Using an all-in-one solution to increase memberships and revenue

Wade Jacques

Customer Success

"So far Communal has been a lifesaver for me. We saw both an increase in revenue and a reduction in time spent managing our community."


Based in Calgary, Alberta, the Hawkwood Community Association began using Communal in September 2021. They faced challenges with manual tasks required to manage memberships, pickleball courts, gardens, volunteers, and soccer programs, all scattered across different online systems.

Heather, the Programs Coordinator, possessed extensive experience running the community association and recognized that software could streamline her workload significantly. Her goal was to find a solution that could seamlessly integrate the membership database with program registrations, garden management, and pickleball court rentals. She required a system that could identify members and facilitate exclusive member-only programs and pickleball court bookings.

After careful evaluation, Heather opted for Communal as it offered an all-in-one solution to address her volunteering, rental, membership, and program registration needs. This decision yielded impressive results, with an increase in memberships and revenue, while also reducing the time spent on managing the community association.

The Situation Before Communal

Heather took the initial step of trying to manage her community garden plot rentals, pickleball courts, soccer registrations, memberships, and garden volunteering commitments online. However, this attempt unexpectedly resulted in more work than anticipated. Prior to adopting Communal, she relied on a variety of systems to handle these areas, using EventBrite for registrations and SignUp Genius for volunteer management.

“We attempted to manage everything through various online programs before Communal. Unfortunately, the entire process was clunky and highly limited. Our garden team even resorted to using just an Excel spreadsheet for their registrations.”

Many of their programs were exclusive to active members, but their membership database remained disconnected from other online solutions for pickleball, gardens, and soccer. As a result, the team had to manually verify if someone was a genuine member after opening registrations. This manual verification process consumed numerous hours, involving the tedious search through spreadsheets and tracking payments. Consequently, many individuals slipped through without purchasing a membership, leading to revenue losses for the community.

Solution with Communal

After transitioning to Communal, the community not only gained a unified solution to manage all aspects of their community but, more importantly, they experienced a significant increase in memberships and revenue.

Using member-only programs to increase revenue and memberships:

For the community's member-exclusive court rentals and program registrations, Heather and her team no longer need to manually verify if someone is an active member. With the membership database integrated into the same system that manages all other aspects of the community, creating rules to restrict certain actions, such as renting a pickleball court, to members has become effortless. Consequently, this change led to a significant increase in memberships sold.

“Now, not only are we ensuring everyone purchases a membership for member-only programs or rentals, much to our treasurer's delight, but we can also track year-to-year retention rates and volunteer commitment completions.”

Simplified processes and harmonization between board volunteers:

No longer are pickleball courts and garden plot rentals a point of contention for the Hawkwood team. Before adopting Communal, their garden rental process required coordination between the membership director and the garden committee. The garden committee had to verify with the membership director for every garden plot whether a membership was purchased and then manually record it in a spreadsheet. This led to frustration between the teams as they often had to wait for confirmation before proceeding.

“Our membership person is no longer even involved in the garden registration. Well, the membership person is no longer constantly frustrated by the garden people, so I would say that is priceless! The whole process is all easy peasy lemon squeezy now.”

Goodbye to multiple systems and Excel spreadsheets:

Heather knew that technology would hold the key to reducing her workload, but she struggled to find a system that could handle all aspects of their community. Communal provided the perfect solution, offering their team a centralized management system that led to positive changes and a breakdown of silos. They were able to abandon the use of complicated Excel spreadsheets. Moreover, their community members have become more engaged and no longer rely heavily on the Hawkwood team for support when registering for community events and activities.

“For starters, the automated expiration reminders have been incredibly helpful, but, more importantly, having event/program registration and membership management all in one place has significantly reduced our workload.”

Looking Forward

Now that the Hawkwood Board is more unified and has witnessed a remarkable increase in memberships and engagement, they can focus on expanding their already strong list of community activities. They are actively exploring additional ways in which Communal can further modernize their community.

"So far Communal has been a lifesaver for me, and I am looking forward to having time to get myself familiar with all the new tools to use."

Amplify your impact

Stop wasting time on manual tasks and let Communal do the heavy lifting for you.