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Revolutionising The Market For Association Management Software

Updated: Feb 1

In this era of rapid technological advancement, flexibility, futureproofing, and speed are crucial attributes for association management software to adapt to changing needs, foster innovation, control costs, enhance member engagement, and deliver staff satisfaction.

Now combine these technological table stakes with your own experiences as a consumer of fast, flexible, and omnipresent services such as Amazon or Netflix… and your expectations as an association leader of what good looks like in association management software increases tenfold.

Add the needs, desires, and consumer experiences of your members, and expectations increase exponentially. In this article, we explore the concept of association management software and its history, and highlight what good looks like for association management software in the roaring ‘20s… the 2020s!

What Is Association Management Software?

Association management software (AMS) refers to a comprehensive suite of digital tools designed to facilitate and automate the various tasks involved in managing an association. From membership management and event registration to financial tracking and communication, AMS offers a centralised platform for associations to efficiently handle their day-to-day operations.

The need for AMS arose from the challenges faced by association leaders in coordinating and engaging with members. It resolves these challenges by providing a unified solution that simplifies processes, improves member experience, and enables associations to focus on their core mission.

Terms You Should Know

Before diving into the world of AMS, familiarise yourself with a few key terms:

  • Membership Management: The process of handling membership data, including registration, renewals, tracking member information, and maintaining communication with members.

  • Event Management: The management of association events, including registration, ticketing, scheduling, and attendee tracking.

  • Financial Management: The tracking and management of association finances, including invoicing, payments, budgeting, and reporting.

  • Communication Tools: Features that facilitate effective communication within the association, such as email marketing, discussion forums, and collaboration platforms.

The History Of Association Management Software

AMS has evolved alongside the advancement of technology. Initially, associations relied on basic database systems to store and process member information. However, the demand for dedicated software solutions emerged as the complexity of association management increased.

In the 1990s, the first generation of AMS platforms emerged, offering basic functions like membership databases and, over time, expanded their capabilities, incorporating features such as online communities, email marketing, financial management, and more.

A man coding a software program

Fast forward to the early 2000s when cloud computing began to take off and we saw a revolution in AMS moving from on-premises databases to cloud-based offerings. Later, with mobile technology in the ascendancy and later still the rise of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), we witnessed a revolution in AMS with modern platforms like sociatio leveraging these advancements to provide associations with deeply flexible, highly scalable, and user-friendly solutions that can be accessed from anywhere, at any time.

The Good And Less Good Of Association Management Software

AMS automates time-consuming tasks, reducing manual effort and streamlining processes. This efficiency enables associations to focus on strategic imperatives like growth and revenue; the tactical challenges of member recruitment and retention; the day-to-day operations of member engagement and delivering a sustainable, premium membership experience.

It provides tools to foster member engagement through personalised communication, online communities, and event management features, ultimately strengthening the association's relationship with its members. And AMS centralises member data, making it easily accessible and facilitating data-driven decision-making. Comprehensive reporting and analytics empower associations to gain valuable insights into member behaviour, preferences, and trends.

Despite these and many other advantages, it's important to consider potential drawbacks when choosing where to invest in AMS:

  • Implementation challenges: The initial setup and/or migration to some AMS platforms requires time, significant vendor services and staff effort, and in many cases deep technical expertise.

  • Learning curve: Remember we talked about our experiences as consumers? Yes, training is a good thing. But beware of AMS platforms that entail a steep learning curve for staff and members.

  • Value for money: SaaS makes it far easier for association leaders to vote with their feet than under the traditional perpetual licence models. This makes it more important than ever for AMS platforms to deliver on their promises and exceed the expectations of association leaders.

Examples Of Association Management Software

There are dozens of AMS platforms on the market, and not all are like sociatio. Here are a few prominent examples:

  • Wild Apricot: A user-friendly AMS platform offering membership management, event management, and website integration.

  • MemberClicks: Provides AMS solutions with features like member management, event registration, and financial management.

  • Sociatio: Created by association leaders for association leaders with over 40 integrated apps available, it packs an incredible amount of technology at an impossible price point.

  • YourMembership: An AMS platform that includes membership management, online communities, and learning management systems.

  • Fonteva: An AMS solution that features member management, event registration, financial management member portals, eBusiness, and a development platform.

We're Revolutionising Association Management Software

Modern association management software is the catalyst propelling associations into a new era of efficiency, engagement, and growth. By embracing the power of modern platforms, associations are streamlining their operations, elevating member experiences, and unlocking untapped potential. With a wide range of options available, it's crucial to evaluate your association’s unique needs.

Are you ready to deliver a sustainable, premium membership experience? Are you ready to help your staff work smarter, not harder? We're revolutionising association management software. So visit our website today to learn more about sociatio, the platform created by association leaders for association leaders.

Help Us To Help You

Take a moment and give us feedback on the AMS market through our quick poll. Your answers are anonymous. You can vote for more than one answer. Feel free to comment below. And get in touch with us if you'd like to share more. Thank you!

What bugs you about your current association management software?

  • 0%User Experience (members)

  • 0%User Experience (staff)

  • 0%Member Management (individuals)

  • 0%Member Management (corporates)

You can vote for more than one answer.


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