From XU Magazine, 
Issue 25

Coastguard Lake Taupo & infoodle: A Perfect Match

How infoodle and Xero help charities with membership management & financial operations

As a Xero add-on, infoodle supports a wide range of charities across the globe, each with their own special requirements. In this article, we share a conversation with our amazing client, Coastguard Lake Taupo whose volunteers provide a valuable and highly regarded service to all users of Lake Taupo, where they tell our readers how infoodle helps them with managing volunteers, communicating with members and tracking finances.

Contributing to marine safety advice, boating education, search and rescue, and maritime presence, CGLT is recognised as an integral part of the support system for the Lake Taupo community. However, they are a charitable organization run mainly by volunteers, with their major funding source coming from their membership base. A database of members requires a lot of time to manage, and time is the greatest asset volunteer organisations have and it must be used wisely and efficiently.

How does infoodle help you to save time and serve your community better?

We have over a 1,000 members and the system requires us to issue new membership cards each year. When this is run on a spreadsheet it takes a lot of manual manipulation to keep up to date. infoodle was the solution for us. It is not expensive; it is designed for charities and is simple to use. infoodle has reduced our workload from 3 days a month to 2 hours each fortnight. This was a huge advantage to us. We can now manage the process which, most importantly, protects our major source of income. It links to our financial software, Xero, which means there is just one database to manage, not two. Searching for member data and producing reports is all done with the click of the mouse.

How does infoodle as a Xero add-on help you with financial operations?

There are a few of us that do membership management within our organization, so the link between infoodle and Xero is important to keep things moving. If one person adds a new member in infoodle it is then pushed to Xero for the next person to action the invoices. It is an easy system to use.

Which features of infoodle or Xero have had the biggest impact on your work?

I think the best feature is the virtually instantaneous updating between infoodle & Xero – if we update a contact in infoodle and then log in to Xero it has already pushed the change through to Xero. It is very important for us to keep an audit trail of all changes and this change is also narrated as “system generated” so we know if it came from infoodle. This also ties in with the great audit trail feature that infoodle has too. The report builder feature is also very strong and we love the ease of being able to pick very specific criteria when running reports.

Have you noticed a significant reduction in time spent on reconciling transactions, issuing receipts and generating reports?

Because infoodle talks to Xero, we are not double handling any contact updates, one person can receive an email about an address change, enter it into infoodle and forget about it, knowing that infoodle will automatically update the Xero contact too.

What other features of infoodle as a Xero add-on are of use to you?

We can now communicate directly to members via email. We can write letters to specific members and the ability to address them by their first name has provided a personal link with our members. People will read our correspondence because it has their name on it and it is right there in front of them. As a result, we have been able to get members that have slipped ‘through the cracks’ over time, back into our system as financial members. This provided some 20% of lost income from the past which was a great and pleasant surprise for us. Basically, without a cloud operated and easy to use system such as infoodle, we would not be able to continue our great services to the Taupo community. I cannot recommend Infoodle highly enough.

Why leave it there?

To learn more about infoodle

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