The Society of Authors (SoA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1884 to protect the interests of professional authors, illustrators, and translators.
Headquartered in London, England, the society has more than 9,000 members and associates,with a small staff located at headquarters. The SoA campaigns for authors’ rights, negotiates with publishers, and lobbies for changes to copyright and libel laws.
The SoA wanted to offer enhanced services to its growing membership. However, staff found its existing database poorly supported, difficult to use, and too inflexible to be integrated with key member web services.
The membership database was at the heart of many of the organization’s core processes such as events andmerchandising management so its stability and flexibility were vital for the Society’s effective operation.
The society worked with APT Solutions, a Rocket U2 business partner specializing in applications for the nonprofit sector. APT’s experience in building solutions for trade unions, institutions, clubs, societies, charities, and public bodies led to the development of Stratum, a membership and contact management solution that offers broad functionality out of the box, with the flexibility to be customized for each client's needs.
The organization's new solution provided database access through a simple client front-end that could be installed on any standard PC. Employees could connect to the system from a laptop or home office whenever they wanted.
The Stratum front-end made it much easier for staff to search and filter the database, eliminating the need to design and type out lengthy queries.
Automation of processes and integration of events and merchandising also reduced the administrative workload.
APT Solutions also enabled web access to a read-only version of the database, which the society planned to extend to its members.
In the future, the society hopes to work with APT to integrate the new database with its SAGE accounting package and to introduce a new e-commerce solution for merchandising.