How Recreation Software Can Save You 20+ Hours Weekly

Website & Technology October 15, 2020

Tatiana Morand

By Tatiana Morand

If you manage a parks and recreation department or association, you know how challenging it can be to keep on top of all of the manual tasks you need to do. 

For example, do you need a quick and easy way to send email blasts to your parks and recreation association? 

Do you hate all the paperwork involved in processing dues? 

How about manually collecting event attendees’ names and fees with a checklist?

Whether you manage a parks and recreation association or department, Parks and Recreation Management Software can make your life much easier, so you can get back into nature rather than spending as much time in front of a computer.

And if you’re wondering how this type of software can help you out, or which one to pick, you’ve come to the right place.

In this post I’ll cover:

  1. What is Recreation Software?

  2. How Your Team and Community Can Benefit From Recreation Software

  3. The #1 Recreation Software 100+ Parks and Associations Use

  4. 3 Examples of Parks and Recreation Organizations Using This Software

  5. 10 Alternative Recreation Software Platforms

What is Recreation Software?

Recreation Software takes care of the administrative work of managing your parks and rec organization, and allows you to spend more time taking care of your park’s operations and working with your community instead. Some of the key features included are:

  • Easy Website Builder: Having a well-maintained website is crucial so that potential visitors can learn about all of the great activities happening at your park. Recreation software should allow you to create and update your website, with no tech experience necessary. 

  • Online Event Registration: Create and promote your events with online registration, attendance tracking, and payments, plus automated event reminder emails so your nature walks aren’t forgotten.

  • Simplified Online Payments: Automate dues, registrations, renewals, and merchandise payments so your supporters can get back into the wild without delay (and so that you don’t have to wonder whether that cheque got lost in the mail!). 

  • Robust Contact Database: Maintain detailed records of all your members or supporters in an easy-to-search online database that you can access from a desktop or mobile device. 

  • Online Store: Sell any park merchandise (just think of how cute a cap with your logo would be!) by setting up a simple online store with online payments.

  • Professionally Designed Emails: Send beautiful newsletter and email communications to everyone in your association or department, or create email blasts to go out to anyone who’s registered for your events to keep them updated. 

  • Exclusive Member Login: allow anyone to create their own password-protected profiles and access exclusive resources on your website.

  • Mobile App: manage your parks and recreation association on the go by checking contact records, sending e-blasts, and registering event attendees right from your phone.

  • Parks and Recreation Blog: Quickly write up news and event announcements and publish them to your association’s blog. (Who wouldn’t love seeing beautiful images of your park?)

  • Sports Team Management: If you’re managing any sports teams, having a way to check in players and manage schedules online can save you a lot of time! 

  • Secure Data Storage: Keeping your community’s information safe should be one of your top priorities — and using recreation management software allows you to do just that by backing up your data and keeping it encrypted so no one but authorized administrators can see your members’ information.  

  • Cloud-Based System: By keeping your database and registrations online, it’s a lot easier for your team to access it whenever and wherever they need to do so. Plus, this way there’s no confusion about which version of the Excel sheet you’re using is the right one! 


How Your Team and Community Can Benefit From Recreation Software

Now that you’ve seen all of the tasks that can be simplified by recreation software… just imagine how much time you’ll save! 

In fact, by automating the majority of your department’s common tasks, some administrators have been able to save over 20 hours per week. This can help you focus more on other challenges you face, such as leadership development and promoting your services. You may even be able to offer more programs since you’ll be saving so much time! 

As for your community, they’ll be grateful that they have an easier way to register for events, and learn more about what opportunities your park has to offer. 

Plus, you might even find that you’re seeing higher engagement and attendance rates because it’s so much easier for potential members and visitors to participate in all the great programs you run. (And bonus: it’s easier for them to donate and support your park, too!)

Read More: Easiest Membership Card Template: Upload Contacts & Complete in 3 Minutes

The #1 Recreation Software 100+ Parks and Associations Use

WildApricot is the #1 rated membership management software used by over 100 Parks and Recreation organizations across the US. You can try a free, 30-day trial of WildApricot and have your association set up with a professional-looking website with online registration in just an afternoon.

parks and recreation management software 

3 Examples of Parks and Recreation Organizations Using This Software

Here are three examples of parks and recreations associations, societies and conservancies that have used WildApricot to build out their website. While you can't see how they're managing things in the backend, you can see how they've organized things online.

Some highlights to look for when you browse each site include:

  • Event calendars with event registration
  • Programs and information pages
  • Donation forms
  • Beautiful pictures of the parks they represent!

1. Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy

 Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy website

The Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy uses a gorgeous photo of their park to give potential visitors a preview of their time at the park. They also share important updates on their homepage so visitors know the status of their programs, and have a map of the park in their top navigation that features photos of various areas of their trails so visitors know what to expect.

2. Friends of Oleta River State Park

Parks and Recreation Management Software

The Friends of Oleta River State Park has a list of their upcoming events so that potential visitors are kept up-to-date on everything that’s happening, as well as plenty of images that showcase the diversity of their park. (Hint: ask your members and visitors to send you their captures!) Their top menu also has several ways for visitors to get involved, whether it’s by donating, volunteering, or joining a club.


3. Nevada Recreation & Park Society

Nevada Recreation & Park Society website

The Nevada Recreation & Park Society maintains a consistent aesthetic with the soothing blue colour of their logo being used in their font, top navigation, and even the video they’re sharing on their homepage. Their website features a variety of useful resources for their members, such as a job board and a list of all the ways they can get involved through committees and events.


10 Alternative Parks & Recreation Software Options


WildApricot is just one of many parks and recreation software platforms that are out there.


But how do you decide which one best fits your organization?


Here are some things to consider when comparing software:

  • Are there setup fees? Support fees? Additional transaction fees?

  • Is the system easy-to-learn?

  • How fast do you need the software set up?

  • What specialized features will you need?

  • Is the system secure?


To help you make the right choice, we’ve listed some of the most prominent parks and recreation software solutions so you can decide which one is right for your organization. Each description outlines crucial system features, alongside summaries of customer reviews from Capterra. 


1. Jarvis

recreation software 

Primarily cloud-based, Jarvis is a recreation software solution with features like league management, facility scheduling, online registration, coach/volunteer applications, free custom websites, free system enhancements and no up-front cost. Customers rave about extremely friendly support staff, but many have trouble with user experience and integrations.

  • Pricing: Starts at $175/month, increases by community size

  • Free Trial/Demo: Scheduled demos available, no free trial


2. RecDesk

recreation software 

RecDesk is a cloud-based solution capable of facility management, registration, membership creation/management, contract management, payment processing, and more. Customers however complain about the software’s functionality capabilities, shortage of editing capabilities (to home pages specifically), and lack of depth in reporting. Customers do praise the system’s scheduling capabilities, and payment processing ease.

  • Pricing: Starts at $185/month, increases by community size

  • Free Trial/Demo: Scheduled demos and free trial available


3. InnoSoft Fusion

recreation software 

InnoSoft Fusion is a management from InnoSoft capable of membership management, checking out equipment, controlling access to various facilities, full suite for point-of-sale, reporting/communication tools, and a mobile app. Customers love the staff’s efforts in problem solving and the POS system, but clients report having to continue using other software alongside InnoSoft Fusion due to lack of capabilities in crucial functions.

  • Pricing: Not stated, must schedule demo to get pricing

  • Free Trial/Demo: Scheduled demos available, no free trial


4. Perfect Mind

recreation software 

Perfect Mind is an all-encompassing recreation management solution with features ranging from membership management, scheduling, monthly invoicing/processing, all the way to marketing functions like email and website management. Customers do enjoy the software’s user interface and their comprehensive onboarding process, but also report being forced to create work-arounds for missing functions, and a lack of navigation within the system.

  • Pricing: Not stated, must schedule demo to get pricing

  • Free Trial/Demo: Scheduled demos and free trial available


5. Active Network

recreation software

Active Network focuses on making the most out of their client’s events, and many features revolve around event management. They boast an array of registration options unavailable in other software, with customizable variables in the calendar. Customers love their support staff and the software’s ease of use, but complain about bugs in payment reporting and overpriced fees.

  • Pricing: Not stated, must schedule demo to get pricing

  • Free Trial/Demo: Scheduled demos available, no free trial


6. ePACT

recreation software 

ePACT is a paperwork management solution for larger recreation centres over 300 members in size. Their software is HIPAA-compliant, making it possible to process and transfer sensitive documents with ease and security. Customers can’t get enough of the registration capabilities and user-interface, but many complain about lack of customization in select fields and problems with viewing profiles in select categories.

  • Pricing: Not stated, must request quote to get pricing

  • Free Trial/Demo: Scheduled demos available, no free trial


7. Book King

recreation software

Book King is a leading solution for organizations relying heavily on reservations. Their modules allow for maximum customization in registration forms, payments, and sorting customer information. Their customer support is constantly positively reviewed with many commenting on “above and beyond” help, but problems did arise for customers with data exporting and viewing totals within the software.

  • Pricing: Not stated, must schedule demo to get pricing

  • Free Trial/Demo: Scheduled demos available, no free trial


8. MyRec

recreation software 

MyRec is a simplified recreation solution aimed at small organizations with less needs. Their software includes basic features like online event registration and contact management, which is reflected by customer satisfaction in price. Although price isn’t listed, customers talk about enjoying low prices and are happy with minimal performance since they’re supplementing missing features with other software.

  • Pricing: Not stated, must schedule demo to get pricing

  • Free Trial/Demo: Scheduled demos available, no free trial


9. CampDoc

recreation software 

CampDoc is a secure solution for organizations seeking member management with a focus on security. The software is capable of transferring confidential files from parents and patients while still being a user-friendly platform. Customers rave about additional features such as health logs, but complain about lack of ability to make changes by their support staff.

  • Pricing: Not stated, must schedule demo to get pricing

  • Free Trial/Demo: Scheduled demos available, no free trial


10. Amilia

recreation software 

Amilia is a large-scale membership management software capable of handing small and large organizations. Their features include everything an organization would need like member management, payment processing, registration/calendar access, mass emailing, and more. With something that has everything, it is expected for customers to complain about high prices, but all can’t get enough of the software’s capabilities. If you have a number of needs and are scared of having them unmet by low-caliber software, Amelia is a great choice.

  • Pricing: Not stated, must schedule demo to get pricing

  • Free Trial/Demo: Scheduled demos and free trial available


BONUS: CommunityPass

CommunityPass_WildApricot_Recreation Software_Edited

CommunityPass is your complete online recreation management solution. CommunityPass is an industry-leading provider of affordable recreation software for managing online registrations, payments, memberships, and facilities. Our easy-to-use, cloud-based software simplifies registration for the public, streamlines administrative tasks and operations, and helps drive revenue for parks and recreation organizations.


Price: Contact for pricing options

Demo/Trial: Contact for demo

How to Get Your Free Trial of the #1 Parks and Recreation Software

Ready to streamline your operations and spend more time with your community instead? 

Try WildApricot today!

Once you sign up, you’ll have access to all the functionality that WildApricot’s paid clients receive for 30 days.

Free Trial WildApricot

If at any point you need help with our parks and recreation software, feel free to get in touch with our friendly support team. They’ll be more than happy to help you set up your account as quickly as possible.

Best of luck with your parks and recreation organization!

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