Portalbuzz Merges With Aplos — Why This is Great News for All

Hello, everyone, Scott here. I’m pleased to announce that as of today, Portalbuzz has officially merged with Aplos, a leading nonprofit software provider that has served more than 20,000 nonprofits and churches in 100 countries. This is a huge day in Portalbuzz company history. As CEO and co-founder, I want to offer my profound thanks to all of the people—employees, customers, partners, and developers—who’ve made this step in our evolution possible. I want also to thank Tim Goetz and the entire Aplos team, who have been extraordinarily welcoming.

There are three major reasons we’re excited about this move:

  1. The team at Aplos is as passionate as we are about helping you in your journey. There are lots of different “types” of company mergers, and not all of them care about preserving the other company’s culture, technologies, or team. I’m thrilled to report that Aplos’s commitment to you and this space matches our own and I am excited to join their team. Last year, Aplos won the prestigious Stevie Award for customer service excellence. Together, I’m confident we’ll both continue to put the needs of the customers first in all that we do.
  2. Portalbuzz’s strengths match Aplos’s needs and vice versa, and together we will continue creating intuitive software that allows you to spend more time on your organization’s core mission. I give a lot of credit to Tim Goetz, Aplos’s CEO, for his vision to serve nonprofits in a flexible one-stop solution. They have a great reputation for back-office functions like accounting software, efile IRS returns, and donor management software, while Portalbuzz has established front-office functions like our new website builder, event registration, and member portals. We each offer something unique and believe that together as one company we will meet the individual and versatile needs of those who strive to make an impact in our world.
  3. Aplos loves Portalbuzz, and the Portalbuzz community.  I first met Tim several years ago as the Chief Technology Officer of Kiwanis when Aplos became a recommended software partner for the Kiwanis International service clubs. Aplos is now also an official software provider for National Exchange Club and Optimist International. Tim and I both appreciate the unique work of small clubs, which is why we both built software to serve their needs. In doing a deal like this, we are doubling down on our commitment to you.

We’ll have plenty more details in the coming weeks and months. Just know that if you’re a Portalbuzz user today, all of this is terrific news. This deal will put even greater product innovations into your hands, faster.

Scott Smith
CEO, Portalbuzz


I’m a customer—does my support change?
Not yet, but we expect our joined customer bases to benefit from a single point of contact and expanded support offerings made possible by a company of Aplos’s scale. That means faster response times, more support resources, and even options to outsource tasks!

Will pricing change on any products?
Nope, there are no new changes to your current subscription price.

Will any products be discontinued, or versions phased out?
Not at all. You will be able to continue using Portalbuzz and all of its features the same as always. You will see features continue to be released like the new website builder and will receive offers of special benefits since you are now part of the Aplos family. In the not-too-distant-future, you may notice expanded features that allow your organization to easily add some of the Aplos back-office features.


Say Cheese! The importance of club website photos

This blog is part one of a two part series about photos and your club website.

A simple photo can say so much more than a paragraph of text. The point is made quickly and emotion is conveyed without a single word. After all, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Photos can help you to share information, communicate about what your club does, get the attention of potential members and even engage with volunteers join your cause.

Here are 4 tips for using photos on your club website:

1.    Keep it simple – The old saying says to keep things simple and your club homepage is no exception. Text is good and details are important so that members, potential members and volunteers have the information they need. However, use other pages for the text-heavy information. Keep your homepage visually interesting with updated and relevant photos or images.

2.    Keep it real – Show real people, real events, and real volunteers. Your readers love to see reality. Real photos help convey the culture of your club. Take photos that capture an emotion. There is a reason why some YouTube videos “go viral”.  Most times it’s something interesting, fun or cute. Those videos encapsulate an emotion and they get the viewer to engage with it. So the next time you tell the group to gather up in a lineup for a photo that will look like… a lineup, think about snapping a photo that captures your group in action instead.

3.    Keep it in focus – Don’t post fuzzy photos. Crisp photos look great on different types and sizes of devices and computers. Enough said.

4.    Fix it – That’s a great photo of the president, but the back of Larry’s head is showing at the bottom; crop your photo. The snapshot of the members manning the table at the Christmas Tree Lighting shows the members having a great time and serving in the community but it’s very dark;  lighten it up.  That great photo of your town is tilting to the right; adjust it. Sometimes a photo just needs a little help. Even professional photographers touch up photos. Use a free photo editor like pixlr.com to touch of your photos and getting them looking great!

Here are a couple of questions to ask about the photos on your homepage:

  • Are there any photos on the homepage? If not add one or two.

  • Are there photos in the news column? Photos or images are a great way to call attention to a news item.

  • Are the photos updated and relevant?

  • Could the photos use a little adjustment?

  • How do YOU feel when you look at the photos on your homepage? Do they capture your club story? If not, take out your camera or your phone and snap a few new shots. Say cheese!

How are you using photos in your club website? We'd love to know your comments and suggestions.

If you don't have a website yet, try the 30-day trial from Portalbuzz. It's FREE!


5 Easy ways to thank and appreciate your members

Happy club; Happy members. Members make your club happy, and involved members make your club better.  Your members are volunteers. They spend a lot of time making your club and your community better, so help keep your members happy. There are so many easy ways to thank members and show your appreciation. 

Let's face it, as club members, we are all different. However,  there are a few things that bind us together. We want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, perhaps we want to give back to the community or cause and may also want to use skills acquired over the years. It's not supposed to be stressful and yet many times it is. Many time volunteers and club members talk about feeling unappreciated. Then they stop coming to events, rarely come to meetings and either quit or just fade out. Being a part of a club is about community and a sense of belonging.

Member appreciation is a vital aspect of running and being a part of a great and thriving club. You need to express your appreciation and gratitude on a regular basis to keep your members happy, engaged and productive. 

Here are 5 easy ways to help members feel appreciated:

  1. Recognition in a meeting. Saying a simple “thank you” and acknowledging your members can go a long way. Share an accomplishment, praise or recognition during a club meeting. 
  2. Spotlight members on your club website. Write a "member of the month" or "volunteer of the quarter" article. Post a short article in the News column or a dedicated page in the website (Title suggestion: Member Spotlight/Member of the Month) where you can write the contribution of the member to the club.  Include the member's photo or a photo of them "in action" during the event.
  3. A quick email or text.  Emails, texts and social media provide easy and fast opportunities to recognize members for a job well done or emphasizing dedication to the club goals.
  4. Share "Kudos".  From time to time we all get feedback about an event or activity. Make sure members know what a great job that they are doing. 
  5. Check on your inactive members. If you have members who have been inactive for a while, contact them to let them know that they are remembered and appreciated. If they need help or require assistance, let them know you would be happy to assist them.

A simple and sincere "Thank you" and a genuine smile go a long way in thanking your members and showing them appreciation. . 

These are some of the simple yet effective ways to show your appreciation towards your members. How about you? How do you show your club members that you appreciate them? 

Need a club website? If you don't have a website or member portal for your club, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial at portalbuzz.com. With your trial you'll have access to club website templates and a private member portal to help your club organize and tackle just about everything your club does. Come see what great clubs are buzzing about!

Questions? Just email us at support@portalbuzz.com or message up through the Portalbuzz help area; We're happy to help!

Volunteer signups - No login required

Autumn means fun fall events, community fundraisers and volunteers!  Make it easy for your members, as well as non-members, to sign up to volunteer right from your club website - and with no login required.

With the Portalbuzz controls for the public club website, you can easily set up events and display open volunteer positions on your club website. Choose the volunteer positions that you want to display to the public - keep others hidden. You are in control! 

Why display volunteer positions on a club website?

  • Expand your club's reach into the community and get more helping hands for your events.
  • Increase membership - Non-members [potential members] can sign up from your club website to volunteer to work with your club. Working right along side your members gives potential members an opportunity to get to know about your club before joining. 
  • Show ways your club helps your community on your website. 
  • Members that don't log into the portal often can easily sign up to volunteer from the club website without needing to login to the portal. 
  • The functions make it easy to manage all club volunteer positions and needs for members and non-member volunteers in one central location. 
  • Information is easily accessible and organized so that more than one admin can view and manage volunteers and communications. 

It's easy to get started

  • The event administrator sets up the volunteer positions in the portal and clicks a checkbox to indicate if the positions should be displayed on the public website.
  • The Meetings & Events public website control will display the volunteer positions when the event detail is viewed.
  • Any signups from the club website are synced with the meeting and event section in the portal, making it easy to manage and track signups. 


Make it easy to signup to volunteer. On Facebook, post information about your event and direct potential volunteers to sign up on your website. Add a link in your Facebook post directing viewers to your event website page. People can find out more about your event, volunteer opportunities and your club. 

How To:

When you are ready to learn how to add volunteers to your website visit our support library for the easy step by step instructions. Once the control is configured, it's a simple click of a button. Questions? Just contact us at support@portalbuzz.com or click Help in the portal.

No Club Website?

Still don't have a club website yet? Try out the Portalbuzz Club Management program. With Portalbuzz, you get easy to use website templates and a password protected member portal to handle organizing, tackling and communicating just about everything your club does. 

Sign up for a free 30-day trial at Portalbuzz.com. Come see what great clubs are buzzing about!

4 Ways to Update Your Website - Easily

On a hot day, nothing refreshes like a swim. Maybe it's time to refresh your website too. Is your website a little outdated and you don't know where to start? 

If you have 15-30 minutes, you can easily make a few changes that will provide updates and give your public website a quick refresh.

Here are 4 ways that your can quickly update your website:

  1. Change the look of your club website. Sometimes a simple change can make all the difference in the world. Changing the template takes just a couple clicks. Take a look at some of the new templates. The process is the same as when you originally set your public website template
  2. Share something interesting. Add news or an announcement to the news column. Is there an upcoming club event or picnic? Who's birthday is coming up? Did your group just do something noteworthy? Add a short news blurb and a recent photo (smart device photos work just fine!) to show that your club is active. This type of quick update also helps with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The News module on the Portalbuzz website was created to make it easy to manage news
  3. Add events or meetings to the member portal. When meetings or events are added to the member portal in association with a public website control, events and meeting will also show on the club website. If you are already using the member portal to schedule meetings and events, this is an easy way to also keep your club website updated.
  4. Add a photo to your club website homepage. A picture is worth a thousand words. What has your club done this summer? Add photos - Add photos of your group working together, serving together or just plain having fun. People love to see photos, don't they?

Once you refresh the club website, keep it up-to-date easily. Add an entry to your calendar to spend 15 minutes making some updates to your website once a month. At a minimum, those 15 minutes will keep your website looking fresh! #PBTip1

If you don't have a website for your club, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial at portalbuzz.com. With your trial you'll have access to club website templates and a private member portal to help your club organize and tackle just about everything your club does. Come see what great clubs are buzzing about!

Questions? Just email us at support@portalbuzz.com or message up through the Portalbuzz help area; We're happy to help!


Got Facebook? Is it all your club needs?

Minions talking about service clubs, technology and Facebook. 

Minions talking about service clubs, technology and Facebook. 

I've recently had conversations with a couple of clubs that went something like this:

Club: Ya, we're all set. We've got Facebook and we're getting all we need. 

Me/Portalbuzz: That's great. So you don't have a website?

Club: We've got Facebook; it's all we need.

Me/Portalbuzz: So, you don't need a website for your club?

Club: Nope...all set.

Me/Portalbuzz: So ...how do volunteers and participants find out about your events?

How do you share your club story, advertise events and brag about club accomplishments?

How do potential members and volunteers find out about your club?

Where do you make club flyers or forms available?

How do people contact your club to attend meetings or events?

When someone is looking for YOUR CLUB and they do a search, who do they find?

If someone wants to donate to your club, can they do that from your Facebook account?

Club: Can we sign up?

Me:   :-)

A few other thing about Facebook and your club website:

  • A website provides your club with a little real estate on the web. It gives your club a professional cyber place to call home .
  • You can link to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, photo accounts or whatever other social media modes you like from your website.
  • You can post volunteer positions and sign ups on your website.
  • Collect money or sell items through a simple storefront. 
  • Add pages for special events like golf outings, wood-splitting events and pancake breakfasts. 
  • Facebook is the perfect compliment to your club website.

Don't have a club website yet? Try out Portalbuzz. Sign up for a free 30-day trial of the Portalbuzz Club Management program which includes a website + a member portal at Portalbuzz.com.

Come see what great clubs are buzzing about!

Still Wondering About Portalbuzz?

October always seems to be the busiest time of year here at Portalbuzz. We've been working with new secretaries and boards; new webmasters and members.  It's so exciting to see how clubs are using the Member Portal and their Public Websites to run their clubs better and reach out to members and their communities!  

New Portalbuzz Introduction Video

So many new clubs and groups are signing up to test drive Portalbuzz. They are asking what Portalbuzz is all about and so we answered the call. Ta-da!  

Click below to watch our new 5 minute video. You'll hear about the Portalbuzz story and get a high level view of the features and and benefits of the Portalbuzz website creator + club/member management program. 

You'll also find this video on our website at Portalbuzz.com at the bottom of the homepage and in the support area under "Getting Started".  Share it with others - The video provides a good overview for club members, officers or anyone else that might be interested in hearing how the Portalbuzz website + club management system can help with communication, club tasks, running events, billing and more. 

Test drive Portalbuzz for your group or club with a  free 30-day trial by clicking here

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Enter your email to the right to receive occasional updates on Portalbuzz happenings, tips and how-tos. 

Need more info? Go to Portalbuzz.com


Clubs run better on Portalbuzz

Clubs run better on Portalbuzz

No club website? Still coordinating events using email? Tracking attendance and handling billing with spreadsheets? 

Website creator

Portalbuzz can make you club life easier. We've got a great website creator that allows you to update information whenever needed. No programming skills required, plenty of fresh new mobile-ready templates to choose from. Controls that save you time by syncing with your member portal. 

Member and admin portal 

Happy, engaged and productive members start with Portalbuzz too! Members have access to the information they need when they need it, all in one place.

New members onboard more quickly with information and who's who in the club, right at their finger tips. 

Got travelers or snowbirds in your club? The portal helps keep members that are not able to attend every meeting or event connected and involved in your club. 

Got awesome club leaders that could use some help? Really, who couldn't?  All the information that they need, including tools for scheduling meetings, volunteers, task, managing documents are all included in the tool.

Our online club management tools, including website creator + member portal provide one stop for every kind of  member! Clubs just run better on Portalbuzz.

Try us out for 30 days for free at Portalbuzz.com!


10 Tips for getting members started with Portalbuzz

So you built it...now get them to come.

From the inspirational Field of Dreams movie from the late '80s

From the inspirational Field of Dreams movie from the late '80s

You spent time getting the member portal set with members and adding in meetings and events. You've got a good start on the website. It's time to let your club or group members in on the great tools too! 

As with any change there with be those who embrace it, and those who are less enthusiastic. What we hear from clubs whose members embrace Portalbuzz is that it transforms the way the club operates, and that they could not imagine going back to how they ran the club before Portalbuzz. We have gathered some tips and best practices below that will help get members using Portalbuzz.


  1. Communicate about the new tools available to them and how they can help the club. The more this is communicated the better!

  2. Provide a link to the Getting Started Guide for Members

  3. Encourage club members to log in to the Portal and explore

  4. Ask members to log in and add a photo of their choice to their profile page

  5. Encourage them to update their profiles

  6. If you have the capability, at a meeting walk members through the site demonstrating the capabilities

  7. Host a question and answer time regarding the portal at one of the meetings

  8. At club meetings give a Portalbuzz tip of the week

  9. Communicate with members through the portal and encourage them to use the portal for club communication

  10. Teach your members to find the answers by using the red Help button at the top of every portal page

The more comfortable your members are with Portalbuzz, the more they will use it and the more effective they can be as members.

You know your members. Some people will want this much information; others will prefer just the basics. 

If you have any questions about the website or portal, just let us know. We have a Pinterest board with examples of sites that other clubs have created using the tools, if you need ideas.

Refresh your public website - easily!

Fall is in the air and for me that means rustling in the leaves, pumpkins, and baked apple pie!

It also means getting organized, planning events and giving everything a little refresh. Does your club public website need something new? We've just added a new template to the your public website options:

New template features include:

  • Clean updated look
  • Choose from three preset 'across-the-page' banner photos, or add your own
  • Kiwanis branding.

    Not a Kiwanis club?
    Use the 2015 Fall Blue-Gold Mobile template and add in your own logo and
    header image. 
  • Add text in the middle of the banner photo, if you like
  • Sleek new upper right menu
  • Mobile ready site. Looks great on mobile devices
  • Free for Portalbuzz subscribers
  • Change the look of your website with just a couple clicks, really!

... and while you are updating your website, don't forget to add in your fall events! It's a time of new opportunities, a time to hit the 'refresh' button.

Do you need a website for your group or club?
Check out Portalbuzz here and sign up for a free 30-day trial. 

Something new

The time has come for Portalbuzz to step into the blogging arena.  Portalbuzz has been so busy creating new features, creating new templates, working with new market segments, beefing up the knowledge base, working with old and new clubs and groups, that we have so much to talk about and share with you. We are 'buzzing' with tips and best practices, enhancements, how-tos, examples and more. 

A couple weeks ago, we revamped our Pinterest page so we could share things like great examples of how clubs and groups are using Portalbuzz. We love to see how creative clubs and groups are and we love to share what we find with others. 

Come along as we build something great!

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