The Society is a small (c 1000 members) organisation that puts on debates, talks, walks and lectures about the built environment in London. It also publishes a highly-regarded journal and research papers, and runs an all-party Parliamentary group to do with development in the capital.
Until three or four years ago records were kept on hard copy – file cards, lever arch files and so on – which were then migrated to an Access database and a separate WordPress plug in for taking online payments, plus Eventbrite for event bookings, and Mailchimp for newsletters.
The problems were manifold: the online system didn’t talk to the offline database, so new members had to be cut and pasted into Access. There was no practical knowledge of database programs within the organisation so interrogating the files needed outside help (at £££ per hour), and to send out renewals and invoices was a manual process. (more…)