I am an officer in two lodges in Boston, Massachusetts. They both needed websites. I realized that the software program I use to build websites, NationBuilder would be perfect for the needs of a Masonic Lodge. By that, I mean scheduling events, taking RSVPs online, accepting payments, dues or donations, managing your emails with reports on open rates, click throughs, collecting information about prospective members and more. Let's take a look at the front-end of the site and then I'll walk you through the dashboard.
Note: I am a NationBuilder Certified Expert and Designer.
I was able to design an attractive, mobile friendly website. You can see a screenshot of the entire homepage here. One thing that is important to note: Virtually all the content on the site is editable without touching any code!
You'll notice the MEMBER LOGIN button in the upper right. Once a member does log in, that button is replaced by EVENT RSVP, PAY YOUR DUES and FROM THE EAST where we post our minutes, notices and other resources all behind a secure firewall. (Lodge of the Royal Secret is new and is an "all electronic" lodge. We don't mail notices or minutes.)
EVENTS - How often have you gone to a Lodge website and the next upcoming event is from months or years ago? That's part of the beauty of NationBuilder. The calendar page automatically archives an event's page once the event date passes. Also, once you create an event such as your Communication/Meeting, the software allows you to clone that event out into the future on a weekly or monthly basis.
(Note: This template allows you to have different banner on different pages with touching any coding.
RSVP'S AND FINANCES - When a member RSVP's for an event they are automatically tagged. Let's say they RSVP for a dinner on April 20th. All would get tagged "dinner 4_15" which makes them searchable in the database so a day or two before the event, you can run a filter of all members with the tag dinner 4_15 and the database creates an alphabetized list of attendees. Granted, some older members may not use the website for RSVPs. Their RSVP can be added to the event manually and they will still be included in the filter. You export the filter and print out the list for your stewards.
This image is a filter for all members (People with the tag "member" but all filters work basically the same way. There are also dozens of filters that can be run.
If an event requires a payment, the event page can be "chained" so that after RSVPing, they are automatically taken to a payment page. If they choose to pay online, they can be chained to a thank you page and they can also be sent an auto-response confirmation email.
Also, if you add Last_Donation_Date to your "dinner 4_15" filter that will be added to the alphabetized RSVP list.
If you choose to collect dues online, you can set up another donation page and tag and filter people who have made their dues payment.
CREATING AND EDITING PAGES - Creating and editing pages is easy and again, requires no coding. There are 30+ native NationBuilder page types which can be created with the click of a mouse.
You just name the page (The page slug auto-populates) click on the type of page you want to create and click Create Page. Adding and editing content is easy as well. If you know how to use Microsoft Word or Apple Pages you can create and edit page content.
Another great thing is that people have used NationBuilder to create thousands of site. If you have any questions, they have easy-to-use support documentation, email and phone support. They even have a Facebook group where other users and experts ask and answer questions.
THE BOTTOM LINE - As I mentioned at the outset, I am certified by NationBuilder and an Expert on their software and Designer/Architect. I've built over 200 sites using NationBuilder including one for a US Presidential candidate and an issue advocacy organization with over 1,000,000 members. Actually they only had 300,000 members when I redesigned their site. They reached a million about 16 months later.
Since I have already designed this template for two other lodges, making it available to other lodges only requires a few hours so I am willing to offer it to any other lodge for $250 to partially cover the cost of my time. If you'd like, you can actually get a NationBuilder theme template for free. They're just not designed specifically for Masonic lodges.
For $250 you get the theme template basically as it is. I can change the colors, fonts and pages in the top navigation. You also get a site guide to show you where and how to change and update content. You don't get changes or support from me unless you want to pay more.
NationBuilder charges $35 a month for use of its software, $29 a month if you pay annually in advance. I don't get any part of that.
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