Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped many organizations choose the right association management software so they can maintain subscriber lists and plan and organize events.

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Neon CRMFrontRunners 2021

Neon CRM, a Neon One company, is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software suite for nonprofits of all sizes. Applications include fundraising management, donor management, membership management, event registra... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 86 recommendations

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MemberLeap

MemberLeap by Vieth Consulting is a cloud-based association management system built to support the needs of associations, nonprofits, clubs, churches and other member-based organizations. Suitable for any size organization, this s... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations

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ClubExpressFrontRunners 2021

ClubExpress is a cloud-based management tool for any association or club. The solution is suitable for arts and cultural clubs, environmental groups, healthcare and hospitals, higher education groups, human services organizations,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

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GrowthZoneFrontRunners 2021

GrowthZone, is an online platform designed to help associations and chambers of commerce manage their members, events, fundraising, marketing, donors and volunteers and more. It is the first AMS with built-in marketing automation ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

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WizeHive

WizeHive is a cloud-based platform designed to collect, review and manage applications for grants, scholarships and other nonprofit programs. The system offers tailored workflows, reporting dashboards, automations and batch emaili... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

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iMISFrontRunners 2021

iMIS is a cloud-based solution for nonprofit, association, union and membership management. It offers a wide range of optional features including CRM, membership, fundraising, online payments, website management, email marketing, ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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NetForum

NetForum Enterprise is a web-based association management system and is used by associations, nonprofits, and government agencies. The system includes modules for managing events, member profiles, membership levels, and dues. ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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AppFolio Property Manager

AppFolio provides property management software that allows property managers and owners to market, automate and manage tasks related to their apartments, residential properties, commercial property, student housing or other proper... Read more

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Buildium

Buildium is a cloud-based property management software that enables managers of residential and association properties to take control of every aspect of their business, whether in the office or fully remote, including online rent... Read more

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Brilliant DirectoriesFrontRunners 2021

Brilliant Directories is an all-in-one directory platform designed to help businesses design and launch online communities. Administrators can utilize available themes to build membership websites or directories and personalize th... Read more

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Wild ApricotFrontRunners 2021

Wild Apricot is a cloud-based membership management system used by business and trade associations, chambers of commerce, nonprofits, charities, clubs and community organizations. It supports organizations from a few members to 15... Read more

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StarChapterFrontRunners 2021

StarChapter is a cloud-based association management software solution for local or national, professional and trade associations. The system offers membership management, online event registration, email communication and website ... Read more

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Bitrix24FrontRunners 2021

Bitrix24 is a client management solution that provides a platform for businesses to organize and track interactions with potential or existing clients and partners. The software allows users to log and manage client interactions, ... Read more

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MemberClicksFrontRunners 2021

MemberClicks offers a configurable, cloud-based software solution to small associations and member-based organizations. The system can stand alone as a membership website and social community or integrate with an existing web... Read more

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MemberPlanet

Memberplanet is a nonprofit management software designed for both small and growing organizations. The system is applicable for use by arts and cultural organizations, associations, international and national groups and philanthro... Read more

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TidyHQFrontRunners 2021

TidyHQ is an association management software designed to help non-profit and government organizations, clubs, educational institutions and corporate businesses handle processes related to memberships, events, volunteers and more. ... Read more

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AssoConnectFrontRunners 2021

AssoConnect is an association management software that helps nonprofits design, launch and manage donation campaigns. The platform includes a drag-and-drop website builder, which enables organizations to create personalized websit... Read more

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YourMembershipFrontRunners 2021

YourMembership.com is an integrated suite of online membership management applications used by associations and other member organizations to engage members, track financial data and support administrative processes. The plat... Read more

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Vaave

Vaave is a cloud-based alumni engagement software that helps schools, colleges and corporations build alumni database and plan reunions. Its key features include fundraising, mentorship, employer branding and talent acquisition. ... Read more

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Almabase

Almabase is an alumni management solution that helps education institutions streamline alumni engagement, community management and fundraising operations. It allows organizations to conduct virtual and in-person events, communicat... Read more

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: June 22, 2021

For associations to be successful, they must maintain accurate records, build relationships with constituents and manage benefits. An association management system (AMS) can help your organization’s staff do all this and more.

With this software, association leaders can use the most up-to-date information to personalize communications based on constituents’ interests and past involvement levels, generate accurate reports, effectively plan events and more.

This buyer’s guide provides a brief overview of AMSs, including:

What Is Association Management Software?
Common AMS Functionality
Benefits of Association Management Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Association vs. Membership Management: What's the Difference?

What Is Association Management Software?

Association Management Software is a database of contact data used by a variety of organizations to manage memberships, respond to requests and automate many time-consuming tasks.

Organizations such as professional associations, chambers of commerce and industry trade organizations use these systems to store constituent data in a central location, associations can streamline the handling of constituent requests and automate common processes, including:

  • Subscription renewals
  • Event registration
  • Class sign-ups
  • Publication submittals

An AMS also gives managers immediate access to the most up-to-date member data, which can help guide decision-making.

Common AMS Functionality

Association management software functionality varies from vendor to vendor, but typically includes the following core applications:

Constituent management Allows users to manage constituent contact information and history, track renewals and dues, set membership levels, manage benefits and discounts and more.
Conference and event management Streamlines the coordination and planning of events, meetings and conferences by providing tools to support scheduling, registration and payments.
Communications management Facilitates mass communication with members and supporters through email, social media, phone and mail.
Reporting Allows administrators create custom reports and filter constituent data for insights on engagement, satisfaction and other key indicators.

In addition to the core applications listed above, an AMS may have the following modules:

Accounting and financial management Allows users to create invoices; track transactions, dues and receipts; and handle other accounting tasks.
Certification management Allows users to track member progress and participation in certification and other education programs.
Committee management Administrators can designate which members have access to committee-related documents, such as meeting minutes, task lists and more.
Fundraising Users can create and maintain donor records, track donations and pledges and manage recurring donations.
Content management Allows associations to manage a repository of content, as well as control where it’s published and who can access it.

Benefits of Association Management Software

Institutions that adopt an association management software can realize many benefits, which include the following:

Multiple needs answered with integrated suites: Association management software offers a bundle of tools that are integral for any member-based organization. The solution acts as a one-stop shop to manage all the needs of the association. It may also include applications, such as fundraising, event management, reporting and analysis, marketing management and CRM.

Better engagement with effective communication: To improve member engagement, associations can regularly run targeted marketing campaigns and provide relevant content and products to their constituents. They can also customize predefined emails and newsletter templates to suit each member. Keeping an open line of communication helps build, and further improve, relationships between the association and its members.

Easier payment processing: The software allows associations to check various lists, such as outstanding dues or list of payees. Association members also have the flexibility to pay their membership fees via various online payment options, such as net banking, Paypal and mobile money wallets.

Handle membership management: Association management software allows nonprofits to take care of constituents more efficiently by having different categorizations, such as member types, groups and categories. This categorization helps in fixing the ticket pricing for different members and creating segmented communication for each group.

Manage events online: The solution allows users to manage events, such as conferences and conventions, without having to use additional software. Members and non-members can sign-up for events on the online events pages. The application also takes care of sending automatic communication to attendees with all the event details.

Enable self-service: Self-service portals help associations cater their members’ request 24/7. They enable members to do various administrative activities, such as profile updates, payment of dues, becoming a member, renewal of membership and record checking, on their own.

Innovate data management: Most of the nonprofits still use manual methods, such as Excel sheets and paper notebooks, to capture and manage data. Association management software helps in capturing and organizing the data and reduces the effort of manual recording.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Almost any type of large member-based organization or association that wants to manage not only members, but also other aspects of the organization can benefit from using association management software. Here are a few types of associations that should consider buying this software:

Student associations: Almost all colleges, universities and schools across the world have student associations and committees. These organizations are run by the students themselves, who act as council members, and may also include staff or teachers in advisory positions. Managing these associations is a huge responsibility for the council members. Their most important job is to regularly communicate important information and updates that impact the everyday lives of the students on the campus.

Industry associations: Industry associations are required to manage contacts, keep them updated, add and delete members and keep the contact information constantly synced for the use of all their members. This software can help them network and build industry relationships with their peers.

Sports associations: Sports administrators are required to do various admin tasks such as facility or field scheduling, event creation, player registrations, contact management as well as membership and ticket payment processing. All of these tasks can be handled with the right association management software.

Alumni associations: These associations are focused on maintaining relationships with the alumni. They also take care of maintaining contact information, managing memberships and fundraising, which are the key offerings of some association management software.

Nonprofits: Nonprofit associations need to have multiple capabilities, such as managing donations, basic finances and membership; maintaining the content of the website; and keeping a track of the partnerships and associations.

Association vs. Membership Management: What's the Difference?

Both AMSs and membership management software products store contact information and track constituent interactions. AMSs, however, are generally better suited to the needs of large associations, such as:

  • Conferences
  • Sponsorships
  • Publications
  • Certifications
  • Committees
  • Job boards

What’s more, membership management is often a single, stand-alone application. But an AMS is typically an integrated suite of several applications that handle tasks related to such activities as fundraising and advocacy.

Furthermore, AMSs typically have higher up-front license and implementation costs than membership management systems, though there are a range of solutions to fit a range of budgets.

FrontRunners

Your Guide to Top Association Management Software, March 2021

Software Advice uses reviews from real software users to highlight the top-rated Association Management Software products in North America.

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“Usability” includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use.“Customer Satisfaction” includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend and Value for Money.Reviews analysis period: The reviews analysis period spans two years and ends on the 15th of the month prior to publication.