The Dutch Association for the Judiciary

"With the Procurios Platform we can manage our membership fees and everything around it very well. Much better than we ever could"

1

Switching from a tangle of software to a single platform

The association switched from cluttered separate software to the Procurios Platform.

2

Greater insight and 100% control over contributions

The association has gained more insight into member needs and has greatly simplified the administration of membership fees.

Professional association for judges and public prosecutors

The NVvR (the Dutch acronym for the association) is the professional association for public prosecutors and judges in the Netherlands and represents their interests in the public and political debate. The association does this by, among other things, monitoring the quality and accessibility of the justice system. The Netherlands has about 2400 judges and 800 public prosecutors. Approximately 70 percent of them are members of the trade union and professional association NVvR. Judges and public prosecutors have a very responsible role in the Netherlands. Every year they handle around 1.7 million legal cases and they help ensure Dutch society is a safe society.

The professional association NVvR focuses primarily on retaining its membership and demonstrating its value through its members. Therefore, the association has recently undertaken a reorientation, in order to remain relevant to its members. Director Geert van Rhee: "A few years ago, the prevailing opinion was that associations were dying out. The obituaries of association life in the Netherlands had already been written, so to speak. I have never believed that. Yes, if an association does not move with the changing needs of its members, it becomes less relevant and runs the risk of becoming redundant. We at the NVvR are very much aware of that." The professional association realised that members' questions and themes have changed in recent years and is responding accordingly.

Themes

Whereas it used to be taken for granted that you would be a member and contribute to a professional association, the expectation and need of members is changing. "We see that people are less and less inclined to do structural work for the association. But if you work in a more campaign-oriented way, you can still get a lot of people to join. If you ask the right questions, you see that people who are often extremely busy are willing to make time, because it concerns subjects that affect them, that concern them. That is how we want to organise our professional association, more around themes, there are many possibilities", says Van Rhee.

"An association becomes more 'powered by' members, rather than a standard 'life time membership'." The reorientation contributes to that strategy of continuing to offer value to members. "Many of the topics we were dealing with are now sufficiently well known to our target group. That means we have to look at new topics and themes. That is what we are looking at now. What are interesting new topics, what can we build up in terms of knowledge and how can we link our members to these."

Less complexity, more member engagement

"We have much more insight into what members do and want. We can see more easily who the active members are and can therefore try to involve others more actively. That activation is one of our communication goals and this system helps us with that."

  • A detailed understanding of what members want and do
  • Activate members easily
  • No hassle
Vrouw in toga

Complex customised solutions

In order to be able to adapt to the needs of members, it is necessary to know who those members are and what motivates them. When Van Rhee started working for the NVvR in 2006, they were working with Excel lists and a software programme "that was also used by the local tennis club".

Systematically the NVvR looked for a way to get more grip on its membership administration. Van Rhee was closely involved in this in various roles. "We mainly looked to simplify the financial structures in particular, as this is a complex component within our association. For a while, we worked with various customised solutions that involved all sorts of complicated constructions and situations. At the time, we had a board that could not make up its mind what it wanted to do and what it did not want to do, so it did everything. This resulted in numerous ways to collect contributions, for example. In the end, there was such a tangle of software that you didn't really know what to expect when you pressed a certain button."

Security is key

Prompted by budget cuts on the one hand and the growing awareness of the importance of online security on the other, the NVvR went in search of an alternative. The association preferred to return to one software package that offers simplicity and is well secured. "Judges and public prosecutors work in such a sensitive and confidential environment that their own personal security should never be compromised by us." The Platform Platform helps to achieve this.

NVvR plaquette

Improved financial processing

Van Rhee was appointed chairman of The Dutch Association in April 2022, the association of Dutch associations (comparable to the ASAE), of which Procurios is also a partner. "Because of this, I already knew some suppliers and solutions, but only after a presentation by Procurios at a meeting, we actually started talking to them."

The NVvR is impressed with the financial system in the Procurios Platform. "This allows us to manage our membership fees and everything around it very well. Much better than we ever could. As a result, we are now able to collect 100 percent of our contributions. In fact, we even received a little more, because we could now see that there were still some arrears in payment," says Van Rhee.

New possibilities have come up, such as iDeal payments (a very popular Dutch online payment service), but what is more important is that there is far more insight. "I can now ensure that we really have done everything we need to do, before sending a second reminder or calling to say that a member has not yes paid its membership fee. I couldn't do that before, because there were so many systems, options and possible errors that could creep in that I couldn't guarantee that the information I had about a payment was actually correct." Moreover, the NVvR has simplified the membership fee structure, introduced direct debit and simplified many complex discounts, making it more manageable now.

Personal approach

In addition, the Procurios Platform offers more advantages. "We have much more insight into what members do and want. It is easier for us to see who the active members are and therefore we can try to involve others more actively. That activation is one of our communication goals and this system helps us with that." Moreover, it allows for more personal contact, something that is very important to Van Rhee and the NVvR. Of the 2400 judges and 800 prosecutors in the Netherlands, some 70 per cent are members of the association. "That means that we are not very big in terms of numbers and that you could call all members if you would want to. That you are able to be in touch with them personally. That is what is important to me. When one of our members calls, I want to know immediately with whom I am dealing. That increases the feeling of community. That's why we never address our members as 'Dear Sir or Madam', but always personally."

Real engagement

"When a relationship becomes or feels transactional, it is no longer a community. An emotional approach is really indispensable to provide value to your members as an association."

Paleis van Justitie Amsterdam

Club feeling

Although some small things do not yet work as the NVvR would like, the Procurios Platform helps the association to realize the personal approach, because it makes all information from and about a member available in one central place. "When someone calls, I can immediately see who it is and what he or she is doing, instead of having to pull pieces of information from systems all over the place," says Van Rhee. The reason why the NVvR finds this personal approach so important is because of the nature of their members' profession. "Judges and public prosecutors are loners, often in organisations where they may work with many colleagues, but they bear a great deal of individual responsibility and that can sometimes feel lonely," explains the NVvR director. "Then it is nice to have a club where people know who you are and what concerns you. It is important that we as an association can respond to what they are doing. That we know what the needs of each individual member are and what issues they are dealing with."

Renewal

According to Van Rhee, the added value of the association lies in the emotional connection with its members. "Functionally, they can go anywhere and when a relationship becomes or feels transactional, it is no longer a club. An emotional approach is really indispensable for an association to offer value to its members." The NVvR is steadily moving forward with innovations to meet the wishes and needs of members. First the website will be updated and eventually Van Rhee hopes to think further with Procurios about new steps that fit the personal approach in which the NvVR puts so much energy.

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