It’s Almost Here – The National System Coming to Alberta and its Clubs in 2021
Summary for SAPC
- As with other clubs in Alberta and across Canada, our membership year will have to be changed to run from January 1 to December 31, starting January 1, 2022. This also means the 2021 membership year will have to go from May 1 to Dec 31, 2021.
- How we renew memberships will change for the 2022 year. The "how" will not change for our regular 2021 membership renewal.
This email was sent by Pickleball Alberta (PA) to Alberta clubs.
As discussed at the (PA) AGM and in monthly updates throughout the year, Pickleball Canada’s (PCO) integrated National System is coming to our province and our clubs. It handles membership management at the individual, club, province, and national levels. In time the system will be developed to support competitive play, rankings, and other sports management functions. This project was initiated in 2018; two representatives contributed as part of the specifications design team (Ray Keroack of St Albert Pickleball Club and Helen Thompson of Edmonton Pickleball Club).
The primary goal of the initial roll out of the National System is to reduce volunteer time spent on handling our growing membership and to improve the integrity of membership data. Currently, clubs and provinces use a variety of systems which require manual intervention to transfer required data from club to province, and province to national.
Considerable work has been completed on the National System thanks to many volunteers. It is being implemented in a staged process across the country, province by province. A demonstration of the system capabilities has been made to provincial representatives and a demo “beta” site is available to review. Refinements are still being made to the system and it is anticipated the system will continually be enhanced as we gain experience with it and club requirements evolve.
Pickleball Alberta (PA) is currently reviewing the system functionality in depth and considering scenarios for transitioning from PAWA (Wild Apricot) to the National System. From what we’ve seen, we believe the system will meet the membership management needs for most clubs and will significantly reduce volunteer time for membership management, so we are looking at how to transition to the National System in 2021.
Development and implementation of the National System is being led by Kirk Jensen as VP Competitions and Sport Development for PCO. The PA evaluation and implementation team is Beverley Walker, Past President; Brenda Feser, Membership Director; Blair Morton, Technology Director and Ray Keroack Treasurer St. Albert Pickleball Club.
Overview of the National System
- Meet Trackie– Trackie, is the company that is programming and will host the National System. Trackie is a Canadian company based in New Brunswick. They have developed and maintained systems for other provincial and national sports organizations such as Track and Field Canada and Taekwondo Canada.
- Customized Club Home Page – The National System will host the Pickleball Canada website. Each provincial association and club will have a ‘home page’ that is hosted in the National System. This page can be readily customized to provide club information and used as a simple website. Alternatively, a club can provide a link to an external website in order to provide members seamless access to club information.
- Unique and Shared Emails – The National System is based on members entering and maintaining their own personal information. While unique emails are recommended it is possible for a family to use one email address for more than one member.
- Integrated Membership Fees – When a member joins or renews their membership with a club, their PA and PCO memberships are included. The National System “splits” the membership fees so that the club, PA and PCO each receive their respective annual membership fees as long as the club has set up a bank account for the club. Note that clubs can set the club fee to $0 and use the system to track their membership information and to collect PA and PCO fees.
- Multi Club Memberships – The National System allows members to join more than one club and collect PA and PCO fees only once.
- Unique Club Membership Fields – Common membership data (such as name, email, and select demographics) is viewable by the club, PA and PCO. Clubs may ask members to provide additional information that is only viewable by the club (e.g., volunteer interests).
- Unique Club Waivers – Waiver of Liability acceptance is built into the online application / renewal process. Clubs and Provinces can customize this area to meet specific local or regional requirements. For example, Code of Conduct acceptance can be included.
- Mass Emails – In its initial phase the National System also includes emails and newsletters. Mass emails may be sent from the system or data can be exported to other software such as MailChimp
- Future Features – Functionality for event registration and a store feature are under development and expected in the near future. These functions would be available at the club / PA and PCO levels.
Change in Membership Year
PCO, in consultation with Provinces, has recently determined to move to a January 1 to December 31 membership year. PA will transition to the same year and we encourage clubs to do the same. Aligning the membership year will significantly streamline membership management and simplify the integration of membership management at all levels. While we need to determine the details, it is our plan to shorten the upcoming membership year to May 1 to December 31, 2021. The 2022 membership year will run from January 1 to December 31, 2022.
In our current PAWA (Wild Apricot) membership system, PA pays a usage and development fee to Wild Apricot of approximately $6,000 per year or $1.50 per member in 2020. Payment processing fees are based on the number of transactions and the amount of each transaction ($0.30 plus 2.9% of the dollar value). These fees are almost entirely absorbed by the clubs who are using PAWA to collect and manage their memberships.
In the new National System, the usage and development fees are tied to the payment processing fees, and together these are 5% of the dollar value of each transaction. These fees are calculated separately for club, PA and PCO fees. Starting in 2022 PCO is looking to introduce a modest annual fee for provinces and large clubs to help fund future national system enhancements.
Pickleball Alberta is excited about the possibilities of this system as it truly has the potential to dramatically reduce volunteer time spent managing membership applications, renewals and fee payments at the club, PA and PCO level. Considering all three levels, thousands of volunteer hours could be saved each year.
Further details on the system will be coming soon. We are planning a system demonstration in the next few weeks and will advise details. If someone from your club would like more information at this time or is keen to help out with this project at the provincial level please reply to me.
Past President, Pickleball Alberta
Keep your paddle up!