Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting more than 400 friends, clients and partners with my colleagues at the 20th anniversary of PersoniFest in Savannah, Georgia. On the last day of the conference, my colleagues Sarah Schmall and Shiv Narayanan announced the winners of the 2019 Persi Awards.

As you may know, we launched the Persi Awards in 2018 (see last year’s winners) to recognize the incredible accomplishments that our clients have made over the past year and to highlight their success stories.

Innovation Awards

To kick off the Awards Program, we recognized organizations using innovative approaches to acquire and engage their members, donors, attendees, exhibitors and more.

The Texas Hospital Association received the Innovation award for the Association segment because of their efforts to move billing and collection process in house. They worked with Personify and our partner Intellidata to re-tool and modernize their invoicing approach for the program, which processed invoices amounting to over $3 million annually.

Through the use of technology, the Texas Hospital Association was able to reduce program expenses by more than 10 percent, had zero membership attrition, increase client satisfaction and has an impressive collection rate of 90%. Congratulations to the Texas Hospital Association for this impressive transformation and for modernizing your billing and collection practices.

Our next winner was Girl Up, a movement founded by the United Nations Foundation, that received the Innovation award for the Charity segment because of their use of CommUnity to enable the organization’s mission of creating and supporting a sustainable global movement of advocates for gender equality. This goal is not without its challenges. Some regional Girl Up members in areas such as Zambia, Malawi and India have limited access to computers and internet connectivity issues and constituents sometimes have difficulty due to language barriers.

Over the past year, Girl Up launched multi-country outreach in multiple languages, improved accessibility, simplified the registration process and optimized its mobile experience. Their efforts continue to pay off: The number of active club members has increased by 21%, and overall club activity has increased 33% from last year. Congratulations to Girl Up for the growth of your community and the work that you’re doing to further gender equality.

Our next winner received the Innovation Award for the Health & Wellness segment. While they have been a Personify client since 2004, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte received a 2019 Persi Award for the significant strides in their approach to e-commerce. The breadth of their organization is significant; the YMCA of Greater Charlotte engages nearly 300,000 men, women and children from varying ages, incomes and backgrounds – at 19 locations and two resident camps each year.

Through the use of workflows, they now drive 65% of product revenue from digital transactions and 92% of their resident camp sales now take place online. People come from all over the country to attend these camps, so an e-commerce solution is huge for them. Campers can now choose all of their activities online, which has freed up limited staff resources. The YMCA of Greater Charlotte also began selling memberships online recently and, of the membership types that are sold online, 40% are now sold through the website.

Our final winner in the Innovation category is VBN Paving Unlimited, a client who was in the process of applying for what is known as the Certificate of Recognition. This process is no small feat; it can often take up to three years plus to complete. There are many benefits to having the certificate in this organization’s industry including having a strong corporate image and appealing to safety-conscious workers.

VBN Paving was able to obtain this certificate because they tracked and documented all data in Wild Apricot for the application process. This is a ground-breaking achievement and the organization is now in talks to make this application available to others in the industry.

Impact Awards

The Impact awards are for organizations who have leveraged Personify’s solutions to drive their mission forward and meet their organization’s goals. They have fostered advocacy, vibrancy and collaboration through the use of technology.

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) was chosen as the Impact winner for the Association segment. AAOMS represents more than 9,000 surgeons in the U.S. and is dedicated to supporting its members’ ability to practice through education, research and advocacy.

They use Personify360 to manage a constituent base that has over 100 different membership types and a member process that is driven by nominations and is invitation only. Through Personify Community, this organization provides a secure, collaboration space for their board of directors, committees, delegates and clinical interest groups. Congratulations to the AAOMS for the way you have connected and engaged with your members via Personify360 and Community.

The next Impact winner is the Climate Reality Project in the Charity category. Their mission is to transform climate change awareness into global action through a robust network of activist influencers. Each year, the Climate Reality Project’s constituents commit to completing Acts of Leadership, such as organizing or speaking at events, writing articles or participating in campaigns. Since the community launched, the annual Acts of Leadership goal has grown an astonishing 150 percent from about 12,000 to 30,000.

Additionally, the organization will roll out a tour feature this year to help acclimate new users, to ensure everyone can leverage the community’s power. Congratulations to the Climate Reality Project for the impact you have made using Personify Community to power your Reality Hub community.

Our Impact winner for the Health & Wellness segment is the YMCA of Sarasota. This organization was looking to provide a better online experience to constituents at its three locations with nearly 9,000 families and programs that range from gymnastics, swim lessons, youth shelters, resident camps, early childhood education and more.

Prior to working with Personify, the YMCA of Sarasota did not have an ability for users to sign up for programs online. Constituents would have to drive to the branch or call when they wanted to sign up for a class. They recently opened online registration for resident camps and saw a big jump in signups in the first two weeks. Because staff do not have to spend time signing up people for classes and managing paperwork, they can focus more on developing new programs. Congratulations to the Sarasota YMCA for developing a robust digital experience for their members and community.

Our final Impact winner is the Denver Ballet Guild, a non-profit organization that supports youth dance arts and whose mission is to stimulate interest in ballet and other forms of dance. In 2018, the organization wanted to modernize a legacy website and database, provide online registration for events, be able to support diverse membership types, receive online donations and conduct email marketing outreach to its constituent base.

The ability to take online donations helped the organization move closer to its fundraising goal. Additionally, they have been able to drive significant increases in event revenue, membership renewals and more since launching their new site. Congratulations to the Denver Ballet Guild for the impact you have made to support and promote dance in the Denver community.

Trailblazer Awards

Our next category is the Trailblazers category. These are organizations that use several of Personify’s solutions to take their constituent management and engagement approach to a new level. They leverage technology in innovative ways and are making significant strides to better acquire, engage and retain their constituents.

Our first winner, the American Society for Quality (ASQ), uses Personify360, Community and A2Z Events to provide value to 70,000 members across multiple industries. In 2018, they launched an online community for their 250 chapters to collaborate and share best practices. Since then, over 6,400 people joined the community and members drove 94% of the content. When users drive the content, you know your community is a success.

ASQ uses A2Z Events to enhance exhibitor and attendee management and show planning for their annual conference. Since they begin working with A2Z Events in 2017, ASQ increased the amount of exhibitor space sold for their annual show by 45%.

The final Trailblazer is the American Urological Association (AUA) who uses Personify360 and A2Z Events to manage and optimize their relationship with constituents. What makes them a Trailblazer is their recent effort to update a 10-year old manual membership application.

As a result of the new application, the time for users to complete has been cut in half, and they are now able save the application and come back later to finish. Additionally, members can pay upfront or have an invoice generated and they can elect to auto renew in the future. AUA staff are now able to process twice as many applications and no longer need to spend time manually verifying the data, processing group payments, assigning applications to staff and uploading documents.

Congratulations to all of our 2019 Persi Award winners! This is just a sample of the great things our clients are doing every day and truly what the PersoniFest user conference is all about. We’re thrilled to be able to recognize the work that they do to grow their organizations and increase their impact!