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Family Firm Institute Case Study


Family Firm InstituteFounded in 1986 as a professional membership association, the Family Firm Institute (FFI) has grown to become the premiere international body for advising and research in the family business and family wealth fields. FFI's founders - a group of pioneering professionals and family business executives - recognized the need for interdisciplinary collaboration in the family business field.

From the founders' vision, FFI today continues to grow in its commitment to providing education and networking opportunities for the advisors, consultants, educators and researchers who serve the fields as well as in raising public awareness about trends and developments.

FFI conducts monthly meetings, quarterly events, and an important, annual, business conference. Chapters and Study Groups are managed by the main office and hold their own events.

FFI develops several ongoing publications including the Family Business review (FBR) the only scholarly publication in the world devoted exclusively to exploration of the dynamics of family-controlled enterprise, including firms ranging in size from the very large to the relatively small.

Dues were collected annually. Meeting announcements were created and mailed on a regular basis.


  1. Website design was behind the times and did not reflect client's brand. Design, content and features did not present the organization in the best possible light.
  2. Website had been developed by a publishing partner and had not evolved with the latest technological advances.
  3. Website architecture was confusing and made it difficult for visitors to find specific content.
  4. Website search was difficult to use and results were not reliable.
  5. Updates to website content was done by a minimal content management system. System was awkward to use and did not provide standard features.
  6. Member directory was limited, provided only primary contact information.
  7. Member information on website was limited to company name, member name and industry.
  8. Member management was being done by a local database system, updates on the website had to be matched with updates on the local system. This took time and was error prone.
  9. Membership renewal was not automated and required the staff to send out annual reminders.
  10. Client's several publications were not properly showcased on the website due to inferior technology.
  11. Advertising on website was limited to home page, limiting revenue possibilities.


  1. We developed a clean and contemporary design with easy to navigate architecture and integrated dozens of interactive features.
  2. FFI's branding now reflects its position as one of the preeminent leaders in the family business field.
  3. The website is now managed by our simple to use Content Management System. Updates to the website are now quick, easy and frequent.
  4. Member data is now regularly and easily updated by the Members themselves as well as by the system administrators.
  5. Members can now be easily found via a comprehensive Directory Search
  6. Each member now has a full page of contact and profile information they can post to the website
  7. Members have specific benefits found in Members-Only Area
  8. Current members can pay their membership dues online using their credit cards to pay instead of mailing in checks. The Automatic Subscription & Recurring Payment System also allows new members to easily apply online, make a payment and quickly receive a confirmation of the status of their application.
  9. Member management has been completely migrated to our CMS, all functionalities found in the local system have been replicated including over 20 member and event registration reports. This has resulted in cost reduction in terms of time and staff efforts.
  10. In addition to comprehensive new content the website now provides:
  11. Banner Advertising on website has been managed so that there are hundreds of pages with a much increased ability to generate revenue.


  • Increased revenues
  • Additional revenue streams
  • Lower administrative costs
  • Greater interest in the organization and it's website
  • Greater awareness of the organization's website
  • Improved online image of the organization to new and current Members
  • Greater Member satisfaction
  • Decrease in Member attrition rates
  • Greater visitor satisfaction
  • Expansion of Memberships
  • Immediate updates to website

 AWS's Association Web Software has provided the Family Firm Institute. with the proper tools it required for its management needs, delivering optimum results and resulting in greater Member and Administration satisfaction and improved returns.

Our clients have found AWS's Association Web Software to be a solid asset enabling them to expand their Membership base with very little marketing efforts and capital, enhance the user and Member experience, bring renewed interest to their organization and their Members and also facilitate the management of Members and Memberships; all this while at the same time significantly eliminating ongoing costs.

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