Could an Association Management Software (AMS) solution be the answer to the inefficiencies that plague your association’s membership management? This article will help you evaluate ten association management software options.
What is Association Management Software (AMS)?
In a nutshell, an AMS provides membership-based organizations with an all-in-one member management system. These membership management tools – contact database, email system, billing and payment options, event platform, association website builder, and other useful services – will streamline your association’s operations and drive growth for your organization.
Association Software 101
Membership software was initially offered as a desktop (boxed) software product when it was first introduced. Today, much more affordable web-based systems are not only more affordable, but many provide real interaction with your membership, volunteers, donors, and stakeholders. This is referred to as software as a service (SaaS). With SaaS products, updates are free and happen automatically.
Popular Association Software Platforms
Here is a bit of information on ten popular association software systems to get you started as you consider a new association membership software partner.
GrowthZone – A full web-based association management system designed for associations with or without multi-tiered memberships. The company was founded in 1996 and helps over 3,000 associations manage their membership data.
- Multiple productivity modules included: Events, Contacts, Member Engagement, Member Recruitment, Billing with Mobile Credit Card Processing, an Association Member Center, Member Directory, and a Mobile Staff App
- Additional modules are available based on package subscription: Marketing Automation for Associations, API Access, Member Recruitment, Association Continuing Education, Events Expo, Association Project Management, Fundraising, Form Builder, Association Sponsors/Ads Revenue, Chapter Management, Online Store, and more
- Unlimited access to customer support and online training
- Pricing available on the GrowthZone website and low-pressure association membership software product demos available
- Includes a risk-free, moneyback guarantee and no long-term, binding contracts
- Headquartered in Nisswa, MN
Abila – AMS solutions for non-profits, associations, and government entities. Founded in 1982, and now owned by Community Brands Holdings, LLC, they serve nearly 8,000 customers across North America.
- AMS products available: NetForum Enterprise and NetForum PRO, depending on the need for a basic or a more robust system
- Pricing available upon request
- Support Chat is available M-F 8 AM to 5 PM CT
- Additional features include: Fundraising/CRM, Accounting Software, Web Hosting, and Learning Management System (LMS)
- Product demo available upon request
- Headquartered in Austin, TX with other locations in Chicago, IL, Maitland, FL, McLean, VA, Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA
YourMembership – Cloud-based AMS that supports small to mid-sized organizations. The company was founded in 1998 and is owned by Community Brands Holdings, LLC.
- Membership management software that includes: event management, content management tools, email marketing, online community, and dashboards
- Additional features include: LMS, CRM, Social Community, Website Design/Hosting, Workflow Automation, Advertising, and Media Solutions
- Unlimited access to customer support
- Product demo and pricing available upon request
- Headquartered in St. Petersburg, FL with offices in Philippines, UK, Groton, CT, Austin, TX, and Lombard, IL
Personify – Box software and cloud-based AMS systems designed for non-profits, trade organizations, and the health and wellness sector. They were founded in 1996.
- Operations management applications that focus on capturing member information and managing transactions
- Integrated business modules include management of: customers, financial, orders and invoices, marketing, meetings and exhibitions, subscriptions, fund-raising, and system management
- Product demo and pricing available upon request
- Offices located in Austin, TX, Herndon, VA, Chicago, IL
Aptify – Software for associations and labor unions. Established in 1993 and owned by Community Brands Holdings, LLC, the AMS system is built on a flexible platform and it is configurable.
- 21 out-of-the-box applications (and six add-on modules), from events and committee management to accounting and inventory
- Additional services include: training, cybersecurity, and branded eCommerce sites
- Integrates with other third-party software
- Pricing available upon request
- Online customer support portal
- Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in India, Australia, California, Illinois, and Louisiana
MemberClicks – AMS designed for professional associations, trade associations, and chambers of all sizes throughout North America. Founded in 1998, their customers have 12.5 million members.
- Software includes membership management, event registration, website, and community features
- Additional services include: CMS, setup & web design, conference app, abstract management, eCommerce, event planning, and email marketing
- Five levels of pricing starting at $259/month for 300 custom profiles
- Customer Support M – T 9 AM – 8 PM ET, Friday 9 AM – 6 PM ET
- Free Demo
- Headquartered in Atlanta, GA
Fonteva – Global software SaaS solutions for medium to large organizations with a staff of 10 + who serve the trades, professional societies, and association management companies. Founded in 2010, the platform is built on the Salesforce CRM.
- The platform includes fundraising initiatives, membership, member portals, communities, microsites, meetings, events, eBusiness, revenue accounting, reports, dashboards, training, and continuing education management with multiple upgrades a year
- Do business in any language, or currency, with over 100 payment processors
- Pricing available upon request; online tour or live demo available upon request
- Online support portal
- Locations in Arlington, VA, and the United Kingdom
MemberSuite – Cloud-based association management software (AMS) and business intelligence solutions for member-based organizations of all sizes with teams of 10+ staff. Open API allows partner integration.
- Customizable with many modules: membership, events, finances, CRM, communications, education, eCommerce, business intelligence.
- Pricing and product demo available upon request
- Free trial
- Located in Atlanta, GA
Wild Apricot – Cloud-based software designed for small professional associations, business and trade associations, chambers of commerce, non-profits, clubs, and community organizations. Launched in 2006, Wild Apricot is now owned by Community Brands. They offer free trials, resulting in 9.1 million+ members.
- Software includes management of memberships, websites, events, and other activities
- Additional services include: event registration, online payments, email systems, website builder, mobile solutions
- Free basic plan for 50 contacts; pricing starts at $25/month
- Unlimited and free support
- Free 30-day trial
- Located in Toronto, Canada, with operations in Moscow, Russia
WebLink – Installable software designed for trade associations and chambers of commerce founded in 1998. The parent company, MemberClicks, announced their acquisition of WebLink in November of 2017.
- Features include: Sales and pipeline management, QuickBooks integration, event management, email automation, and built-in reports
- Online support portal, bi-weekly user calls, and training webinars and videos
- Demo and pricing available upon request
- Located in Carmel, Indiana
There are so many different types of association management software solutions that it should be easy to find a partner who fits your needs and your budget. Be sure to do your homework. No matter which system you choose, make no mistake, it will automate nearly all administrative duties, saving you hours upon hours of time freeing you up to concentrate on the ultimate goal – retaining and growing memberships.
Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on July 24, 2018. It has been updated.