Custom Module Provides Mailing Solution for National Organization

When the US Chess Federation needed a better way to communicate with its more than 93,000 members across 2,000 affiliated clubs and organizations, the nonprofit and official governing body for the game in the United States turned to Skvare for a solution leveraging the power of Drupal and CiviCRM.

Like most organizations, communication with their members is an essential part of the US Chess Federation's needs from its technology. US Chess needed a flexible solution.

Building off CiviCRM’s built-in search capabilities, Skvare developers built a custom Drupal module that allows affiliate clubs to submit emails to US Chess for distribution among its members without needing to share member emails or other personal information. The feature, deployed in 2021, also enables US Chess to charge a small fee for the emails, recouping its costs.

US Chess Affiliate Member Mailing Dashboard

The Challenge

With members across the nation and even around the globe, US Chess already had powerful tools through CiviCRM which allowed it to send messages to chess players based on where they lived, their rankings, or membership type. But this wasn’t easily accessible to the affiliated clubs and organizations.

For local or regional organizations to contact members in their area, they would have to email the message they wanted to send to US Chess where staff would have to copy and paste the message into another email and manually set parameters requested by the club — a time-consuming process fraught with pitfalls. The solution …

Affiliate Mailings

This custom-built Drupal module allows authorized affiliated club and organization members to submit their message to members directly through the US Chess website and provide details about targeted recipients. Using custom CiviCRM fields through a Drupal webform, clubs can let players know about upcoming tournaments in their area based on the member’s state, ZIP code, or even using proximity searches based on address. The clubs also can select member players based on gender — think women’s chess tournament — or date-of-birth for youth or senior events. The clubs can even look at members’ ratings to invite players to tournaments appropriate to their skill level.

US Chess Affiliate Member Mailing Search

CiviCRM limits the mailing list to current members, so players who have let their membership lapse won’t be included, and allows members to opt-out of emails. Additionally, affiliate clubs and organizations can schedule when the email should be sent and upload files such as fliers to be included with the email, all through a simple Drupal webform.

After all of the information is entered, clubs can see how many contacts will be included based on the criteria set, giving them the option to broaden the audience or make the contact list smaller. Since the affiliate clubs are charged a fee based on the number of contacts per email, this feature allows them to better manage their costs.

US Chess Affiliate Member Mailing Composer

And for US Chess, there is a simple interface for approving the message. There’s no sharing of email lists, no copying and pasting, and no back and forth over content or mailing lists.

With the custom Affiliate Mailing Drupal module and CiviCRM, US Chess is able to keep members’ information private while allowing affiliate clubs and organizations to easily create targeted email campaigns to players around the world or just in their neighborhoods.

Contact us to learn more about what Skvare can do for your organization.

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