21 Association Management Software (AMS) Options to Transform Your Org

Website & Technology June 02, 2022

Terry Ibele

By Terry Ibele

“I’m drowning here! I wish I could afford an admin assistant!” 

This is what an association manager posted in a Facebook Group I’m a part of.

I got in touch with her and replied, “Maybe you can’t afford an assistant, but how about a robot assistant?”

I meant that kind of tongue in cheek, but there is a way to get basically the same thing by using an inexpensive software called association management software, which can automate nearly all of your administrative tasks. 

This might seem like an over promise, but take the example of The Alabama Durable Medical Equipment Association, which uses association management software to automate 90% of their administrative tasks, saving thousands of hours and dollars every year.

Michael W. Hamilton, the Executive Director encourages every association to use it. “I love how quick and easy it was to set up and modify, even for someone with limited computer skills.” 

If you’d like to know more about how association management software can save your association time and money, read on. I’ll explain exactly what it is, what to consider when evaluating options, and 21 of the most popular options to choose from.

 

What is Association Management Software (AMS)?

Association Management Software, also known as AMS, is an all-in-one management tool comprised of an association website builder, online contact database, communications system (email), finance & payment system, event platform, and more.

If you run any sort of association, nearly all your administrative work can be eliminated by AMS, which can:

  • Instantly process online payments, fees, and donations.
  • Set up online event registration pages, payments, and reminders.
  • Improve member communication through automated invoices, emails, and newsletters.
  • Create a professional, easy-to-build website where you can host a news section, notices, resources, a member directory, an event calendar and more.
  • Maintain a full contact database that's easy to search, filter, and update.
  • Create financial reports, analytics, and membership summaries in seconds.
  • Save your organization money and time by automating many more administrative tasks.

Why Is Association Management Software Important?

If your association is brand new or still relatively small, you may be able to manage it on your own — you can use a spreadsheet to keep track of your members and manually complete administrative tasks. It’s tedious and time consuming, but it’s doable. 

But the ultimate goal is to grow your organization, right? So what happens when your 50 members turn into 500… and then 5,000? Your DIY system will inevitably become too cumbersome. Not to mention, you simply won’t have the time to do it all by yourself. 

That’s where association management software comes in. The major benefit of investing in a tool like this is that, even as your organization grows, you won’t be required to put in any more hours in the office — most of your administrative tasks will be done automatically. 

This will free you up to focus on the tasks that will make the biggest difference at your organization — engaging with your members, creating programs, establishing partnerships, and planning for the future. 

These are things that can’t be outsourced to a piece of software — they require your talent, skills, and expertise. The best thing you can do for your organization is do the work that only you can do, while outsourcing the rest. Association management software will allow you to do exactly that. 

What To Look For in Association Management Software

The best AMS for your organization will end up being the one that best fits your organization needs. It’s fairly easy to compare options, but here are some criteria to consider to find the best one for you:

  • Are there setup fees? Support fees? Additional transaction fees?
  • Is the system easy-to-learn?
  • How fast do you need the software setup?
  • What specialized features will you need?
  • Do you need integration with other systems like Quickbooks, or Wordpress?
  • Is the system secure?

 

When choosing association management software, pay attention to the following features:

 

Member management

Your AMS should have a contact database where you can store, update, and use information about your members. When new members join via your website, the database should automatically update with the new records. Some tools allow members to go in and update their own information through a member-only portal on your website, which can be useful, as well. 

 

Payment processing and management

Your AMS should allow you to accept and process payments such as member dues, donations, and event admission fees. It should also be able to send automatic reminders and receipts. 

 

Website builder

Your AMS should come with a drag-and-drop website builder, so you can create and update your website without any coding experience. Your website should also integrate seamlessly with your contact database. 

 

Email marketing

You should be able to send manual and automatic emails to your members and segment your lists by specific attributes (for example, lapsed members, expiring soon, event attendees, etc.)

 

Events management

Your members should be able to view and register for upcoming events, pay for tickets, and receive communications before and after the event. 

 

Accounting and finances

You should be able to keep track of all of your received and expected revenue (member dues, donations, etc.) and have a basic picture of your organization’s finances. 

 

Reporting and analytics

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 Much Does Association Management Cost?

AMS options vary greatly in their costs and pricing models. Most are offered as a subscription and charge either monthly or annually. Some also charge initial setup fees and/or a small percentage of each transaction. 

 

In general, expect to pay anywhere between $50 to a few hundred dollars per month. In a later section, we’ll compare the prices of the most popular AMS options in more detail.

 

Try the Top Association Management Software Free

WildApricot is the top provider of association management software, used by over 7,000 associations. WildApricot provides a free, 30-day trial. In just an afternoon, you can build your entire website and upload your contact database all by yourself. That’s because WildApricot is an easy-to-learn system and even if you do get stuck, we offer free support to get setup as quickly as possible.

Association Management Software

Free WildApricot AMS

 

Diane Herrick association management software"WildApricot has been a lifesaver for our association. It saves us at least 15-30 hours of work every time we have an event. It's simple to send email blasts, track payments, and keep in touch with former members who may have drifted away."

-Diane Herrick, Conference Chair, KAPS (KY Association for Psychology in the Schools)

 

Watch our free webinar: The Solution 1,000s of Organizations Use to Grow Membership:



 

 

21 Popular Association Management Software Options

1. WildApricot

 WildApricot

Thousands of associations use WildApricot to manage their members every day. 

Features include a drag and drop website builder, a built-in emailing system, a mobile app, a member directory, a member's-only area, and automated member payments and renewals.  WildApricot has an open API, which allows you to customize the software to your specific needs, plus integration with Wordpress and Quickbooks. Free 30-day trial. Watch the video below to learn more.  

Read More: Why a CRM Might Work Better for Your Association Than an AMS + Our Top 10 Picks

 

2. MC Trade

  • Pricing available upon request

  • Demo available upon request

 

MC Trade

MemberClicks’ MC Trade is an all-in-one membership management software geared to trade associations and chambers of commerce. It features 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 available upon request

  • Demo available upon request

 

MC Professional

MemberClicks’ MC Professional is the perfect solution for professional 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 who organize a lot of events.

 

4. ThreeSixty

  • Pricing available upon request
  • Demo available upon request

ThreeSixty

Personify's ThreeSixty is the leading provider of technology solutions for nonprofit organizations including associations, charities and health & wellness organizations. They are the association management provider to some of the largest associations in the US including the YMCA, the Alzheimer's Association, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

 

5. 123Signup

  • $299 setup fee + one of two options:
    • $49-$189 per month + $0.30-$0.35 per member
    • $1.50 + 2% per transaction
  • Demo available upon request

 

123SignUp Association Management Software

123Signup’s association manager software comes with dozens of tools to help automate your membership. Track every aspect of your organization like financials, registrations, surveys, donations, and educational credits. 

 

6. Euclid ClearVantage

  • $10,000 setup fee, plans start at $1,075 per month
  • Demo available upon request

 

Euclid ClearVantage association management software

 

Euclid's ClearVantage is a comprehensive association management software that has over 25 module for membership, events, products/inventory, certifications, documents, fundraising, finances, and more. They make it easy to see a 360 degree view of every member — their interests, history, purchases, etc.

 

 Free Best AMS Software

 

7. Exware

  • Pricing available upon request
  • Demo available upon request

exware Association Management Software

 

Exware is a simple association management software with a lot of features, including job postings, donation pages with campaign goals, eNewsletters with open stats, a classifieds module, and more.

 

8. GrowthZone

  • Plans start at $249 per month
  • Demo available upon request

GrowthZone association management software

GrowthZone is a basic AMS that can come with additional modules to suite 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. Examples of additional modules are fundraising, online store, sales funnel and events expo. Check their website for their full module list.

 

9. iMIS

  • Pricing available upon request
  • Demo available upon request

imis association management software

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 association management software

in1touch is a flexible management platform for associations, regulatory and licensing boards. Their unique implementation method gives you complete control over customizing their software and adding applications to your needs. They also provide 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 AMS

MemberLeap is a basic association management software that can help you plan events, and manage your members. They have a mobile app and integrate 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 Association Management Software

memberplanet is an AMS built for chapters to use 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 AMS

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 association management software

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% + $0.60 per transaction
  • Paid plans start at $49/month + 3.0% + $0.60 per transaction
  • Demo available upon request
Racklet AMS

Raklet offers a basic AMS with unlimited contacts, email and SMS messaging, payments integration, and email and chat support. They also show member timelines so you get a clear picture of every member’s interaction with your association.

 

 Free Best AMS Software

 

16. SilkStart

  • Pricing starts at $210/month
  • Free 30 day trial

SilkStart association management software

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
  • Demo available upon request
StarChapter association management software

StarChapter is an integrative association management software with responsive website, membership, event, and email modules. They offer 24/7 customer support 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 AMS

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

 

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

 

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

 

DoubleKnot is a membership management solution designed for cultural attractions like museums, zoos, aquariums, gardens, and science centres. They focus on ticketing and admissions, event registration, membership management, and fundraising. 

 
 

Association Management Software Price Comparison

Here is a simple price comparison between the AMS options that offer standardized, public pricing. The prices are based off a hypothetical association of 500 members with 100 transactions a month ($50 average price), with recurring payments enabled.

The prices are color highlighted from inexpensive (green) to expensive (red).

Price Comparison

Which AMS Will You Choose?

Choosing an AMS is an important decision that will affect your productivity, your members' experience, and the growth of your organization. Be sure to take into account your budget, how many members you expect to have, and whether or not you're willing to pay setup and/or transaction fees. 

If you have a large budget and wish for a more hands-off solution, you can also look into hiring an association management company. If you're interested, check out our article Association Management Company vs. Software: Which One Is Right For You? (+ Our Top 5 AMS Picks).

Best of luck with managing your association! 

 

Additional Resources:


The Membership Growth Report:

Benchmarks & Insights for Growing Revenue and Constituents

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