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Managing an association isn’t easy. It is a lot of work for a job that is often voluntary. There are many moving parts. Handling communication, recruiting prospects and collecting payments, among many other things - can make things hard to manage. So clearly, organisations are going to want the very best association management software to help with the day to day.
It’s a lot to juggle. Things go even crazier if the membership base is growing fast. Most association managers feel overwhelmed, constantly drowning in the sea of demanding tasks. Even handling the routine administration assignments requires substantial bandwidth. It leads to eventual burnout, especially if you are trying to manage everything with limited resources.
Thankfully, you have a solution that saves time while eliminating the unnecessary overwhelm. It is called association management software. It helps you take back control, save time, reduce stress, and always stay ahead of your schedule.
Association management software tools automate crucial functions of membership-based organisations. These include managing members, financial administration, fundraising, and event planning, among other activities. The main aim is to help associations to manage their operations.
By consolidating various functions into a single platform, AMS systems can help streamline workflows. Most AMS platforms include a website builder, a contact database, a communications system, a payment workflow, and an event management platform.
Some AMS platforms, like u here at Eventcube, offer a self-service member portal to support organisational goals, alongside the aforementioned features. Whether you’re just starting out or trying to improve existing operations, an AMS system is a valuable tool.
It gives managers the facility to maintain relationships with all members through a central hub. Managers can also use this hub for conducting discussions and sharing information. You also capture and utilise valuable insights into member behaviour and trends. The software can also enhance your marketing efforts, making tracking progress and measuring success easier.
There are many factors to consider when selecting an AMS, including the size, the exact requirements, and the budget. Plus, there is a wide range of solutions available (enough to make you feel overwhelmed.) So first, identify your exact needs, starting with the necessary features to look for. Here are seven factors to consider.
A website is the first impression of showcasing what values drive your association. It should reflect a space that people would be proud to work for, join or do business with. It is also a place where you engage with members, share updates, and collect payments.
So, a content management system (CMS) is probably a vital feature to look for when choosing an AMS. It will be lovely to manage your site with no external webmaster or other web tools. Interestingly, website management is a crucial (yet under-rated) aspect of managing an association.
Effective email marketing allows keeping in touch with all members, new or old. Plus, you can promote the upcoming events and handle all marketing activities. The best AMS would allow segmenting of the members based on their interests.
You must also have the ability to send personalised emails. A valuable suite of email analytics could provide a quick view of how your emails are performing in the real world.
Access to detailed reports is essential for the timely growth of any association. Having an additional option to configure reports of different aspects of your organisation will also help.
You can identify the specific areas in the reports that may need attention to make the necessary changes. That is how you make data-driven decisions and remain prepared for the future.
Maintaining accurate and up-to-date member data is a critical part of any association. A good member management system will keep track of each member’s history, including details like when they joined, what events they have attended, and any other interactions they have had. This information can be invaluable.
Adding their contact details, interests, and other attributes should be a breeze. You can segment this information and nurture relationships through email and SMS.
Plus, you can empower everyone (including all members) to create and update their profiles so the data always remains relevant and up-to-date.
The right association management tool must ensure you can assign membership levels and track each member’s use of those benefits with their payment history. Even if payment management is not a current priority, the right software will help you stay prepared. That way, your association will be ready for any future changes or additions to the membership program.
As the world of events has evolved, a centralised event planning system is the need of the hour. Virtual and hybrid events are now the norm. So, your chosen AMS should support all kinds of events. You should be able to streamline the event planning process with ease (track attendees, manage event registration, collect payments, etc.)
The most important factor is finding an AMS that is user-friendly and easy to use. After all, if your staff and members cannot use the system, the piece of software will be of no use. Fortunately, there are plenty of great user-friendly AMS options available. Take the time to research your options and find an AMS that is easy to use and sets up your association for success.
Now that you have a basic idea about the features you need, here’s a list of 14 popular ones that can save your association time and money.
The top 14 association or membership management software tools are:
Book a demo to see the membership platform in action
Eventcube is a popular white-label membership platform used by associations of all sizes. With a huge amount of experience under their belt, the founders of Eventcube have refined all the key features needed for running associations and member’s clubs. You can put your member’s data in one central hub and manage it. You can also collect payments and organise events. Members can control their portal by logging in to view incentives, news and opportunities. The best part - it’s all fully white labeled. So your members will think they are using your own branded technology.
Administrators can also compile reports based on demographics to alter and create new membership plans. The software also allows you to host private events and sell member-only tickets. Since it is a modular platform, you can easily integrate it with your existing tools and plugin a huge variety of other tools Eventcube specialises in, including a fully fledged virtual/hybrid event platform and extensive ticketing options for events.
Pricing: Pricing on request*
Example site (built with Eventcube): https://www.middlesexccc.com/
Exware is a comprehensive association management solution with many features. You can create donation pages with campaign goals. There are many exciting features with powerful email and social networking capabilities. There is also an option for creating and tracking newsletters too. Managers can streamline all web-based activities an association might need.
Pricing: The pricing is available upon request*
MemberLeap is an affordable association management software tool. It gives you many options to expand your pool of members. You get intuitive features like tracking dues and donations, managing committees, hosting events (both in-person and virtual), and managing the website content. You can also conduct Zoom calls and record interactions with other members. There are other engagement features, including message boards, email list service, etc.
Pricing: Pricing starts at $50/month at entry level*
NimbleAMS is an association management software that’s built on salesforce. So the most significant advantage here is the collaboration with arguably the number one customer relationship management (CRM) platform globally.
In more ways than one, you can use the power of salesforce to take your association ahead. The membership experience is also top-notch. You get all standard AMS-related features like content management, daily workflows, event management, etc.
Pricing: Pricing available upon request*
Raklet is a good all in one platform to grow your membership, an association, or any kind of fan base. It’s a 100% audience-centric tool that you can use to collect payments, schedule meetups, create and manage databases, and produce valuable reports. The biggest advantage here is the accounting features. Associations can use Raklet to publish jobs and collect applications as well. Moreover, the platform is flexible enough to connect with over 2,000 other apps online.
Pricing: The pricing starts at $49/month*
Tendenci is a unique open-source association management tool. It is a powerful solution that includes many features to manage members, events, donations, etc. Being open-source, the software is 100% customisable, making it fit for a whole range of needs, from small groups to large organisations. Tendenci can be used as residents association management software. It can also be used for enterprise firms. You can use it as an AMS or a standalone CMS. It’s a en extremely flexible platform.
As new privacy regulations pop up every day, Tendenci is an excellent choice for associations that believe in an open-source framework. With a solid international developer community, this software is also future proof for any kind of complex needs.
Memberplanet is an association management software designed to drive engagement, acquire members, and grow the member base. Automated renewals, event management, SMS communication, and API integrations are some of the available additional features.
This range of dynamic attributes empower the members and volunteers alike. Memberplanet is specifically designed to aid the registration process and help scale associations of any size.
SilkStart is a modern association management software that promises to simplify member engagement. The tool is relatively compact, with intelligent features to streamline operations and connect all members through one central database.
Some of these features include event management, payment processing, automated invoicing, a dedicated job board, and multi-chapter services. SilkStart can also create beautiful looking sites that are mobile-friendly and ready to be integrated into your existing website.
Pricing: Standard price starts at $200/month*
The biggest USP of the Novi AMS is the integration with QuickBooks. This means that all your data will be seamlessly transferred to your QuickBooks account. That is why Novi AMS offers a robust financial management solution for associations.
Interestingly, Novi AMS was designed by people working in associations. It is a tool that all stakeholders can use every day. You can automate all manual tasks so that the entire focus shifts to growing the member base.
Pricing: Price starts at $685/month, billed annually*
Wild Apricot is a robust association management software tool. It comes with several useful features like a drag-and-drop website builder, a user-friendly payment processer, and a competent event management suite. Competitive pricing ensures that even small associations can access these features. You also have a community of peers, experts and other power users to share their knowledge.
Pricing: Pricing starts at $48/month for the personal plan*
ClearVantage is another powerful association management company software that offers a suite of features to manage associations of any size. You get a helpful web content management module. Driving member engagement is also a breeze with automated renewals. Plus, you can gain unparalleled insights into your financials at the drop of a hat. ClearVantage is perfect for all kinds of clients, including associations or any other professional societies.
Pricing: The price starts at $1,075/month for the essentials package*
123SignUp is a powerful association management software that can integrate with your website to streamline all operations. The platform is easy to use, with an option to personalise the membership experience for every member. Additionally, 123SignUp can manage all aspects of event planning and revenue management. So you have the flexibility to manage events, attendees, and conferences from one place.
Pricing: Pricing starts at $49/month*
Aptify is a 100% cloud-based membership management solution. There are many features suited to large associations and all kinds of labour unions. Primarily, it’s a browser-based tool, but there is a mobile app to work directly on phones and other similar devices. With a suite of enterprise-sized features on offer, the focus is entirely on convenience, communication and collaboration between members.
Pricing: Pricing available upon request*
MemberClicks is an all-in-one association management software built to save time and grow memberships. It is a great little tool that makes membership management a breeze. The software is designed from the ground up for small-to-mid-sized associations. It is a cloud-based membership software suited to automate daily tasks and boost engagement through a central platform.
Pricing: The pricing is available upon request. Yearly subscriptions start with a minimum $3,000 investment*
If you are looking for a new car, you might put safety features like airbags and anti-lock brakes on your “must-have” list. You might put features like heated seats and a sunroof on your “nice-to-have” list. Similarly, when you are in the market for new software, it’s helpful to list the “must-have” and “nice-to-have” features.
This will allow you to compare your options and ensure that you get the best possible value. By making a list of your priorities, you can ensure that you are getting the most important features without overspending on unnecessary bells and whistles.
When looking for the best association management software, please ensure you get a product that matches what is advertised. So take time and investigate each company by examining their website or asking about pricing & availability before deciding.
Explore each software solution and feature on offer. Then make 100% sure that you request a a demo from them to see the software in action. This way, you’ll get an idea of what the interface looks like in action and how responsive/committed they are to customer service.
There are many choices when it comes to choosing an association software tool, and it’s tough to decide which one is right for your business. However, it is essential to take the time to make a careful choice, as this could be an expensive investment. The last thing you want is to spend money on a platform that doesn’t quite match your needs.
We also recommend getting in touch with other businesses that use the same software to get feedback and learn about their experience. It would also help check out rankings and reviews from trusted sources to get a wholesome picture.
Now you have an idea about what is association management software, and how it makes your life easy. Only by taking the time to make a careful choice will you be able to find the best AMS software for your business. Do not forget to leverage the free trial and pick the tool that suits your specific needs.
We may be biased, but we think we have done a stellar job of creating the perfect association management software solution. Don’t believe us? Book a demo with us here to see if in action.
Here are a few related guides that cover everything from managing virtual events to growing your association or club:
*All pricing information was taken from the websites of the companies mentioned in the list above and was accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing on 25.04.2022