What is AMS (Association Management Software)?

WHAT is AMS Association Management Software

If you want to spend more time engaging your members and less time handling administrative tasks in the office, Association Management Software, or AMS may be for you.

That’s AMS is an all-in-one tool used by professional associations to manage all their membership functions online and save a huge amount of time doing so. For example, you can:

  • Instantly process online payments, fees, and donations.
  • Setup new member and event registration pages online. 
  • Improve member communication through automated invoices, emails, newsletters, and reminders.
  • Create member-only access to resources such as white papers and educational courses.
  • Build a professional-looking website complete with member directories, event calendars, a blog, and more.
  • Create a consistent look and feel for all association chapters.
  • Manage a full contact database that's easy to search, filter, and update.
  • Access financial reports, analytics, and membership summaries in seconds.
  • And more.

Association Management Software can also eliminate the need for multiple software programs (Excel, Mailchimp, Eventbrite, etc.), because it’s an all-in-one platform. Below is an image we frequently use to explain how Wild Apricot (our Association Management Software) can do this.

If you’re wondering whether your organization can benefit from this type of software, here’s a list of common types of associations that use it:

  • Alumni Associations
  • Homeowner Associations
  • Law Associations
  • Library Associations
  • Political Associations
  • Psychologist Associations
  • Public Health Associations
  • Writing Associations
  • Any other type of professional association

Plus, you can try Wild Apricot, the #1 AMS for free.

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Try the #1 Association Management Software Free

Here is a free, 30-day trial of Wild Apricot, the #1 Association Management Software (as rated by Capterra, an independent review website). In just an afternoon, you can have your association’s website complete with new member registration, a member directory, event calendar, and more. That’s because Wild Apricot 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

 

Diane Herrick"Wild Apricot 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)

 

Association Management Software vs Membership Management Software 

You may have heard of something called Membership Management Software.

If so, there isn’t much difference in Membership Management Software and Association Management Software.

Membership Management Software is simply a broader term for software that can be used by associations, nonprofits (charities, foundations, societies, etc.), and clubs (biking clubs, yoga groups, sailing clubs, etc.) alike.

For example a good Membership Management Software will have all the features any association may need (ex. chapter integration), but will also include all the features any club or nonprofit may need (ex. donation meters). 

In the case of Wild Apricot (that’s us!), our Membership Management Software is used by over 25,000 organizations around the world, and over 7,000 of them are associations.

From a management point of view, the main difference between Membership Management (nonprofits and clubs) vs Association Management is that Membership Management focusing on attracting people through common interests to participate in value-driven activities such as biking in groups, yoga, or fundraising initiatives, while Association Management, is more focused on attracting people by providing professional services, such as consulting, education, accreditation, networking, and resources. 

If you’d like to learn more about what Association Management Software can do for your organization, we’ve created an overview of the eight main features all AMS systems have.

 

The 8 Main Features of Good Association Management Software

 

1. New Member Registration

Any AMS will allow you to create fully customizable online registration forms for membership and events.

2. Cloud-Based Member Database

All your member data (emails, event registration, payment data, etc.) is stored in a secure, centralized, cloud-based database within the AMS. You’ll be able to easily filter, sort, and group members. You can also set different administrative privileges.

3. Easy Website Builder

Easily create a modern website using your AMS’ professionally designed and mobile-friendly templates. You don’t need any tech experience to add, remove, or edit pages. Simply drag and drop different elements and begin making edits. Your AMS will allow you to create popular pages such as events, members only pages, and a blog.

4. Email Marketing

An AMS gives you the ability to schedule and automate emails including reminders, invoices, and event promotions. You can easily group and filter contacts, and choose from a number of professionally designed newsletter and email templates.

5. Online Store

If your organization sells products or merchandise, your AMS will allow you to sell them online too.

6. Online Event Registration

Having online registration and payments not only saves you a lot of time, but makes it more convenient for your members to register on the go. Once you set things up, you can send out automated reminders, add a calendar to your website, and set member versus non-member pricing and discounts.

7. Online Payments

Your AMS will give you the ability to automate member dues, renewals, invoices and reminders by setting up online payments through your site.

With Wild Apricot’s AMS, you can use our preferred payment system, Wild Apricot Payments, or choose between PayPal, stripe, and Authorize.Net.

8. Online Donations

If your organization accepts donations, you can encourage more donations online by adding a donate now button and a donation meter to your website. 

There are many advanced features various Membership Site Platforms offer, so if you're looking for something not in the above list, I recommend contacting the provider directly.

 

Three Examples of Associations using Wild Apricot’s Association Management Software

 

What is AMS system

ATD: Association for Talent Development

The ATD is the world’s largest talent development association. They offer member value in the forms of research, webcasts, events, educational programs, books, and networking.

ATD Madison Area Chapter’s Membership Website (built using Wild Apricot)

 

What is AMS Software

USGBC: United States Green Building Council

The USGBC is comprised of thousands of chapters composed of lawmakers, environmentalists, corporations, teachers, and students who advocate sustainability in the building industry. They offer member value in the forms of certification (LEED), accreditation, education, and advocacy.

USGBC Texas Chapter’s Membership Website (built using Wild Apricot)

 

What is AMS

ICA: International Chiropractors Association

The ICA is the oldest national chiropractic organization in the world. They offer member value in the forms of advocating chiropractic practices on behalf of the industry, education, clinical research, group insurance, lobbying, and product discounts.

ICA’s Membership Website (built using Wild Apricot)

 

For more information, check out these helpful articles on Association Management


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