Top 14 Best Association Management Software Tools For 2022

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Gone are the days when you manage your association membership list on a spreadsheet. There are way more moving parts than there is time. And truth be told, you'd much rather spend it keeping members engaged. In this extensive blog, we review our top 14 AMS tools to bring your organisation to the 21st century.

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.

What is association management software (AMS)?

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.

When choosing the best association management software for your needs, what should you consider?

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.

1. Website & CMS

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.

2. Email Marketing

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.

3. Reporting

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.

4. Data Management

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.

5. Payment & Dues Management

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.

6. Event Management

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.)

7. Ease of use

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:

  1. Eventcube
  2. Exware
  3. MemberLeap
  4. NimbleAMS
  5. Raklet
  6. Tendenci
  7. Memberplanet
  8. SilkStart
  9. Novi AMS
  10. Wild Apricot
  11. ClearVantage
  12. 123SignUp
  13. Aptify
  14. MemberClicks

1. Eventcube

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. 

Pros:

  • Easy to set up and use with a highly customisable clutter-free interface.
  • Eventcube is also a standalone event management software solution with several valuable features.
  • You can store member data with exhaustive reporting about their membership status.
  • You can make design changes to the portal and match the aesthetics of your personal website.
  • Tracking the patterns of when people renew their registrations has never been easier.
  • You can provide exclusive content to members and sell “members-only” tickets.
  • Customer support from the Eventcube is responsive.

Cons:

  • There are several features available. Going through the entire set can be difficult. But once you are familiar with the platform, it’s plain sailing.
  • Many backend reporting features are added every month. So lookout for the proper updates that suit your requirements.
  • No self-service as yet, the team will fully onboard you manually. 

Pricing: Pricing on request*

Example site (built with Eventcube): https://www.middlesexccc.com/

2. Exware

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.

Pros:

  • Exware is a highly configurable software that can accommodate several customisations.
  • The online web forms work great in the real world.
  • There are multiple out-of-box features for a new association just starting out.
  • Service from the customer support team is excellent and well known in the industry.
  • The software can help manage membership profiles for 1000 members with a single account.

Cons:

  • Some integrations are slow to react.
  • Exware is a competent tool. A comprehensive product documentation document will certainly help understand all its functionalities. This is important, especially for new users.
  • If most of your management and admin staff are non-technical, Exware can be too advanced for day-to-day usage.

Pricing: The pricing is available upon request*

3. MemberLeap

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.

Pros:

  • The tool makes handling all aspects of member and event management easy.
  • The training module is helpful in understanding the intricacies of this tool.
  • All reports are customisable and easy to download.
  • The administrator gets plenty of tools to manage web content on your website.
  • The interface is highly intuitive and mobile-friendly.

Cons:

  • Some basic features are hard to understand and aren’t the easiest to navigate. Sometimes the software is slow, so the overall speed is an issue.
  • Some essential features are still being developed as we write (creating new webpages, Zoom interface capabilities, etc.)
  • Indeed, there is a steep learning curve for beginners.

Pricing: Pricing starts at $50/month at entry level*

4. NimbleAMS

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.

Pros:

  • The active collaboration with the salesforce helps. The upgrades are automatic, and you can configure the software to meet your needs.
  • NimbleAMS wins your heart with usability. You can get whatever information you want in one or two clicks.
  • Large organisations can enjoy the full scope of data management experience.
  • Robust cloud-based financial tracking and reporting features are available at your disposal.
  • The general member experience is smooth and clutter-free.

Cons:

  • The experience on offer can be better considering the collaboration with salesforce. NimbleAMS can surely do well with more features.
  • While there is an option to pull up any report from a list of templates, it is still a complicated process that needs improvement.
  • Waiting for new product releases is a tiring process. It takes a while for something new to roll in.

Pricing: Pricing available upon request*

5. Raklet

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.

Pros:

  • The tool offers an excellent option for engaging your member community with SMS.
  • You get a capable online discussion board and other private messaging features.
  • You have an extremely functional mobile application. There are plenty of features to keep everyone interested.
  • The tool allows the creation of a fully customisable website in a matter of minutes.
  • You can use filters to create segments and tag members as you wish. There are several database features as well.

Cons:

  • Customer support is slow to react.
  • Some features related to form management and workflows can be a bit confusing.
  • Constant updates are always welcome. However, some updates unnecessarily break existing processes.

Pricing: The pricing starts at $49/month*

6. Tendenci

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.

Pros:

  • Excellent all-in-one infrastructure for the management of non-profit websites.
  • Effective developer and customer support team constantly working in the background.
  • Powerful event management suite to handle anything from ticketing to pricing to communication.
  • Mobile responsive designs with robust newsletter features.
  • As mentioned before, Tendenci software works simultaneously as a CMS and AMS. So users get a robust set of content management and data management features.

Cons:

  • Unlike let’s say, WordPress, Tendenci is built only for associations and non-profits. So it lacks features and capabilities offered by other platforms.
  • The counting and billing features need much work.
  • The admin panel working in the background could be more user-friendly.

Pricing:

  • Free for self-hosting (it’s open-source)*
  • Packages start at $199/month (if you decide to host with Tendenci)*

7. Memberplanet

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.

Pros:

  • It is a rare member management system for a non-profit organisation with a free option.
  • The software offers endless possibilities for mass communication through email and SMS, making it a competent relationship management platform.
  • Friendly customer service, ready to help if you’re stuck with some problem or hit a snag.
  • Intuitive reporting features to get an understanding of what you need.
  • There are several readymade templates for creating donation campaigns.

Cons:

  • The accounting features might need an overhaul. You might need separate accounting software for your needs.
  • At times, the interface looks outdated (especially compared with competitors.) It also behaves in a clunky way.
  • Some member management features are interesting. But there is a need for a dedicated tutorial. Beginners might face a problem understanding these features.

Pricing:

  • Free basic plan*
  • Pricing starts at $50/month, plus a 2% platform fee and (3% + $0.30) processing fee*

8. SilkStart

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.

Pros:

  • There are many tutorials on offer. An excellent FAQ section is available as well.
  • Collecting recurring member fees is easy with automated reminders.
  • The layout of the backend is very intuitive. Navigation is also user-friendly.
  • Several design options are available for websites (with multiple widgets on offer.)
  • Communication with members across all chapters is seamless.

Cons:

  • There are limited CRM capabilities on offer.
  • Certain templates are glitchy. The image library also needs an overhaul.
  • Customer service is top class. But the response times should be improved.

Pricing: Standard price starts at $200/month*

9. Novi AMS

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.

Pros:

  • The software is designed from the ground up to remove manual tasks (event registrations, financial management, bookkeeping etc.) It fulfils that purpose 100%.
  • The learning curve is not steep. Beginners will feel welcome.
  • There are several tutorials and helpful articles if needed. The support staff is also ready to answer questions.
  • The QuickBooks integration works like a charm. It is seamless, and you can customise it for your requirements.

Cons:

  • The initial cost is very expensive when compared to the competitors.
  • Some reporting features are a little confusing. You might have to call customer support for guidance.
  • The data import function is time-consuming and needs some work.

Pricing: Price starts at $685/month, billed annually*

10. Wild Apricot

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.

Pros:

  • It is an all-in-one option to handle three challenging tasks—database management, quick renewal processes, and email marketing demands.
  • The software works great on any device and is highly customisable.
  • The back end team provides regular updates with new features.
  • Customer support can suggest readymade workflows for less tech-savvy users.
  • The email editor offers several options for custom branding for any kind of association.

Cons:

  • The email editor has many features, but the interface and usability could be improved.
  • The software is a little tricky to set up. Some users might need guidance.
  • Formatting pages, in general, are clunky. The overall experience leaves a lot to be desired.

Pricing: Pricing starts at $48/month for the personal plan*

11. ClearVantage

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.

Pros:

  • ClearVantage provides powerful tools (emailing, surveys) to engage members and keep them subscribed for longer.
  • You get a collection of reporting dashboards with powerful insights in a few clicks.
  • ClearVantage’s event management module can manage events (online and in-person) of all sizes and complexity.
  • All features are well-stitched together. It’s always easy to find what you’re looking for, even if working on a mobile device.
  • All kinds of databases, no matter how big or small can be integrated into your primary website.

Cons:

  • The mobile application UI still needs some work (compared to the competitors.)
  • Although the interface and dashboards are very user-friendly, the entire system feels old, with an early 90s vibe. A design overhaul is due.
  • Sometimes certain features are slow to react, especially when multiple users are logged in.
  • It’s very expensive

Pricing: The price starts at $1,075/month for the essentials package*

12. 123SignUp

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.

Pros:

  • The platform has a tremendous range, from being quite fundamental to advanced.
  • You have many reports, from attendance reports to financial statements and other helpful information.
  • The past events are maintained in the archive section. This allows the utilisation of old templates when necessary.
  • The event administration and all related tasks are managed with ease. It saves hours of work.
  • The distribution of information to all members is easy and seamless.

Cons:

  • There is a lot that you can do. Still, the software doesn’t allow certain operations to be customised. So customisation is limited, especially during the event management process.
  • The interface seems a bit dated.
  • For a new user, the learning curve is quite steep. So if you’re looking for instant solutions for your complex problems, you might have to search through many help articles and the knowledge base.

Pricing: Pricing starts at $49/month*

13. Aptify

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.

Pros:

  • Aptify is primarily built for an enterprise audience. So the security of membership data is top-notch.
  • The software is flexible. This also means you can create views based on your association’s important parameters or KPIs.
  • This is one of the most reliable pieces of software in this list. It is stable and error-free.
  • With several ways to automate tasks, you would definitely see a decrease in the number of documents flying around. Aptify would significantly reduce the spreadsheets and reports you manage.
  • It’s easy to get started with the accounting features for online transactions, even if you are a beginner.

Cons:

  • Yes, there are many customisation options. But these options are not presented in a user-friendly way. It needs some work.
  • The software is not for people who are looking for a native solution. It is primarily browser-based software, at least in its current version. It is glitchy as well. Having said that, everything is improving fast.
  • The interface looks a little dated and too simple. It needs an overhaul.

Pricing: Pricing available upon request*

14. MemberClicks

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.

Pros:

  • The dashboard is straightforward and user-friendly, even for a non-technical user.
  • The administrator can customise the look of the interface.
  • You can customise the software to present all useful information on one screen.
  • You can create a member directory with exhaustive details. Powerful member management is the strongest USP for MemberClicks.
  • Excellent customer service is available at all times.

Cons:

  • The constant updates to improve old features can get tiring. Every update brings changes that you might have to adapt to.
  • The initial learning curve is painful.
  • There are certain fundamental aspects of financial management and accounting that need improvement.

Pricing: The pricing is available upon request. Yearly subscriptions start with a minimum $3,000 investment*

Researching your AGM is the key

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.

Parting thoughts

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