“Previously, payment-related admin took four people over 25 hours a week to complete. With GoCardless it now takes two people a total of just five. That will only continue to drop.”

Sharon BaconHead of Memberships, The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals

Key benefits

80% reduction in Direct Debit admin, improved member payment experience, long-term savings by reducing percentage of members using card payments

Company name

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals


Membership organisation for librarians and information professionals

Number of members


Time saved using GoCardless

20 hours every week

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) is the Royal Chartered organisation representing a workforce of over 87,000 and currently has 9,500 active members. CILIP helps members develop skills and grow their careers. The Institute also has a strong advocacy programme to provide a voice to the industry.

CILIP recognises the key role that member engagement plays in creating a thriving membership organisation, along with the role payment experience has on member satisfaction. However, as Head of Memberships Sharon Bacon describes, its previous collection of systems made this difficult.

Our old Direct Debit system was very fragmented. It caused a lot of errors, like claiming the wrong amount and failing to cancel payments. This definitely impacted member experience.”

After choosing to move to YourMembership to gain a more unified CRM, CILIP made the decision to move to a Direct Debit provider that would work well within their new setup, which would handle the payments of around 4,500 of its members.

Straightforward decision, straightforward activation

Chris Bacon, Head of IT at CILIP, was the person tasked with identifying the new Direct Debit provider. He describes his decision-making process as surprisingly easy.

We had heard about positive GoCardless experiences from other companies using the service. A number of colleagues also used GoCardless as customers for other services and saw how well it worked.”

CILIP did explore other providers, but the lengthy quote process of other solutions was frustrating. “I just liked how transparent the costing was when I first contacted GoCardless,” says Chris.

The Institute also praised the speed and simplicity of the transition, with the team ready to take payments in a matter of days, as well as the entire bulk change process being completed in just 20 days.

More time for membership engagement

For Sharon and the rest of the membership team, admin time was a huge factor in moving to a more streamlined solution.

Previously, payment-related admin took four people over 25 hours a week to complete. With GoCardless it now takes two people a total of just five. That will only continue to drop.”

CILIP attributes this drop in time to no longer needing to move data from one system to another, with the integration taking care of everything, along with the resulting reduction in errors when managing Direct Debit payments.

This newly available capacity in the membership team has been spent on finding ways to increase member recruitment and engagement.  As Sharon explains: “We now have a lot more time to spend on member engagement. We’re running a lapsed leaver campaign, which we’d never had time for before.”

Feeling secure about data integrity

One of the key problems with the previous solution was the worry about data security. “The constant  manual checking meant we had exported data in spreadsheets in multiple places. We knew it wasn’t good for data security and data integrity, so we decided a change was required,” says Sharon.

The move to GoCardless has alleviated a lot of these concerns, with GoCardless providing first-class security measures and also taking a proactive role in managing GDPR compliance around payments.

The default payment method

CILIP has now fully settled into using GoCardless, and the time savings and improved member experience have caused the Institute to make Direct Debit the ideal payment for all new members.

Direct Debit via GoCardless has become our default payment method. We’re now actively encouraging new members to use it as it’s so much easier.”

CILIP also expects to see bottom-line savings from this approach. “We expect to make long-term cost savings from consistently reducing the number of members not using Direct Debit” explains Chris. In addition, members using Direct Debit are more likely to renew their membership, boosting the lifetime value of the overall membership base.

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