Ohio School Counselor Association

This association has seen 59% revenue growth after using Wild Apricot for a year.

59% revenue growth between the first and second full year of using Wild Apricot
1690+ members
71 events created

Empowering school counselors to promote student success

The Ohio School Counselor Association (OSCA) is a professional association that represents Ohio school counselor professionals and the students it works with. Its goals include developing relevant professional development, disseminating information and resources, influencing public policy pertaining to school counseling and education, promoting professional excellence, and cultivating partnerships with like-minded associations.

Ohio School Counselor Association - Description 1
“What I love most about our association is the passion held by our members and professionals.”

– Shawn Grime, Executive Director of Ohio School Counselor Association (OSCA)

Ohio School Counselor Association - Description 2

Challenges before using Wild Apricot

Prior to using Wild Apricot, the association’s operations were disjointed. It was difficult managing services and accounts with multiple vendors as well as relying on parent associations to coordinate services. Since OSCA is a volunteer-led association, there was a need to centralize services to help transition tasks to new individuals who entered leadership.

OSCA’s website was also a pain point because they were unable to make immediate updates to its original site. There were multiple avenues for collecting membership fees, and the processing time was long as tracking was mostly done on spreadsheets and arrived via postal mail.

Approach

Signing up for multiple free trials

Before settling on Wild Apricot, OSCA did a lot of research, consulted with other associations, and signed on for multiple free trials to see if Wild Apricot was the right fit.

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Focusing on the website, membership, and event services

In Wild Apricot, OSCA enhanced how it interacted and serviced its members through email communications, website updates, and events.

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Gradually transitioning out of other paid services

OSCA took a good year to get everything fully up and running. Once the association felt that it had the necessary parts set up correctly, it slowly transitioned out of its other paid services.

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Noticing immediate results

After implementing Wild Apricot, the Ohio School Counselor Association noticed significant improvements and results in a short time. Wild Apricot has enabled OSCA to drastically increase its membership numbers and improve its member services. The association saw 59% revenue growth between the first and second full year of using Wild Apricot.

Wild Apricot offered everything we were looking for: membership, event, website and financial services were all wrapped up into one. I also found through all the trials, that Wild Apricot’s administrative platform was user-friendly and easy to use. A lot of services look great on the live side but can be a mess when you get into the back end of the program and we did not find this with Wild Apricot.

Internally, it also became very apparent that the workflow and time spent completing some tasks was decreased. The association could run all its operations in Wild Apricot, saving time and money by being able to easily track and process memberships – enabling OSCA to devote more of its resources on growing its membership rather than on administrative tasks.

Ohio School Counselor Association - Photo

Lessons learned and advice for other associations

One of the main challenges when transitioning to Wild Apricot was the learning curve, especially since OSCA is an association run by school counselor volunteers who don't have an IT or business background. The other challenge was determining the level of access each person has within the product and ensuring that everyone worked in conjunction.

When we asked what advice OSCA would give to other associations, the main advice is not to shy away from the costs of these kinds of services.

My best advice is for people to not shy away from the costs of these kinds of services. We found that when we added up the cost for different services, we were spending more than what we needed to. I also encourage people to assess what your time and energy is worth. Especially as a volunteer association, we needed to be able to focus on your mission and not just operations.

The Ohio School Counselor Association has been happily using Wild Apricot since 2010. The value the software brings is immeasurable, allowing the school counseling association to continue to strengthen its voice by engaging members.

Ohio School Counselor Association - Book

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