What is Beacon?
You may have heard this word used by your Group Leaders recently. What is it? Simply, it is a membership recording system designed by U3A members for U3As and supported by the U3A. One of the reasons we have introduced this is because all data is encrypted and stored securely*.
The decision to move our membership data to Beacon was taken by the Committee last September, after research into what alternatives were available and consulting other local U3As on their experiences. Since then, a local project team has been preparing our membership data for migration to Beacon and in February we went live. All membership renewals for 2018/19 are now being recorded on Beacon by our new Membership Secretary, Ian Webb. Beacon has also produced all the mail out labels for the AGM documents.
Your group leaders have all been given secure log ins and appropriate permissions to enable them to select members, create group lists and, where appropriate, generate chronological waiting lists: very useful when working with Group Enablers to recruit new members or set up new groups. Leaders will use Beacon to email their members or produce letters for posting, as well as registers for recording attendance and any payments, such as room hire. A big plus point for using Beacon is that we will always have up to date contact details for member: they are only stored in one place and only the Membership Secretary can update them, providing you let him know of any changes: email: slu3amembsec@gmail or call 01858 440851.
Looking to the future, Beacon has lots more to offer, including allowing us to offer on line payments, new members joining on line, recording our finance, printing membership cards and recording information for trips.
Helen Salisbury, Site Administrator and Beacon Project Team Leader
*Our up to date Data Protection Policy and Privacy Statement are stored on the SLU3A website.