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Website & Technology

Compare Software Prices

Author: Tatiana Morand
June 3, 2011
🕑 2 min read

It’s not easy to compare pricing between different vendors. Everybody seems to have their own way of doing things. Here is a list of the most common cost components for web-based membership management software:

  • Initial setup cost
  • (Main) ongoing charge – monthly or annual (might depend on specific modules)
  • Per-member surcharge
  • Per-transaction charges (% or $)
  • Technical support fees
  • Update charges

But as long as it is, this list will not cover all situations – you need to ask the vendor explicitly if they have any other potential surcharges, such as:

  • Bandwidth charges
  • Storage space charges
  • Per-event-registration charges
  • Per-email-sent charges

Keep in mind that there are quite a few other costs involved in your project, from a budgeting perspective. These are not so critical from a software selection perspective, however, as they are likely to be similar among different vendors. These costs will also depend on who will be doing each particular task – your staff or volunteers, or an external service provider:

  • Initial setup of the system – all the system settings
  • Transfer of your website content
  • Contact/member database transfer
  • Visual “look and feel” customization, if needed
  • Functionality customization and tweaks. (Be careful here! Of course you want the system to be tailored to your needs, but the costs can easily spiral out of control. Also, think about whether these customizations will be compatible with future new versions of the software.)

To make this a little bit easier, we have prepared a spreadsheet calculator to estimate and compare the total cost of ownership for a number of systems.

Find the link at

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