BlogWebsite & Technology 21 Leading Association Management Software (AMS) Options Website & Technology 21 Leading Association Management Software (AMS) Options Author: Sonia Urlando December 9, 2022 Contents 🕑 11 min read Many association team members have lengthy to-do lists full of administrative tasks. And while we all would love to have an assistant to take these off our plates, not many association budgets have wiggle room for such a luxury (if only!) Even if you can’t afford a human assistant, a robot assistant can offer some extra help. A little automation goes a long way when it comes to offloading admin tasks. And that’s where association management software (AMS) can help. For example, The Alabama Durable Medical Equipment Association uses an association management system to automate 90% of their admin tasks — which saves them thousands of hours (and a hefty chunk of change) every year. “I love how quick and easy it was to set up and modify, even for someone with limited computer skills,” said Michael W. Hamilton, ADMEA’s Executive Director. But how do you choose the right AMS software for your association? To help you decide, we’ve run down details on 21 AMS software options for you to consider. What is Association Management Software (AMS)? Association management software is an all-in-one platform that combines your website builder, member database, communications system (think email), finance and payment system, event management tools, and more. If you run any kind of chamber or association, an AMS can take over almost all your admin work, including: Instantly processing online payments, membership fees, and donations. Setting up online event registration pages, payments, and reminders. Improving member communication via emails and newsletters. Creating a sleek, easy-to-build website where you can host a news section, notices, resources, a member directory, an event calendar, and more. Maintaining a full contact database that’s easy to search, filter, and update. Creating financial reports, analytics, and membership summaries in seconds. Saving your organization money and time by automating many more administrative tasks. Why is Association Management Software important? If your association is new or relatively small, you can likely update your member database manually. You can still update those handy spreadsheets, key in any changes in contact info for members, and finish up your other admin tasks. It’s tedious and time-consuming, but still doable. At some point, your member numbers could spike. After all, the ultimate goal is to grow your organization, right? And when your association expands exponentially, your DIY system will hold you back. Manual data entry will be too clunky, lead to human errors, and take way too much time. With an AMS, even when your organization grows, the platform will scale with you. You won’t need to log any more hours in the office — member association software can automatically take care of most of those pesky admin tasks. Without an endless to-do list of admin work, you can focus on higher-impact, long-term tasks only humans can do — think engaging with your members, creating new programs, establishing partnerships, and planning for the future. How much does AMS software cost? Here’s the rub: AMS platforms have a variety of pricing models. For most options, you’ll pay monthly or an annual subscription fees. You may also have to pony up extra cash for initial setup fees and/or a small percentage of each transaction through their payment portal. On the whole, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to a few hundred dollars per month. Below, we’ll compare the prices for the top AMS options so you can get the best bang for your buck. 21 popular association management software options Now that you understand how much you can benefit from member association software, let’s dig into some of the top tools and all their details to help you with the vetting process. 1. WildApricot Pricing starts at $60/month Free 60-day trial Free support Free educational webinars Thousands of associations already use WildApricot to manage their members every day. Its top features include a drag-and-drop website builder, a built-in email system (great for newsletters!), a mobile app, a member directory, a members-only area, and automated member payments and renewals. WildApricot also has an open API, which allows you to customize it for your specific needs—plus, the platform integrates with WordPress and Quickbooks. Read more: Why a CRM Might Work Better for Your Association Than an AMS + Our Top 10 Picks 2. MC Trade Pricing starts at $3,750 annually Demo available upon request MemberClicks’ MC Trade is an all-in-one association management system created specifically for trade associations and chambers of commerce. It top features include automated accounting tools, a robust member database, and comprehensive reports. MemberClicks also offers system training to help you get the most from the AMS. 3. MC Professional Pricing starts at $3,750 annually Demo available upon request MemberClicks’ MC Professional is the perfect solution for industry associations. Its features focus on automating membership management tasks, improving member retention rates, and attracting new members. It’s also a great option for associations that organize a lot of events, since it arms associations with great event management features. 4. ThreeSixty Pricing available upon request Demo available upon request Personify’s ThreeSixty is the leading provider of technology solutions for nonprofit organizations including associations, charities, and health and wellness organizations. It’s the preferred association management provider to some of the largest associations in the U.S., including the YMCA, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. 5. EZSignUp Pricing available upon request Demo available upon request EZSignUp’s association management software comes with dozens of tools to help automate your membership association’s admin tasks. Track every aspect of your organization like financials, registrations, surveys, donations, and educational credits. 6. Euclid ClearVantage Plans start at $1,075 per month Demo available upon request Euclid’s ClearVantage is a comprehensive association management software with more than 25 modules for membership, events, products/inventory, certifications, documents, fundraising, finances, and more. The tool makes it easy to see a 360-degree view of every member — their interests, history, purchases, and more so you can have a comprehensive profile for each of your members. 7. Exware Pricing available upon request Demo available upon request Exware is a simple association management software with a lot of features, including job postings, donation pages with campaign goals, e-newsletters with important statistics, a classifieds module, and more. 8. GrowthZone Plans start at $249 per month Demo available upon request GrowthZone is a basic AMS with a twist — you can add more modules to suit your organization’s specific needs. Their basic plan covers contact and member management, integrated payments, event management, an info hub, a mobile app, and a directory. You can choose from additional modules like fundraising tools, an online store builder, a sales funnel tool, and an events expo. Check their website for their full module list. 9. iMIS Pricing for iMIS professional starts at $8,500 for a minimum of three users Demo available upon request iMIS makes it easy to recruit new members, boost member engagement, and increase member retention. With iMIS, you can create an online community, communicate with your members, and manage your entire web presence. 10. In1touch Pricing available upon request Demo available upon request In1touch is a flexible management platform for associations plus regulatory and licensing boards. This platform’s unique implementation gives you complete control over customizing their software and adding apps that make the most sense for your organization. In1touch also provides online or in-person training. 11. MemberLeap Pricing starts at $50/month, plus website setup packages start at $1,800 If you have an existing website, integration starts at $2,850 Demo available upon request MemberLeap is basic association management software that can help you plan events, and manage your members. In addition to the platform’s features, they also have a mobile app and a robust integration with QuickBooks. 12. Memberplanet Free basic plan with 4% platform fee + 3% and $0.30 / transaction Paid plans start at $50/month + 2% platform fee + 3% and $0.30 / transaction Free trial available Memberplanet allows chapters to employ a full suite of engagement tools, while still allowing headquarters to manage the entire association. Some of their key features include surveys, text messaging, discussion boards, and email tracking capabilities. 13. MemberSuite Pricing available upon request Demo available upon request MemberSuite offers associations a robust membership management platform with an open API, unlimited users, and a dedicated customer success manager on your account. 14. NimbleAMS Pricing available upon request Demo available upon request NimbleAMS is an association management software built on Salesforce that includes social networking and integration with mobile apps. They also have a user community which can be helpful if you’d like to get advice from other users on their platform. 15. Raklet Free basic plan with 4% + $0.60 per transaction Paid plans start at $49/month + 3% + $0.60 per transaction Demo available upon request Raklet offers a basic AMS with unlimited contacts, email and SMS messaging, a payments integration, plus email and chat support. They also show member timelines so you get a clear picture of every member’s interaction with your association. 16. SilkStart Pricing starts at $200/month when billed annually Free 60-day trial SilkStart is a comprehensive and easy-to-use association management software. Features include job boards, donation pages, chapter integration, and mobile-friendly websites. 17. StarChapter Pricing starts at $90/month, plus a $779 setup fee for monthly payment plans Pricing starts at $83/month, plus a $779 setup fee for annual payments Demo available upon request StarChapter is an integrative association management software that offers a responsive websites plus membership, event, and email modules. It also provides handy 24/7 customer support for troubleshooting and ongoing board training sessions. 18. Tendenci Free if you host the software yourself (it’s open source) Pricing starts at $199/month if you host with Tendenci Additional setup costs: Contact for a quote Additional one-time development charge: Contact for a quote Demo available upon request Tendenci is an open-sourced association management software, meaning you can host it yourself for free and customize it to your needs. It features many management platforms including those for members, events, content, fundraising, job boards, forums, and more. 19. Aptify Pricing available upon request Demo available upon request Aptify is a flexible membership management platform that will grow with your organization — you can upgrade features and add modules on an as-needed basis. It’s also perfect for membership managers who collaborate as a team. 20. NoviAMS Pricing starts at $685 per month + $2,495 setup fee NoviAMS was designed by association executives, so it aims to solve problems that real association managers run into in their day-to-day operations. It focuses on improving member engagement, providing a positive member experience, and maintaining clean, reliable data. 21. DoubleKnot Pricing available upon request Demo available upon request DoubleKnot is a membership management solution designed for cultural attractions like museums, zoos, aquariums, gardens, and science centers. They focus on ticketing and admissions, event registration, membership management, and fundraising. What features should you look for in AMS software? The right AMS for your organization will be the one that best matches your organization’s unique needs. While you’ll need to weigh plenty of factors when choosing an AMS, here are some criteria to consider when comparing your options: What are the fees? Watch out for: Setup fees Support fees Additional transactional fees Is the system easy to learn? How fast do you need the software setup? What specialized features will you need? Do you need integrations with other tools you already use, like Quickbooks, or WordPress? Is the system secure and able to protect yours members’ sensitive data? While these questions are a good start to your vetting process, some other criteria you’ll also need to pay attention to includes: Member management A comprehensive AMS platform will have a contact database where you can store, update, and search information about your members. When new members join via your website, the member database should automatically update with the new records. Some tools even allow members to go in and update their own information through a member-only portal on your website. Payment processing and management Ensure the AMS software you choose accepts and processes payments such as member dues, donations, and event admission fees. It should also be able to send automatic renewal reminders, invoices, and receipts to members. Website builder Your AMS should come with a drag-and-drop website builder, so you can create and update your website—no coding experience required. Your website should also integrate seamlessly with your contact database. Email marketing Your AMS should make it easy to send both manual and automatic emails to your members, and segment your lists based on a few different attributes (lapsed members, expiring soon, event attendees, etc.) Events management The right AMS software will make it simple for members to view and register for upcoming events, pay for tickets, and receive communications before and after the event. Accounting and finances The right AMS platform should make it easy to keep track of your books, including all of your received and expected revenue (member dues, donations, etc.), and be able to give you a basic picture of your organization’s finances. Reporting and analytics In the interest of finding a platform with a suite of robust features, consider implementing one with reporting and analytics features. You should be able to pull reports and analyze metrics that are important to your organization’s growth (revenue, event attendees, new members, etc.) How to choose new association management software: Quick checklist We know that finding the right software to meet your needs might feel like an overwhelming task. So, we’ve put together a quick checklist to help you evaluate AMS platforms as you start doing your homework on each tool. Audit your existing toolkit. What tools do you already have? And what are their top features? From there, you can assess gaps in features and look for an AMS that fills those gaps. Define your needs and nice-to-haves. What features can you sacrifice in an AMS, and which ones are crucial to shorten your to-do list? Develop a budget and implementation timeline. Take a look at your broader budget to understand how much you can afford to spend on an AMS. Set a deadline for when you’d like to have an AMS implemented and then build a workback schedule from there. Assemble a team to review options. A few brains are better than one — so, put together an internal committee to create a short-list of options and evaluate each one. Research vendors and compare features. Now it’s time to dig in and do your homework. Start a list of vendors with their top features so you can compare them side-by-side. Create a rubric or scoring system for the team to use. Take your list of must-have and nice-to-have features and use them to create a scoring system for your AMS options. Reach out to top picks for demos and more information. Once you have a shortlist, contact the vendors and request a live demo/walkthrough for your approval committee. Discuss final choices with leadership. After you’ve narrowed your options down to two or three, present them to your executives with recommendations on which to choose. Choose a vendor and discuss implementation. Once you’ve settled on an option, get back to your AMS vendor of choice to sign on the dotted line and align on timelines. Which AMS will you choose? Plus additional resources Finding and selecting the right AMS software can free up your to-do list and exponentially increase your productivity, improve your members’ experience, and grow your organization. And when vetting your short-list of tools, don’t forget to consider factors like your budget, how many members you have now (and might have in the near future), and what features and integrations you need to make the tool worth your time. Additional resources: Want to learn more about what association management software is capable of? Check out MemberClicks’ guide to AMS software. Need some additional guidance to find the right tool for hosting events? Read up on the top 10 event management platforms. Looking for tangible ideas to help your organization grow? No sweat. We’ve rounded up 50 ways to increase your membership. Learn how to choose the right membership model for your organization’s unique needs (and unique members). 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