keep its member data, communications, calendar, event management, surveys, on-line shop, and a wealth of other information all in one place, the different modules and components integrate seamlessly, allowing, for example, members interested in a certain topic, such as Revolutionary War Battle Flags, to see content and events relevant to their interests and receive messaging around that interest.
The robust communications tools make blast emailings to specific groups easy to create and send. NAVA tailors email lists based on a variety of attributes—event attendees, geographic location, interests, member join date, and much more. “Being able to send emails based on any attribute in the ClubExpress system”, says Ted, “means that the right members get the right communications.”

For example, families of members who have passed away can find new homes for their loved ones’ flag collections—NAVA messages its members who are teachers, and puts those flags into the classroom!

The Event Calendar module has proven especially successful for NAVA, with more members attending meetings and an increasing number of events supporting different interests and committees. The ability to embed Zoom information makes each calendar item even more valuable. And NAVA has just started New Member Welcome events at regular intervals for new recruits.

“The combination of virtual meeting technology and the ClubExpress Event Calendar and e-mailing tools has made all this possible,” Ted says.

Pricing transparency and support were also important to NAVA and its board; Ted says ClubExpress has delivered on both fronts.

The pricing tool on ClubExpress’s website made the one-time and monthly charges clear upfront, providing full disclosure of anticipated costs when evaluating the software against competitors. The pricing of the extra modules was also very clear. NAVA has bought the ad hoc reporting and membership card modules, both meeting specific organizational needs.

Customer Support, which is unlimited for organization administrators, has been a huge asset to NAVA. “The support is super. I’ve found support staffers extraordinarily responsive and helpful—I have their number on speed dial, though I try to read the “how-to” material first,” Ted says.

ClubExpress’s full library of training materials not only helped NAVA implement its new website and membership system, it continues to aid NAVA as it grows its membership and develops new programming.

Ted, like many association administrators, also volunteers in running the membership function of other organizations using different software platforms and definitely prefers ClubExpress. “I’ve been very pleased with the integration of the membership system with the website.”

For more information about NAVA, check out NAVA’s website! https://nava.org

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