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How to Select the Best Membership Management Software for Your Business

How to Select the Best Membership Management Software for Your Business

How to Select the Best Membership Management Software for Your Business
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Association Management Software (AMS) serves as a database of contact data which provides associations and other membership organizations with the functionality they require to provide services to their members. Association Management Software has evolved and delivered in the form of software as a service (SaaS).  Association Management Software is mainly used by professional associations, industry trade organizations, and chambers of commerce. Association Management Software functions by storing constituent data in a central location, therefore enabling associations to streamline the automation of conventional processes and handling of constituent requests. The automated methods include; event registration, subscription renewals, event registration, class sign-ups and publication submittals. Association Management Software also provides managers and administrators a direct access to the recent member data that help them guide decision making. Association Management Software integrates with a content management system offering a single coherent interface for administrators and members.

Association Management Software provides functionalities to members of an association. It usually includes; creating, upgrading, renewing and downgrading of memberships, storage and editing of member information in a database, and communication with members via social media, email, post or telephone. An AMS is also ideal for small associations. They can offer the same functionality to their members or create their system of services. It is achieved by them using generic spreadsheet or database software or adding of external options as they need them. Association Management Software is also time sensitive software as it has the capability of specifying time-limited access to members. An AMS requires different membership levels; therefore it creates access levels in a pyramidal form. Each of the access levels can gain access to the previous levels. An AMS also can generate each access level in a vertical structure; therefore each access level has a given area that it can access.

What are the Features of Association Management Software

Association Management Software provides the following features; conference and event management, communications management, constituent management, reporting, content management, fundraising, committee management, certification management, and accounting and financial management.

Association Management Software

Association Management Software

  • Conference and event management: It enables you to plan and streamline coordination of meetings, events, and conferences by providing tools that support registration, scheduling, and payments.
  • Constituent management: It provides you with an excellent platform for managing history and constituent contact information, tracking of dues and renewals, the setting of membership levels, and managing of benefits and discounts.
  • Analytics and reporting: It enables administrators and managers to create customized reports and filter constituent data for satisfaction, insights on engagement, and other key indicators.
  • Certification management: It provides a good platform for tracking member participation and progress in certification and other education programs.
  • Accounting and financial management: It enables you to create invoices, track dues, transactions, receipts, and provide you with the ability to handle other accounting tasks in the association.
  • Committee management: It provides managers and administrators with an excellent platform for designating which members will be granted access to committee-related documents such as task lists, and meeting minutes.
  • Content management: It enables administrators to manage a repository of content and also control where the content is published and who can gain access to it.
  • Fundraising: It provides users with an excellent platform for creating and maintaining donor records, tracking donations, and pledging and managing recurring contributions.
  • Database management: It enables you to fully automate membership applications, filter members by membership level, keep up to date records on all members, create unique member profiles that they can update themselves, allow members access to secure member-only web content, and create an easily searchable content.
  • Email and newsletter communication: It enables you to track which members open and read emails and also create email filters for different email types of emails.
  • Online payment processing: It provides an excellent platform for administrators to send automatically generated invoices to their members and create a variety of financial reports that are will be used in accounting.
  • New member recruitment: It provides an online registration page in which new members can register as part of an association and also on the same page they are briefed on the benefits and cost to be paid for becoming a member.
  • Subscription and dues management: It provides you with the ability of pro-rating dues based on the time the member signs up as a member of the association and subscriptions billing for journals, insurance, and newsletters
  • Web-based self-service portal: It enables members to update their demographic information, renew membership, register for conferences, and view the previous transactions with his or her organization and allowing the software to send copies of confirmations and invoices.
  • Mobile applications: It provides an app for you members to know upcoming events, relevant social channel pages and even do profile editing.

What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) of Association Management Software

The key performance indicators of Association Management Software are ideal for tracking and measuring progress in an association. The key performance indicators of Association Management Software are; the number of members enrolled, number of member calls, membership growth, percentage of membership market, ratio of membership dues income to non-dues income, and membership retention rate.

  • Retention rate: Checking the retention rate of members in your association is vital as you will know what needs to be added and removed for your members to be retained more in your membership.
  • Membership growth: The number of renewals will give you the capacity of membership growth in your association.
  • Ratio of dues and non-dues income: Checking the ratio of membership dues income to non-dues income is essential in doing accounting and financial survey for your organization.

What are the Benefits of Association Management Software

Association Management Software provides the following benefits; answering of multiple needs with integrated suites, better engagement with effective communication, easier payment processing, easy handling of membership management, managing of events online, enables self-service, and innovating data management.

  • Manage events online: It provides a suitable solution that enables managing of activities such as conventions and conferences without having to use additional software and sending of the automatic communication to attendees along with event details.
  • Handle membership software: It provides an excellent platform for non-profits association for taking care of constituents more efficiently by making different categorizations such as groups, categories, and member types.
  • Easier payment processing: An AMS help associations in checking of various lists such as a list of payees or outstanding dues and also help the members have the flexibility in paying off their membership fees through multiple online payment options like PayPal, net banking, and mobile money wallets.
  • Better engagement with effective communications: It helps associations to regularly run targeted marketing campaigns and provide relevant products and content to their constituents, therefore improving member engagement.
  • Multiple needs answered with integrated suites: It provides a bundle of tools for an association that are integral for any member-based organization and manages all the needs of the association.
  • Enable self-service: It provides members with an excellent platform for doing various administrative activities like payment of dues, record checking, profile updates, becoming a member, and renewal of membership on their own.
  • Innovative data management: An AMS help non-profits associations to capture and organize their data, therefore reducing the effort of manual recording especially to non-profits associations using manual methods like paper notebooks and Excel sheets for capturing and managing of data.
  • Better view for an association: It provides your executive team with a 360-degree view through the real-time data mining allowing them to access statistics and create reports that help drive your membership organization forward.

What are the Latest trends in Association Management Software

The latest trends of Association Management Software are divided into two main categories. That is cloud computing, and CRM based AMS systems

  • Cloud computing : Association Management Software are moving toward cloud model with integration to other solutions.
  • Functionality: It enables administrators to provide software easier and quicker than on-premise.
  • Security: It enables administrators to employ the latest technologies and hire best security experts as the software is based on-premise.
  • Anywhere and any device: It is essential to members who are working from home, at conferences and even on the road.
  • CRM based AMS systems: Association Management Software now has integrated with CRM that provides associations with an excellent platform for managing data, business relationships, and information related to the organization.

Is a Free Association Management Software Worthwhile?

Association Management Software has many features and can do a lot to help your business, but it can be expensive. There are plenty of free Association Management Software available, where you need to spend time to set it up and running and these software comes with limitations.

A free proprietary limited version of Association Management Software is a good way to see if it will be useful to your business before making a big investment. If you do want to go the Free Association Management Software route, there are two options : you can look for either an open source free Association Management Software or go for a free limited version from a proprietary product company. A free limited version from a proprietary product company will make it easier to upgrade in the long run and also help you determine if that company’s solution is what you want.

There are also drawbacks to free Association Management Software. These options do not have nearly as many features available in a fully functional paid version, and there are limits such as storage limits, number of reports, limited data integration options, and also on the number of users you can have. The free versions also have limited support options.

Membership Management Software Types

Membership Management Software Types

 How to choose the right Association Management Software

There is Association Management Software present in the market. Association Management Software has its unique features that make it stand out of other AMS software. The following are what to consider when choosing and buying association management software; required functionality, organizational size, usability, devices, customization, and budget.

How to choose the right Association Management Software

How to choose the right Association Management Software

  • Organizational size: The Association Management Software should be suited to your association size and scope, for example for a giant organization the Association Management Software should provide robust and integrated tools with multiple offices and complex outreach campaigns.
  • Required functionality: The Association Management Software should be relevant to the association's goals and accomplish through its management system.
  • Usability: The AMS software should be convenient and intuitive for all members to use with minimal training.
  • Customization: The AMS software should allow being tailored based on the association's needs.
  • Budget: Non-profits associations in need of purchasing Association Management Software should consider the price tag of the AMS software, therefore making wise investments and books balanced.
  • Devices: It should function on simple mobile devices, therefore allowing members to stay connected on the go as they do their work on the field and reaching out to constituents

Top Free Association Management Software ( Membership Management Software)

MembersGear, MemberPlanet, Wildapricot Free Edition are some of the Top Free Association Management Software
Top Free Association Management Software
PAT Index™


Top Open source Association Management Software ( Membership Management Software)

Zenbership, Admidio, ClubMaster, Tendenci are some of the Top Open Source Association Management Software.
Top Open Source Association Management Software
PAT Index™


Top Association Management Software ( Membership Management Software)

iMIS, Access thankQ CRM, GroupSpaces, MemberSuite, Abila netFORUM Enterprise, Personify360, Fonteva, Wildapricot, Aptify, YourMembership, MemberMax, ClearVantage, Daxko Operations, Abila netFORUM Pro, i4a AMS, MemberClicks, Socious, SilkStart, StarChapter, WebLink Connect, Muster, Join It, GrowthZone are some of the Association Management Software.
Top Association Management Software
PAT Index™


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