Wild Apricot is an all-in-one membership management system used by over 15,000 professional, business and trade associations, chambers of commerce, nonprofits, charities, clubs and community organizations. It supports organizations from a few members to 15,000 members in size.
With Wild Apricot’s website builder, administrators can create both a public website and private pages for members and committees. Widgets—such as event calendars, public and private membership directories and donation forms—can be copied and pasted into the builder. The system offers template-based design options, so no programming knowledge is required to create and edit pages. However, advanced customization using HTML and CSS code is also supported.
Prospective members can submit applications through the website, while current members receive automated dues renewal reminders. Additionally, Wild Apricot’s event management tools let managers create events; list them on the website along with a description, images and a custom online registration form; track which members sign up; and process payments. It can also send reminders and messages to members.
Finally, managers can view all member records to see membership status, event registrations, donations and more.
Doug from PATA Gloucestershire
The website management, membership management, events, and email sending are seamless, so logins, directories, members areas and events are taken care of without exporting or re-keying. Also caters for associations where one membership covers multiple people - and the main contact can self-maintain the others. Caters for UK currency and tax (but not multi-currency). Support is excellent.
All contacts on the database have to have a unique email address. Printing labels or badges involves exporting to Excel and mail merge.
There are huge advantages to being web-based: access from anywhere (including mobile), online payments, front-end/back-end integration, easy pricing plans, and biggest of all, user self-service. Downside is that reporting usually suffers, and you need to be convinced about security.
Vicki from San Diego Speakers Guild
We've been using WA for several years. There was no WordPress membership site available when we created our site and WA was one of the only membership sites available. If I had it to do over again, would not use it./
Not intuitive, difficult to figure out. After many years, I still don't have it completely figured out.
Give yourself lots of time to learn it. You should have some ability to manage a website. Would not recommend this to a novice.
John from Association of Opinion Journalists
The product is rather easy to use for my role as web-pages and journal editor and de-facto co-webmaster, especially compared to the high-priced-brand from which we switched (in stages) last year. WA staff have been quite helpful as I asked a lot of questions, some of them later seen to have been kinda dumb. They do strive to improve. Example: When we started, the "Files" function loaded quite slowly via Mac Safari. I beefed and they fixed. Every tool I now use regularly is usually fast and consistent. I cannot speak to the membership-management and money matters that others handle.
Several small points of inconvenient usability. I did an online survey and mentioned several. The only one I remember clearly was a little thing, having to mouse-click then type then click again when entering anchor names, for example. Fixing that will save about 100 switches from keyboard to mouse and back in an editing session. In text, Ctrl/Cmd-A-X-C-V do work, but Ctrl/Cmd-B-I-U do not. WA staff said they are working on these things. They face real challenges in the way HTML and Word documents afflict text handling, especially links and hidden format code, but those gremlins are probably Internet-wide, certainly on other sites I edit.
Do an intensive month-long free test, getting ordinary users' feedback and keeping good notes that will help you build your "real" site cleanly. We are a small nonprofit with only a few hours of a larger nonprofit's staff time, so allocation of tasks kinda just-happened and so far has been OK. Better, early on, agree among yourselves who will do what tasks, who will be back-up to each of them, what level of admin rights each needs, and write it.
Jennifer from Louisville Independent Business Alliance
We have found Wild Apricot to answer just about all of our membership organization's needs, and it constantly evolves to keep up with technology without making it harder to use.
Lately I have had trouble accessing through Firefox.
I like best that all of our interactions with members are automatically recorded. I also like that each of our memberships have multiple contacts, and this system keeps them linked.
Tobias from SACC Arizona
Specialty: National Organizations
I like the ease of use with user support available. Customer support is available.
When changing to a newer version, not all upgrades carry over properly.
Review the user comments and go through tutorials. Make sure all functionality you need is available.
Emma from Cal-Rods Car Club (San Gabriel Valley)
This product is easy to use, and if I become puzzled about how to do a certain task, I can either find the answer via the offered videos or through support. Their support folks are the best! They speak in easy-to-understand layman's terms and respond quite quickly.
I would like to be able to add animations to emails sent out to our membership.
Compare what Wild Apricot offers compared to other companies. Their prices are very competitive.
Trudy from South Sound Partners for Philanthropy
The Wild Apricot platform has everything we need to manage our volunteer-run membership group. Having everything in one place, including payment options, means we don't need to spend as much time keeping everything up to date and looking good.
We'd love to be able to allow some of our partners/members to securely connect their own bank accounts and run their event ticketing through the one site as a benefit of membership.
Make sure the help section includes pictures! Often trying to figure out what text-only instructions means can be challenging! Also, ensure it connects to whatever payment system you use in the way you want it to.
Connie from Arizona State University Retirees Association
Specialty: Higher Education
I like the flexibility in setting up and using the database, the ease of use, and the good support from vendor. Also, the event management piece of the product is very good.
I have no real negatives about Wild Apricot. Of course, one can always think of improvements to wish for, but even in that arena, Wild Apricot has a good system for collecting customer wishes and acting on them.
I have been very satisfied with this product. You need to have some analytic ability to make it work well for you, but you do not have to be able to write any code.
Michael from Cedarcroft Club
My use case is a small community organization of about 100 member families that owns a clubhouse and marina, both of which are rented out to members and non-members. Like many other small organizations, we struggled with maintaining members lists, email lists, email blasts, calendars, events, etc. via all manner of ad hoc solutions. In addition, we were paying GoDaddy for hosting our website.
The WildApricot system brings it all together. Our contact info is always current, even allowing Members to self-serve their profile changes. The calendar is terrific, as we rent out out Clubhouse for small events. Adding a rental to the Event list shows up on our Event Calendar, so we always now what dates are open or booked.
A few weeks ago we migrated our website away from GoDaddy to WildApricot (hosting is included in our WildApricot subscription). So now, in addition to saving us the annual GoDaddy hosting charge, we have a fully integrated Club Management system that is easy for non-techies to use.
Not much. A few of my least-like issues were addressed in the recent update.
Definitely start off with the free version to get a feel for how it all works. While the WildApricot system is very easy to use, it is helpful to have someone with a degree of website/database knowledge to take full advantage of all the available options.
Al from National Button Society
This software automates a lot of the work our membership coordinator was doing manually with an Excel spreadsheet. Now members can do applications and renewals online. The last two years we used it for our annual show registration. The software allows us to limit access to documentation and information that require a membership in the organization.
This software has many features and we were able to adapt it to most of our previous procedures. We would like to see more levels of administration. We utilize multiple administrators (calendar, news, event registrar, financial, site design and member coordinator).
For the price and features offered, this is the best software available! Wild Apricot support is great.
Jan from McMurray Art League, Pittaburgh Pastel Artists League, Pittsburgh Watercolor Society
Specialty: Arts & Cultural
The vendor is amazingly responsive to customer support requests. The software is reliable, configurable, and comprehensive. I spent 30 years in the software development industry and can see how much thought and design has gone into Wild Apricot. By the way, I've convinced three different art leagues to use Wild Apricot, and I manage all three web sites.
I just wish they could put the features I want in faster. I know that's a completely unrealistic expectation, though.
Look at whether the software has the features you want and need. Look at how often they come out with updates. And, of course, look at how their customer support is rated.