- Claresco Corporation announces a partnership with Los Angeles-based Advertising
Photographers of America (APA). Under the terms of the agreement, Claresco will design, implement, and host a total
web-based solution for the national organization and its local affiliates.
The APA represents advertising photographers across the United
States. With a membership of over two thousand freelance photographers,
it is the largest trade organization of its kind in the country.
The software project being designed and implemented by Claresco
is a turnkey solution for the APA, which was looking to expand
its membership but realized that before new regional chapters
could be started, the organization’s infrastructure needed
“We realized that we needed a way to integrate our
internal and external systems in such a way that we could market
ourselves nationally,” says APA national president George
Fulton. “But we had to take a systematic approach to
doing so. We needed to integrate marketing, accounting, and
information technology. We also needed to enable our regional
chapters to automate many of the tasks that previously were
done by hand, such as member billing and member renewals.”
The Claresco solution will improve on APA’s current
web presence in several important ways. It will centralize
the national membership database to allow regional chapters
of the organization to take advantage of newly-automated tasks
like membership renewals and other accounting and billing tasks.
It will also provide an automated membership sign-up procedure
using secure online billing, and will automatically add new
member information to key databases accessible via a web browser
at both the national and regional levels.
Other enhancements to be included are a calendar of events
for each of the APA’s six regional chapters and a discussion
board for members to share information about their work.
“The executive directors were getting bogged down in
tasks like manual billing every month,” says Charles
Cormany, past president of the APA’s San Francisco chapter. “We
have very few paid employees and we were finding that we were
using them as assistants, not in their executive capacity.
We want to use them to develop new chapters and expand membership.
Claresco’s work will help us to do that.”
The agreement between Claresco and APA reflects the flexibility
Claresco is able to offer clients who are developing revenue-producing
software products but who do not have the ability to put out
a large cash outlay in advance. Claresco is developing the
project using open-source software in exchange for a percentage
of APA’s membership dues. Claresco will maintain ownership
of the program and will be able to customize it for use for
other nonprofit clients.
“We understood the financial constraints of this particular
organization,” says Claresco founder and CEO Brett D’Ambrosio. “It’s
a volunteer organization, and they didn’t have a lot
of money to spend up front. Because they were looking for a
long term deal, and they had no interest in owning the solution,
we saw opportunity to put together a turnkey solution that
can be customized for other organizations and businesses.”
“We had looked at some other firms and we found Claresco
to be the most flexible and all-encompassing in terms of their
perspective of who we were and where we wanted to go as a nonprofit
trade organization,” says Fulton. “The good news
is they viewed our project as a way to help grow our organization
and our membership base, not just as a database.”