Having your own website is great for communicating with members and visitors which is exactly its purpose. As you will well know, operating a U3A require a lot more work in regard to the management and processes in order to get things done such as putting members into actual classes and letting them know the dates and times.
These processes including the administration can only be done in a limited way with Weebly as it is not a U3A class management system. The good news is that it is possible to connect your U3A website built in Weebly to a purpose built administration system for U3A.
It should be noted that to undertake the journey of U3A business process or adminstration automation takes quite some effort in planning and understanding how volunteers and members will interact with the technical solutions.
Build some of the business management in Weebly
As explained previously, Weebly is primarily a website building tool but does have a few features that can be utilised to start the journey of automating some of the business process through the website.
Some of the Weebly features that you may consider using include:
Creation of forms in your website for members to complete and submit online. These forms could be the replacement of the existing paper versions for membership application or renewal, selection of classes, general visitor or member enquiries just to name a few.
Web pages that only members can see can be created which allow only paid members to renew their membership, select classes to enrol, change their personal details or for tutors to see their class lists.
Weebly includes the feature for an online store which can be used to pay for items such as new and renewing memberships, special events and lunches or even paying for a course of classes if there is a fee attached. This store can be set to not oversell any classes or events and provides the convenience to members to be able to purchase from home using various means of payment such as debit card, credit card, PayPal. The Weebly store also allows the event or class to be set at no charge, so it is essentially just managing the enrolment quota.
Purchase or subscribe to a business management product
Rather than use the Weebly features described above you may consider connecting your website to a complete administration system built for U3As or general education providers such as schools which have a similar mode of operation with staff, teachers and students.
Complete administration systems for schools are constantly being developed and generally speaking are quite expensive and the evaluation of each of these is outside the scope of this U3A website kit.
There is one product called MyU3A which can link into your Weebly website and is a complete administration system for U3As developed in Australia and is very reasonably priced. MyU3a has in excess of 20,000 users and is expanding rapidly in all states including Queensland.
MyU3A focusses on the management of:
- Enrolments – online and offline
- Venues, venue keys issued, cost/performance analysis
- Rolls Attendance and class performance
- Membership joining and renewals – online and offline
- Committees and sub-committees
If you would like to learn more about MyU3A go to their website here.