Need a solution to manage your memberships?
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Whether you're a single entity or tiered membership organization, we have a solution for your online membership management needs.
Securely access your website, data and information anywhere. Look up records easily, view full history of payments, emails sent and event registrations.
Let your members pay their fees online via credit/debit card or PayPal allowing you to track payments so that you don't miss any.
Kept secure, accessible and backed up.
Our solution guarantees centralized finantial information.
Automated event announcements and reminders, billing.
Our IT staff can even set your site from the ground up!
No matter how high your demands are you'll always find adequate pricing with us!
An association management system can be a huge help in tracking your members, newsletter subscriptions, special gifts, invitations to events and workshops, discounts on products and services, and more. We asked a number of different nonprofit experts about the systems that have worked for them.
Your organization serves a large group of members, and in exchange for their membership you offer a free subscription to your newsletter, special gifts, invitations to events and workshops, discounts on products and services, and more. It’s a challenge to manage so many varied and complex interactions. From membership levels and renewals to benefits and event schedules, how do you keep track of all the details?
If money’s no problem, you can custom build a database. For the majority of nonprofits it probably makes more sense to invest in one of the existing association management tools on the marketplace—there are many, and each offers a mix of features and customizations to fit your price range. A third choice is the happy medium of customizing the features of an existing platform based on your budget and requirements.
We asked a number of nonprofit technology professionals with similar needs about the software that has worked for them, and combined their thoughts to create a list of solid tools that might in turn work for you. This is what they said.
Software used to track membership tends to fall into one of two categories: standard membership systems, or Association Management Systems (AMS). There’s no black and white distinction between the two, but “AMS” tends to imply a system with more support for offering a number of specific benefits to members.
For some organizations, membership is a fundraising strategy that helps achieve goals larger than just serving members. As an example, consider public radio stations—though they raise money through membership drives, you don’t have to become a member to listen. This type of organization might need a membership management system to track member “dues” and renewal dates, and with a lot of fundraising abilities, but doesn’t necessarily need sophisticated functionality to track member benefits or conferences.
In contrast, other organizations have a more-direct mandate to serve groups in specific ways. Such organizations offer memberships as a way for their constituents to receive those benefits. A trade association might provide critical services to affordable housing builders, including accreditation, conferences, certification, networking at members-only-events, group insurance rates, discounts on building materials and more. This set of needs is likely to require a more sophisticated system—usually called an AMS.
While these distinctions won’t necessarily dictate which type of software you’ll need, understanding the difference will help you choose. Membership management systems tend to start at a lower cost, while AMS software often provides a wider range of tools to help track the various services you offer members—including managing both organizational and individual members.
Like most systems, membership and association management systems range from the simple and inexpensive to the robust, complicated to learn and expensive to sustain. The cost can begin to climb as you add more features, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Before you choose a system, carefully define your membership processes to ensure you get the best system for your money. In particular, take time to consider the following:
Membership Benefits and Structure. What services do members get, and what must they do to get them? Match membership pricing to membership levels and to the array of gifts, discounts, access and services they receive.
Event Management. If events are a critical part of your organization’s work, describe how they function and in what areas they depend upon membership structure. What member discounts do you offer? Are there multiple days, tracks or workshops? Do you need to manage vendor halls, speakers, sponsors and volunteers? Which member preferences play a role, and how do members register and pay?
Member Communication. Describe how you communicate with members, and how they will communicate with each other. Do you need to search a member list by certain profiles to create mailing lists? Do you have organizational chapters, and do they need access to manage their own chapter information? Do you offer newsletters and other publications?
As a side note, many AMS and membership systems lack the detailed functionality for fundraising provided by packages specifically designed for that purpose. If you're primarily asking for membership fees or donations from members, they may well meet your needs, but if your fundraising operation extends well beyond members and into the realm of major donors, pledges, and other more complex areas, you may want to consider a fundraising system instead of—or in addition to—your membership system.