Dive into the fundamentals of AMS systems, as well as our top picks for the best association management system software solutions.

AMS System: What is it? and 5+ AMS Software Solutions

The day-to-day tasks of modern association leaders are filled with emailing members about upcoming renewal dates, planning exciting events, and coming up with valuable engagement opportunities for members to enjoy.

Juggling so many different tasks isn’t easy—that’s where association management software comes in.

You might already have tools you depend on, but not every association management solution is equal. As more associations begin offering virtual programs and online events, using a reliable and comprehensive AMS to keep your members connected is essential. Whether it’s your first time looking for a solution or you’re thinking of an upgrade, you’ve come to the right place.

This guide will walk you through the following topics to prepare your team to find the right technology for your association:

Ready to invest in an AMS that fosters a strong membership community and provides them with unforgettable programming and events? Then start your search here! 

Explore Fonteva’s all-in-one association management platform.
What is an AMS? Read on to explore the fundamentals of association management software.

What is Association Management Software?

Association Management Software (AMS) systems are comprehensive solutions aimed to help automate and digitize many of your recurring tasks. From communicating with members to managing and planning events, your AMS should do it all.

Using these capabilities, your AMS also gathers and organizes important member information. This not only ensures you create valuable courses, events, and other programming, but it also optimizes your communications, marketing, and reporting processes.

What is Association Management?

Association management is a rather unique field as members pay dues in exchange for being a part of the community. For those seeking guidance from colleagues in the same professional field, associations provide far-reaching networking opportunities to help further their careers and increase knowledge-sharing.

Associations are usually governed through a board or an elected committee to help oversee the member journey or member experience, event planning, registration processes, and member communications. And as your membership increases and your association grows, management becomes an arduous process.
However, with specialized association management software, you can find solutions to help save time and let your team focus on big-picture goals, like increasing member engagement and retention.

AMS software offers various benefits for both your association staff and members.

What are the Benefits of Association Management Systems?

Benefits for your staff

Your staff works hard to provide content, educational materials, conferences, events, and ongoing opportunities for your members. Without the right technology in place, your team also has to juggle the day-to-day operations of fact-checking member profiles and tracking due payments. 

The best systems not only streamline these tasks but enhance their value, providing your association with:

  • Efficient and secure flows. When your staff and team are planning your next engagement strategy, an AMS solution can make it easier to transfer and view data from multiple databases. For example, to get a full view of your members, you might need to pull data from your event management tool as well as your membership management tool. Reliable integration capabilities are essential to make this possible. An even better option—invest in a platform solution.
  • Increased security. Consolidating your association’s information in your AMS database is more secure than having it live in an Excel spreadsheet. Association database management is more accessible to your staff when it is housed in an online software solution, and we’re not talking about a Google doc. 
  • Increased recruitment and retention. With an AMS optimizing your communications and ensuring you offer the best member experience, your association can not only acquire new prospects but also better retain current members. Plus, automatic dues payments and pre-scheduled dues reminders can also prevent members from lapsing. 
  • Decisions backed by data. With all the data collected from emails, events, and other online engagements, you can make more informed decisions about your association’s future. For instance, use data to help you figure out which marketing outreach strategy has the highest chance of success by observing past ones. Or, pick the next online webinar topic by looking through feedback from your other learning opportunities.

Benefits for your members

Your AMS system or membership platform isn’t just there to increase efficiency for behind-the-scenes operations. The member experience is reflected in your rates of member retention. The more intuitive and engaging your technology is, the more likely it is that your members will continue to contribute to your community. With an upgraded AMS system, your members will have:

  • Consistent and improved experiences. With an AMS, your association can create eye-catching websites with individual pages and forms that are simple yet effective, all completely branded to your association.
  • Access to a wide variety of relevant resources. Your association members are there to connect with others like them and learn from the experiences your association curates. Make sure your members have the resources they need. The right association management software can even create a members-only portal to provide white papers, informational guides, and educational courses.
  • Community building opportunities. In addition to advancing in their career and participating in valuable learning opportunities, individuals join your association to meet other like-minded people and be a part of a community. Your association software can promote this with online discussion boards, engaging event ideas, and much more.
What features make for a strong and effective AMS? Let’s find out.

AMS System Features to Look Out For

The features you’ll want in your own association management solution will differ depending on your association’s unique needs. If you often host online webinars, an AMS with a learning management system (LMS) integration is a no-brainer, whereas another association might not find this necessary.

While every association has different priorities, no matter what, your AMS should have these essential features:

These are the essential features of an association management system.
[These are the essential features of an association management system.]
  • Membership management. One of your most important tasks is managing your members. This not only involves member registration but what you do with their valuable member data. Gathering and storing accurate member information can impact almost all aspects of association management, so having a solution catered to this is essential.
  • Member portal. Not only can your association management software provide you with tools to oversee member information, but the best ones should also offer a member portal. This should include a navigable directory where members can learn more about other members in the association, helping them get familiar with one another. Members can even self-edit their profiles!
  • Event management. Along with managing members, you also have to provide them with exciting opportunities and valuable engagement experiences through association events. The right software solution makes it easy for attendees to register and participate in your programming, whether the event is a large conference or a small class or presentation. You should be able to register members, offer automatic discounts, and tiered registrations.
  • Financial management. Processing event registrations, membership registrations, and dues payments requires a financial management and payment tool. Make sure your system’s payment processor is secure and integrated with your other tools. Also, check that it can facilitate recurring payments to make dues payments easier.
  • Communication management. For both member and event management, you’ll need a capable communication tool, specifically one with automation features. Automated communication keeps your members in the loop and saves your team time drafting and sending each message. This way, you can focus on your content rather than when and how you’ll deliver the message.
  • Reporting tools. An AMS is the perfect tool for compiling data, so make sure yours comes with robust reporting features. Your solution should offer both customizable and pre-built reports to help you learn from past data. The best reports present data in a visually intuitive format, making it easy for anyone to understand and take action.
Enhance your approach to membership management with the best AMS systems and platforms on the market.

5+ AMS Systems to Explore

No Association Management Solution is built the same. Some are more comprehensive or “all-in-one,” whereas others are created to meet industry-specific needs. In order to help you find the software that’s best for your association and its members, we’ll walk through these different solutions:

  1. Fonteva Membership Software
  2. Protech
  3. MemberClicks
  4. MemberLeap
  5. NoviAMS
  6. iMIS

Fonteva: All-in-One Association Management Platform

This is a screenshot of Fonteva's association management system website.
[This is a screenshot of Fonteva’s association management system website. ]

Say hello to one of the most comprehensive and robust association management solutions on the market. Packed with far more power, flexibility, and capabilities than a typical AMS system, Fonteva Membership is a dedicated, all-in-one Association Software Platform built on the power of Salesforce, the world’s leading Customer Relationship Management software. The Fonteva Association Software Platform supports and nurtures both new and existing member engagement, empowering your organization, members, and staff to reach their full potential. 

Fonteva is built for associations looking to streamline processes and make the day-to-day tasks of management more effective. As a true-cloud software solution, Fonteva gives users the benefit of accessing updated data in real-time, no matter where they are. With over a decade of experience partnering with associations, Fonteva knows exactly what today’s leaders need to succeed when taking their associations online. Fonteva’s tools are flexible and built to grow with your association. 

And, as a Salesforce-native association management platform, Fonteva has access to every app on the Salesforce AppsExchange, letting you pick and choose which capabilities to add as your association expands.

Why This Association Management Solution Stands Out

Fonteva’s association management platform has functionalities to aid with any of your managerial tasks. In particular, Fonteva users can:

  • Connect members to valuable opportunities with direct access to a member directory, event calendar and sign-ups, and continuing education classes.
  • Plan and host events (both in-person and virtual), making it easy for members to sign up and engage with others in meaningful ways. 
  • Automate membership dues with its integrated payment processor. It can also apply discounts to certain members if they’re eligible when registering for an event or purchasing something from your e-commerce store. 
  • Easily create reports using compiled data to make key insights about how your association is currently performing and note areas for improvements. Fonteva offers both pre-built and customized reports that you can use. 
  • Access any of the apps on the Salesforce AppExchange as well as integrate with existing Salesforce tools with ease, something only a truly native Salesforce app can provide.
  • Fonteva Payments delivers a best-in-class payments platform that provides processing and a secure payments gateway. Additionally, it delivers a single source of truth about payments for members, with orders and payment data built-in.

Protech: AMS System Overview

This is a screenshot of the Protech association management platform website.
[This is a screenshot of the Protech association management platform website.]

Backed by the world-class Microsoft Dynamics 365 system, Protech’s association management platform has an incredible capacity for customization. With Protech, your association can skip the growing pains of setting up a new software system and immediately begin integrating and personalizing its suite of tools with a platform tailored to your specific needs.

Why This Association Management Solution Stands Out

Protech’s association management platform boasts a variety of features, such as:

  • Seamless connectivity with Microsoft AppSource tools, as well as Microsoft Office and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business applications.
  • Streamlined member and donor management features, including customizable constituent profiles, mobile outreach, and personalized communications.
  • Intuitive event management tools, from simplified registration procedures to management for exhibitor booths and transactions.

MemberClicks: AMS System Overview

This is a screenshot of MemberClicks' association management system website.
[This is a screenshot of MemberClicks’ association management system website. ]

MemberClicks is an AMS that serves all types of associations, chambers, and universities. With MemberClicks, you can simplify the way your association engages with members, while also providing them with a platform of integrated tools to take their experience to the next level. 

Why This Association Management Solution Stands Out

MemberClicks offers these capabilities: 

  • Integrated learning management system to provide members with exciting opportunities.
  • Dues management tool to make payment and reporting easy.
  • Association website building tools to stay connected with members online.

MemberLeap: AMS System Overview

This is a screenshot of MemberLeap's association management system website.
[This is a screenshot of MemberLeap’s association management system website.]

MemberLeap offers affordable and easy-to-use software that helps any association streamline its basic member-based administrative duties. Because of its flexible build, associations and organizations of all sizes can leverage MemberLeap’s platform with ease.

Why This Association Management Solution Stands Out

Check out these top features from MemberLeap:

  • Member database so that you can easily manage members, cross reference data points, and search for key metrics.
  • A mobile app that allows members to have quick and easy access to various MemberLeap tools.
  • Email tools that can set up drip campaigns, organize message boards, create and send out newsletters, and more.

NoviAMS: AMS System Overview

This is a screenshot of NoviAMS association management system website.
[This is a screenshot of NoviAMS association management system website.]

Novi AMS is an AMS solution that is both designed by and for association professionals. Specifically, they tend to cater to trade associations, aiming to help their members develop professionally and make valuable connections with each other. Additionally, NoviAMS makes it easy for your association to keep track of important accounting information through its integration with QuickBooks.

Why This Association Management Solution Stands Out

Here are some of the top features of NoviAMS:

  • 2-way, 24/7 integration with QuickBooks, making it easy to track invoices, online payments, and other important financial data.
  • Web building tools to help trade association professionals create a beautiful and engaging website without the necessary coding experience. 
  • Flexible member types, allowing associations to organize members by whether they’re company-based, individual, or a hybrid combination.

iMIS: AMS System Overview

This is a screenshot of iMIS association management system website.
[This is a screenshot of iMIS association management system website.]

iMIS association management software is a system created by ASI, Advanced Solutions International. It aims to help associations streamline member engagement and encourage growth within their membership base. 

Why This Association Management Solution Stands Out

With iMIS, you have access to these features:

  • A library of features and add-on apps that you can enable/disable for a customized experience.
  • A visual dashboard that helps you turn hard data and metrics into actionable insights.
  • A modern, cloud-based solution, allowing staff members access even from their mobile phones.

From recruitment to retention, your association management system is the most efficient tool in your association’s toolbox. Engaging your members in a strong member community starts with forethought and the best software available! When it comes time to start comparing various association management software solutions, prioritize the features discussed above.

For more information about association and membership management software, check out these additional resources:

Download our guide to association management software!

Learn how to effectively leverage your member engagement strategies with these top tips and software.

Member Engagement: An Association Strategy & Software Guide

Association memberships are unique in the way that they provide ongoing, rewarding experiences in exchange for the dues members pay to continue to be a part of the organization. That’s why it’s important that your association actively works to keep members coming back year after year, offering unique value through engaging opportunities and events.

Whether your association is made up of professionals in the same field or alumni who attended the same university, strengthening member engagement should always be one of your top priorities. Engagement secures your association’s relevance and fuels healthy member retention.

It’s likely that you’ve developed a set member engagement strategy over the years. However, with advancements in technology and an online world saturated with virtual experiences, it’s always a good idea to review the basics and look for opportunities to improve. Using your association management software (AMS) system, you can leverage your tools to further engage your members, encourage member-to-member networking and community-building, and enhance your overall approach to member outreach.

In this guide, we’ll be reviewing some member engagement basics and walking you through a couple of key questions. Follow along from the top, or skip to the section that interests you most using the following table of contents:

Don’t wait for your engagement strategies to become obsolete. Use these lessons, tips, and software recommendations to brainstorm new ways to not only keep members renewing each year, but attract new ones as well. Let’s dive in!

Improve your member engagement strategy with Fonteva.
What is member engagement for your association?

What is member engagement?

Member engagement is the ongoing outreach and interactions between associations and their members to keep constituents informed, educated, and motivated to continue their memberships. 

By extension, a member engagement strategy is the different messaging, content, and opportunities that associations share with their members to ensure that they remain engaged.

Essentially, once a member joins your association, you need to actively work to nurture member relationships. You’ll know when member engagement is successful when the value associated with the actions you take and the experiences you offer outweigh the expense of membership dues.

However, not every association will measure engagement in the exact same way. Member engagement varies based on the type of association and your member’s preferences.

Defining & measuring member engagement

The way that a university association measures member engagement will look noticeably different than how a professional association will measure engagement. The former will typically look at event attendance, while the latter might refer to their learning management system (LMS) to gauge how often members take advantage of further education opportunities.

Since no two associations are the same, the way your association measures member engagement will also be unique. To begin setting your own benchmarks for member engagement, think about what your long-term goals are, whether it’s to increase member retention or encourage community-building.

As you review what member engagement means to your association, take the time to gain insight into where your members are already active. In other words, consider the various experiences and engagement opportunities that your association offers and the platforms where your members already are. Using a data-driven approach, observe how your members engage with those experiences, including:

  • Social media platforms.
  • Email marketing.
  • Live events.
  • Learning opportunities.

Once you get a clear sense of what member engagement means to your association, you can then turn these engagements into measurable numbers. This can be done by setting, tracking, and analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs).

Setting KPIs for member engagement

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are strategic business metrics that your association can set to measure your progress towards specific, quantifiable goals.

KPIs will help you and your staff measure the performance of your association based on key objectives. After defining what member engagement means to your association, you can then set KPIs to evaluate your success at reaching specific engagement targets.

Here are some examples of KPIs based on where your members may be currently active:

Set key performance indicators to measure the success of your member engagement strategies.
  • Social media platforms. Consider measuring how often you gain and lose followers, level of post engagement, the number of profile tags or references, and which of your posts get the most attention.
  • Email marketing. Consider measuring your email open and click-through rates, which members opted to receive your newsletter, and how often members respond to your correspondences.
  • Live events. Consider measuring how many people registered, total attendance, how people found out about your event, and the type of tickets people have bought.
  • Learning opportunities. Consider measuring metrics from your association’s LMS system, such as which classes are most popular, how many members received accreditations, and how often members start courses but do not finish.

Determining effective KPIs is an important part of measuring the success of your member engagement strategy. Seeing actual data metrics will help you make the best future decisions. For more examples of KPIs, this article on data analytics offers detailed information about essential metrics to look out for.

Why is member engagement important to your association?

Why is member engagement important?

When most organizations think about member engagement, it’s easy to go straight to data and measure specific transactions. However, you have to look beyond the numbers and understand the meaningful experiences your association offers its members and the mutually beneficial value they provide.

Increased member retention

Lots of associations utilize their member engagement strategy to increase member retention.

From a management point of view, prioritizing member engagement is crucial to promoting member retention. The more you engage your members, the more likely they will renew their memberships.

Focusing on member retention is generally more cost-effective than member acquisition, so building up a loyal member base will better support your organization’s stability in the long run.
Consider what your association can offer to boost the value delivered to members in exchange for membership dues. No one will pay to be a part of your organization without gaining something meaningful in return.

Provide your members with opportunities and experiences that they will actually appreciate and motivate them to keep coming back. Keep in mind that positive member engagement results in a positive member relationship.

Member engagement and community-building

Associations often use member engagement to encourage member community-building.

Member engagement doesn’t just help you develop better relationships with your members. It can also encourage members to interact and engage with each other. 

Oftentimes, individuals join associations to meet and network with others with similar interests or professionals in the same field. This way, they can learn and grow with other like-minded people, or even advance their careers. 
This is what makes it so important for members to feel like they’re a part of a growing community. So consider basing your member engagement strategy around encouraging member networking and interaction. In particular, you might:

  • Host live events. Events are the best way to engage your members and encourage community-building. This is because they provide a space for members to interact face-to-face. For example, a conference allows members in the same industries or sectors to come together and talk about new innovations or improvements in their field.
  • Provide an online member portal. While your association may have recurring in-person meetings and annual events, a growing membership requires an intuitive online member portal. This way, members can communicate with each other through forums and browse other profiles to get a better sense of their community.
  • Organize a member directory. Member directories provide your members with an important networking resource to explore your association’s member base and reach out to their peers. Additionally, they act as a great form of marketing for your organization, allowing you to show off to the public the size and professionalism of your membership program.

Member engagement and non-dues revenue

Certain member engagement efforts can increase your non-dues revenue.

Many associations prioritize raising funds outside of their regular membership dues to continue funding and enhancing their services. The key to unlocking these non-dues revenue streams is to offer additional, paid engagement opportunities for members to further enhance their membership experiences.

Of course, asking members to pay fees on top of their regular dues might sound challenging, but it is entirely possible as long as these paid opportunities are valuable, unique, and worthwhile.

For example, event ticket sales are a great way to increase non-dues revenue. While tickets are an extra cost, events offer a rewarding experience that justifies the member’s purchase.
Other engaging ways to increase non-dues revenue include running fundraising campaigns and offering branded merchandise through an online store.

What are some association member engagement strategies you can use?

Top Association Member Engagement Strategies

Since every association is different, it’s difficult to definitively say exactly which association member engagement strategy you should follow. Depending on your ultimate goal and members’ preferences, your member engagement strategy will be built around your specific KPIs and data metrics.

However, there are a couple of common strategic moves that can help to strengthen any member engagement strategy.

1. Send out member engagement surveys.

Always establish a direct line between you and your members. This way, you have a reliable communication channel and platform to gauge how your members are feeling.

Whether it’s delivered through a social media platform, mobile events app, or email marketing tool, regularly send surveys and polls to your members. This way, you can gain a more direct understanding of your members’ needs and preferences.

When is the best time to send out surveys and polls? Consider these approaches:

  • After events. This is when the event is most prominent in your members’ eyes, so it’s a great time to get feedback on how your event went and what can be improved.
  • With membership renewal reminders. As members are deciding whether or not to renew, it makes sense to also get some feedback from them. If members decide to leave the association, ask them to reveal why!
  • At the end of the year. When the holidays begin to wrap up, this is a great time to get members to reflect on the year and what your association has offered them.

2. Segment your members by interests.

To better engage your members, segment them based on their interests. This way, you gain a better understanding of which members respond best to different member engagement tactics.
For example, you can start customizing content to resonate with certain segments of your members. Younger members may be more receptive to one type of message, while another version appeals to older members.

3. Improve your communication strategies.

People get bombarded with emails and messages every day, so don’t bog down their inboxes with unnecessary content. As you’re developing your member engagement strategies, consider ways that you can improve your communication strategies.

For starters, consider letting members choose their preferred mode of communication and deliver messages in a way that they’re most likely to respond to. To do so, you can take a proactive approach by asking members for their preferences. Alternatively, you can also explore previous engagement data to determine which channels a particular member responds best to.

For example, one group of members might indicate that they like to be contacted through direct mail, while others tend to favor digital channels. When you communicate with each individual in the way they prefer, they’re more likely to respond positively.
Additionally, segment your members and tailor each message based on their particular preferences and engagement histories. This can be done by customizing existing templates within your AMS platform to more personally address each recipient.

4. Host engaging events.

One of the most appealing factors of joining an association is the events. In-person meetings provide significant value, as they reinforce to members that they’re a part of a real community. There’s little loyalty or emotion involved when all of the other members you “meet” are just photos on a screen.
In addition to serving as a strategy for boosting member engagement, events offer learning and networking opportunities that might not be found elsewhere. Remember that what your association offers should outweigh the costs of the membership dues, so actively consider ways to make your event stand out.

5. Make new members feel welcome, and existing members feel valued.

Your member engagement strategy should start on day one. As soon as a member joins your association, focus on engaging with them. Send a welcome packet containing relevant association information, as well as instructions to access the online portal and information on any upcoming events. It’s important to immediately communicate the value of engaging with your robust member community.

However, don’t forget about those who have stayed loyal to you over the years. Tenured members should still feel valued, as their retained contribution and engagement are still vital to your association. Maintain positive member engagement by continuously communicating your appreciation for their membership.

6. Offer many ways to engage.

Avoid focusing on only one method of member engagement. While it’s wise to have a goal for your association to work toward, don’t let other engagement opportunities fall to the wayside. We’ll be discussing both digital and in-person member engagement strategies.

Here are some digital member engagement opportunities:

  • Online member portal. Provide a space for members to connect with others in their community.
  • Community message board. Members can actively engage with each other through forums, collaborate on files, and comment on each other’s ideas.
  • Learning management system. With an effective LMS, you can offer online courses and classes for members to further their education and gain certifications.

However, don’t forget about the value of face-to-face engagements. Consider these in-person member engagement opportunities: 

  • Events. Host conferences, presentations, and more to engage your members in-person. This way, they can actively interact with each other throughout the event.
  • Learning opportunities. Offer in-person classes and learning events for members to further their education.

Meetings. Oftentimes, your association will have committees and subsections. Encourage them to meet in person on a daily basis so that they can accomplish objectives in an efficient manner.

7. Make it easier with an association management system

Invest in an association management system to help you manage your member engagement strategies.

To compete with other organizations vying for your members’ time, money, and attention, relying on software solutions has become more of a necessity than a suggestion. This is especially true as your association continues to grow. 

After all, as more members flock to your association, you want to ensure that each individual continues to get the same level of attention and keep closely engaging and participating with your organization. And how can you effectively engage your members when you and your staff are bogged down by daily internal processes like manually sending dues reminder emails?
By investing in the right association management software solution, you can automate the upkeep of daily tasks, streamline communications, and closely monitor and analyze your various engagement activities.

Consider Fonteva’s all-in-one membership management platform and member engagement solution.

Fonteva: Our Member Engagement Software Solution

If you’re on the hunt for an effective and reliable association management solution, then look no further. Fonteva has worked with associations for over a decade, and through our powerful Salesforce-native association software, we strive to reduce the burden of association management and member engagement. 

With more powerful and comprehensive tools than a simple association management system, Fonteva provides an all-in-one association management platform that gives you and your team access to:

  • Online member profiles. Engage your constituents online by providing a public member directory. This gives members a chance to get to know each other and even interact on an online message board. Members can also edit their own profiles and update any inaccuracies.
  • An intuitive member database. An intuitive CRM system makes it easy to personalize member communication. Fonteva is also 100% native to Salesforce, which means that your member profiles will be fully fleshed out and regularly updated with engagement metrics from event attendance, payment preference, and more!
  • Event planning and management software. Fonteva’s association management platform includes event management tools, so there is no need to look for a third-party solution. You can easily host an event microsite, create a mobile event app, and manage all of your key event personnel on one streamlined platform!
  • Continuing education opportunities. People join associations to stay up-to-date on best practices and innovations in their field. With Fonteva, you can offer certifications, learning events, online courses, and more.

Fonteva’s comprehensive association management platform also helps your association to visualize past data to improve your member engagement and retention strategies for the future. With flexible reporting tools, you can easily see which communications, events, and other forms of outreach are working and which need to be tweaked.


Actively engaging your members is an ongoing journey, but certain strategies can simplify the process. For example, consider your association’s overarching goals and areas where your members are already actively engaging. Additionally, by investing in reliable association management software, you can easily compile reports to understand these goals and form measurable KPIs to take appropriate action.

Eager to learn more about strategies and tools that you can use to elevate your association and engage your members? Check out these additional resources:

Improve your member engagement strategy with Fonteva's software.
As the world's cloud-based CRM software, Salesforce can be an incredible tool for associations. Explore these strategies to make the most of Salesforce.

Using Salesforce for Associations | 5 Strategies for Success

With more than 150,000 businesses leveraging its software and over 3,000 apps built using its interface, Salesforce is likely the world’s frontrunner in cloud-based customer relationship management, application development, and enterprise software. 

However, Salesforce isn’t just a tool for businesses. The power and scalability of Salesforce have made it one of the most intuitive platforms for creating and powering association management software

As an association professional, you’ve no doubt heard of Salesforce and its power to streamline the many operations of running an association. But when you’re dealing with a platform that is capable of so much, it can be difficult to wrap your head around how to begin using Salesforce and its many apps for the benefit of your association. 

To help you navigate Salesforce and the marketplace of tools that would be useful to associations, we’ve prepared these essential best practices and strategies for making the most of the world’s leading CRM:

With this information, you should be far better prepared to join the Salesforce community, confidently navigate your current Salesforce association tools, or even prepare for an upgrade.

Request a demo of one of the top Salesforce AMS solutions on the market: Fonteva.
Explore the fundamentals of Salesforce, its uses, and how it can benefit your association.

The Basics: What is Salesforce?

Before we dive into critical strategies for using Salesforce, it’s essential to understand what Salesforce is, how it works, and what to look out for in regards to strengthening your association’s toolkit. Let’s begin with a brief overview of the Salesforce platform and its key benefits.

What is Salesforce used for?

Salesforce is the world’s leading cloud-based CRM software provider. It allows users to leverage its platform to manage their data, connect with their constituents, and enhance the internal operations of their organizations. 

However, for association professionals not well-acquainted with the technical side of their membership’s operations, this definition might sound a bit confusing. In simple terms, you can think of Salesforce as the engine through which different organizations build out their management systems. 
Salesforce itself is not an association management software (AMS)—it’s the foundation upon which association experts have created association management platforms, like Fonteva.

How can Salesforce benefit your association?

There’s a reason that Salesforce is considered the industry standard for CRM and native-built association platforms. 

Other popular AMS software, such as iMIS, can become unwieldy for your association in that these legacy systems require users to have extensive coding and backend experience to effectively perform customizations. Additionally, because this AMS software uses separate systems for its various tools, it can be difficult to move data between your entire AMS suite.

On the other hand, consider how an effective Salesforce platform can help to streamline operations for your association:

From customization to the Salesforce AppExchange, AMS systems built on Salesforce boast an array of effective features.
  • High levels of customization. It’s no wonder why nonprofits, businesses, and associations alike can all leverage the Salesforce platform to the benefit of their specific organizations. Salesforce offers a robust foundation of CRM tools, such as constituent data reporting and constituent portals, on top of which software creators can create custom management systems for your organization.
  • Ease of use. While it can take a moment to get the hang of any new AMS system, platforms such as Salesforce offer a safety net for association professionals who aren’t quite tech-savvy enough to exclusively customize their AMS using code. With drag-and-drop interfaces and dashboards, it’s never been easier to navigate an AMS system than those built on Salesforce.
  • Member community capabilities. With powerful member portals, a Salesforce AMS enables you to host vibrant member communities. These online communities allow members to initiate conversations with one another, connect and explore your resources, and engage more closely with your organization.
  • The AppExchange ecosystem. The Salesforce AppExchange is a robust library of the various software systems built on Salesforce. With a Salesforce-native AMS, you have access to the entire collection of 2,700+ apps that can be easily accessed, purchased, and directly integrated with your current association management tools. Are you searching for association event management software? With the AppExchange, you can save time and money on implementation and messy data imports by integrating your new Salesforce event management app directly into your suite of AMS tools.
Consider these essential membership management strategies to use your Salesforce AMS to the fullest capacity.

Using Salesforce: 5 Membership Management Strategies

Salesforce association management software comes stocked with intuitive, powerful tools and capabilities to take your association to the next level. However, its benefits will be limited if you don’t understand how to effectively use the software that’s now at your fingertips. 

To make the most of your Salesforce-built AMS, consider these membership management strategies that take advantage of the platform’s best features:

These membership management best practices will enable you to make the most of your Salesforce AMS.

1. Personalize and Automate Member Communications

Communication is the building block of any effective member engagement strategy, and Salesforce’s comprehensive communication features hold the key to enhancing your member communications. 

Rather than sending out general email blasts until your members slowly lose interest in your messages, incorporate Salesforce’s branded email templates into your messaging. This allows you to create unique, custom messages that can be automatically sent out to an entire list of members, with their names and personal details filling in the gaps. 

These emails are branded to your association and can be scheduled to send at any time. This means that you can automatically reach out to members with important information about their dues, upcoming events, and other important communications at precisely the right time. 

This automation can also be used beyond just emails. Certificates, event tickets, and receipts can all be automated to maximize your member communications.

2. Explore the AppExchange

The Salesforce AppExchange is one of the most valuable resources afforded to you by using a Salesforce-native AMS. With the AppExchange, your association isn’t forced to purchase a pre-built package of tools that aren’t the right fit for your association’s current needs. 

Instead, your suite of association management tools is scalable to your association’s goals and growth. For example, while you may not have the bandwidth at the moment to host very many in-person or virtual association events, you may find yourself on the hunt for a dedicated association event management toolkit in just a few years.

With the AppExchange, you can build out your own custom toolkit of membership software, from powerful e-commerce software to seamless membership platforms.

3. Create Thriving Member Communities

With a Salesforce AMS and membership platform, you can create a rich online resource for members to communicate, explore, and access important resources. Leverage these tools to improve the online member experience:

  • Self-service portal. A dedicated member portal gives online users access to guides, downloadable resources, videos, and other membership content that helps them to shape their own membership experience.
  • Group creation and collaboration. Enable members to form groups within your membership platform. From forming casual, special-interest chatrooms to more formal member committees, your members will be able to take a more active role in your association and how they engage with it.
  • Member directories. Membership directories can be used both to promote your association to the public and to offer a way for members to take charge of their own networking opportunities.

Be on the lookout for an AMS that takes full advantage of Salesforce’s community-building features. From empowering members to drive their own engagements to freeing up time for your association team, this membership management strategy can create significant gains for any association.

4. Look Out for Upgrades

Make sure that your Salesforce AMS solution abides by Salesforce’s quarterly update schedule. With association technology constantly evolving, it’s important to be able to rely on an AMS system that is frequently improving to keep up with advances in the membership sector. 

With Salesforce, your AMS should be able to install critical software upgrades with just the click of a button. 

Best of all, Salesforce operates on a true cloud system, meaning that an AMS system fully built on Salesforce should be able to perform upgrades on any device, at any time.

5. Leverage the Flexibility of Salesforce

One of Salesforce’s most important, popular features is its customization. In particular, be sure to make the most of these customizable features: 

  • Custom dashboards. Improve your team’s view of member data and allow each department to effectively manage its own workflow with configurable dashboards. 
  • Custom reports. Track specific key performance indicators, schedule reportage, and better manage your association’s unique data with custom reports.
  • Custom messaging. From branded email templates to customizable surveys, be mindful to personalize your messaging with members for maximum engagement. 

Through coding or drag-and-drop interfaces, the right AMS system should allow you to easily control and configure your membership management operations within its suite of tools.

Explore Fonteva AMS, the most effective association management software built on Salesforce.

If your association is in search of an AMS solution that takes full advantage of the tools and capabilities of the Salesforce platform, then look no further. 

Fonteva AMS is 100% native to Salesforce, meaning that our suite of association, event, and membership management tools are built from the ground up using the Salesforce engine. 

With perfect integration capabilities between other applications in the Salesforce AppExchange, Fonteva is the best solution for association leaders who are searching for the true Salesforce experience.

To learn more about Fonteva’s association and membership management software and how we can optimize your association’s operations, explore our Membership page.

Take a tour of our association management and membership to find out how our Salesforce system can impact your association.

From simplifying internal operations to enhancing the membership experience, the right Salesforce AMS solution can completely transform how your association manages itself and its members. With these strategies and with Salesforce-powered software, we hope that your association can begin to take steps towards reaching its fullest engagement and management potential.

Want to learn more about association management and engagement strategies? Check out these resources:

Additional Resources

Request a demo of Fonteva's software to begin using Salesforce to its fullest potential.
Are your e-learning courses underperforming? Here are four ways to elevate your courses to increase both member interest and engagement in the new year.

4 Ways to Elevate Your Next Association E-Learning Course

It’s your job to provide worthwhile networking and professional development opportunities that keep members engaged year after year. High engagement means increased revenue and membership… low engagement for multiple years in a row could mean your association is struggling in numerous ways.

However, providing those opportunities can be expensive. The last thing you want to do is invest in custom-creating a new e-learning course only to have few members (if any) purchase it. Just like a forgotten instrument, treadmill, or book gathering dust in the corner of your closet, courses that members don’t complete provide little value for your organization.

Whether lack of personalization, relevance, or even accessibility, there are several reasons why you might be seeing low engagement with your e-learning courses.

If you’re investing in custom e-learning course development, these courses need to be top-tier and worth the investment. Here are four tips to elevate your next e-learning project and increase engagement all at once.

Create content that helps members do their jobs better.

What’s the story behind your industry? Who was the Benjamin Franklin, Milton Hershey, or other innovator who made the initial discovery that led to the roles your members serve in today?

We’d guess that there’s a storied history that led to what your industry looks like today. It can be tempting to include tidbits of that story throughout your courses (or, take a deep dive into it at the start of each course). Don’t do this! Remember—what’s interesting isn’t always helpful.

Focus on creating courses that will actively help members be more effective in their day-to-day roles. To do so:

  • Incorporate tips that are specific to your members’ experiences. Take OSHA compliance, for example. Workplace safety guidelines can differ drastically depending on if your members work in offices or construction sites. Adjust your compliance training to align with what your members actually experience in their roles, rather than providing generic best practices.
  • Keep courses updated. Consider the past two years. Chances are, a lot has changed across your industry. From working from home to new office safety procedures, we’d guess that life looks substantially different for your members. That’s how quickly parts of your courses can become outdated! Regularly update your courses to provide valuable information for members as the world changes.
  • Remove “fluff.” This is where your history lesson falls. Take a critical look at each line of information you include in the course. Ask yourself how this will directly help learners do their jobs better. If you can’t think of a direct action that the information will improve, cut it!

Creating useful content is by far the most important tip to elevate your e-learning courses. You can overcome most obstacles with slight updates to your courses—but if the content inherently is not helpful to members, you’re behind the starting line.

Prioritize accessibility for all learners.

Have you ever watched a movie in which a door gets stuck, and the main character jiggles the handle incessantly until the handle inevitably falls off? Then, a comedic montage ensues as the character waits for someone to set them free.

The character wasn’t able to open the door. This wasn’t because they didn’t know how to use a door—but that when the handle fell off, they no longer had access to the tools to use the door. If you create an e-learning course that’s not accessible, you’re replicating that experience: you’re providing educational materials with no “door handle” for learners to access them.

There are a few key tenets to keep in mind when it comes to accessibility in e-learning:

  • Accessible Graphic Design: Select a design theme with sufficient color contrast, which is helpful for learners with visual impairments. Don’t use light gray text over a white background, for example, as it may be challenging to read the text.
  • Descriptions of Visuals: Use alternative text for all images, illustrations, videos, and animations. This text alternative should describe the visual content, helping users who can’t discern the image to better understand it. Additionally, include closed captions for all audio elements so individuals who have hearing impairments can read the content.
  • Navigation: Design your course so that it can be navigated using a keyboard. This will help individuals with mobility impairments, as they’ll be able to press the “Tab” key to go from page to page and press the “Enter” key to activate any buttons. If your course can be navigated with a keyboard, individuals using assistive technology (such as an eye tracker) will also be able to maneuver through the content as well.

All learners, including those with visual and hearing impairments, deserve to have a positive experience with your course. Accessibility shouldn’t be an afterthought. Instead, make it a priority from the start.

Consider ways that members can personalize their learning experiences.

Let’s say you’re going shopping for a new suit. When you arrive at the store, the fitting attendant presents you with only one option—a plain black, boxy suit. For others, that might be the perfect fit… but it’s not your style. You soon discover that it’s the only suit that the store offers. Would you stay there? No!

The same idea applies to your e-learning courses. While your association is a collective, it’s full of individual members. Each member will have slightly different interests, learning needs and styles, and goals. These individuals will see your courses as significantly more valuable when they’re personalized to their experiences.

There are a number of ways to “personalize” e-learning courses to make them more relevant and valuable on an individual level.

For example, you could create supplementary microlearning courses that expand upon topics that are skimmed over in a larger course. If learners take the larger course and are curious, they can check out your micro-course offerings for more information on specific topics.

You could also build out “Choose Your Own Adventure” branching scenarios. Essentially, you’d build the course like a tree, and learners would click to navigate down “branches” and learn more about topics that interest them. The point is, you need to create a customized experience that reels your learners in until they’ve finished the course.

Remember that content should be both educational and engaging.

Step into one of your learner’s shoes for a minute. Are you a busy healthcare professional, currently tackling your normal duties with the unhelpful addition of a global pandemic? Or, are you a marketing professional who normally would work in an office setting… but now your office is in your home, and you’re working double the time to make up for lost sales in the past year?

The idea here is that, regardless of what role your members serve in, one thing remains true—they’re busy. Very, very busy. That brings us to a hard truth: if a training course isn’t explicitly required (such as for a certification), your members may not want to purchase it. They just don’t have the time to make the purchase worthwhile!

It’s up to you to make a compelling argument for investing in ongoing professional development courses. Do that by making courses that are both educational and engaging.

Keep the following tips in mind to ramp up the interest in your e-learning courses:

  • Use scenario-based learning to immerse members in the course. Let’s say you’re discussing video conferencing best practices. Rather than listing out the tips, have members participate in a simulated Zoom meeting. They’ll be able to practice how to use the mute button (an essential skill) and be immersed in the course.
  • Empower members to practice key skills with gamification. You can create a multi-level e-learning game through which members can learn a specific skill and practice it, while having fun. Each level could cover a different skill or even get more challenging as the learner progresses through the game.
  • Consider innovative, interactive methods to display information. What’s more likely to help you remember the steps in a process: reading them on a page or dragging-and-dropping them to sort them in the correct order? The second one. Consider how you can make each part of your course interactive to keep learners engaged.

With these tips, courses won’t just be helpful to have, but enjoyable as well. It’s easier to make time for things you enjoy doing!

When it comes down to it, elevating your association’s e-learning courses simply means making them as useful as possible for members. When they see value in the courses, they’ll keep purchasing them and you’ll see engagement rise.

These tips are a great starting point. Good luck!

If your association conducts an awards program, then it is essential for you to know the fundamentals of creating an effective and engaging program website.

Designing the Optimal Association Awards Program Website

What Roles Do an Association Website and AMS Play for Awards?

An association’s AMS is a critical point of record and the association website is an essential platform for marketing the activities within the association. Having an effective awards program requires both a software portal for application submission, as well as a public-facing website for promotion.

Oftentimes the association’s website will dedicate one page to promote the awards, as a homepage, and then the awards website will be on a separate platform. Most associations view their main website as an entry point for the awards program. The awards management software will then use a public-facing website to detail the association’s submission process, categories and deadlines.

When it comes to the AMS, the awards program creates a lot of useful data. If the AMS and awards website are not speaking to one another there is a tremendous amount of valuable membership information that remains siloed. In addition, an AMS can enable judges and applicants to seamlessly log in using their same AMS credentials, otherwise known as the single sign-on.

Designing the Optimal Awards Program Website

There are two schools of thought when it comes to the design and aesthetics of an awards program website:

  1. Keep it really simple and focus on the reliability of the platform. It just needs to work.
  2. Branding and custom design is essential.

One is not better than the other, but it is important to decide where your priorities are because that will influence how you approach optimizing your website and content. There is also a significant difference between having a website dedicated to a single awards program versus having a website that encompasses many programs at once. 

In the following article we will cover everything from a basic site to advanced custom site design to help you identify the best possible approach for your own organization.

The “Keep it Simple” Approach

If your organization’s priority is simplicity and functionality, then a basic design is the approach you will wish to take. Below is an example of the American Geophysical Union’s Fellows program landing page. They are utilizing OpenWater’s default look and feel that comes with a standard navigation banner. You can also upload a banner of your choice.

Take a look at this simple, function awards program design from Union Fellows.

The landing page content is dedicated to the Union Fellows program with a call to action in the navigation bar to “Nominate a fellow”. You may also wish to have additional navigation bar items that include FAQs, policies, rules, or contact information for administrators.

The benefit of a simple design like the above keeps the applicant focused on just completing the work required and reduces any clutter or distraction. It also reduces the burden of implementation by requiring a banner and some content. No other design items are required.

About half of all OpenWater customers go with this default look and feel.

The “Match Look and Feel” Approach

The next most common approach is to do what is known as a Match Look and Feel. This means that your awards program submission form and website match your own website. There is no differentiation between your awards website and your regular website.

This approach is best if you want a consistent brand between your organization and the submission process. This makes the most sense for something like a grant or scholarship application. It is also a good choice for those who run multiple grants and scholarships on a single site. Let’s take a look at the Institute of Engineering and Technology’s page below.

The Institute of Engineering and Technology takes a clean, consistent branding approach to their awards program website.

They do a great job listing some basic instructions followed by a call to action. Additionally, they provide a table of programs along with their availability and Apply Now links.

What you are looking at is still the OpenWater platform, but the header and footer match that of the IET website to ensure consistent branding between both platforms.

Advanced Custom Design and Branding

In some cases, the awards program itself is the brand, not the organization. Notable examples of this are the Grammys, Oscars, and Emmy Awards. And if you want to build a brand around your awards program, then you should have a dedicated website with its own brand.

The MSL of the Year Awards run by the Medical Science Liaison Society is a relatively new awards program, but they have done a fantastic job creating a website showcasing the program.

MSL of the Year starts off with a full page, designed banner with a large call to action to “Submit a Nomination.”

Take a look at the elaborate and sophisticated awards program web design from the Medical Science Liaison Society.

The next section conveys important information about the awards program, such as dates as well as categories.

Take a look at the elaborate and sophisticated awards program web design from the Medical Science Liaison Society.

The section below categories is a video highlighting the MSL of the Year awards and previous winners and finalists.

Take a look at the elaborate and sophisticated awards program web design from the Medical Science Liaison Society.

Highlighting the judges and their expertise is a great way to further the brand.

Take a look at the elaborate and sophisticated awards program web design from the Medical Science Liaison Society.

As you get lower down the page, you provide additional information on eligibility and FAQs.

Take a look at the elaborate and sophisticated awards program web design from the Medical Science Liaison Society.

A timeline of events keeps both applicants and judges informed on important dates of the awards program.

Take a look at the elaborate and sophisticated awards program web design from the Medical Science Liaison Society.

Other great examples of custom design websites are AdAge’s A-List & Creativity Awards and Sandow Media’s Awards.

You may also draw inspiration from AdAge's bright, clean, and orderly awards program website design.
Check out Sando Media's impressive HiP awards program website design.

We hope sharing these different approaches inspires your team to evaluate your awards program branding and decide what is best for you. Go here to learn more about OpenWater awards management software

Other Awards Website Best Practices

1. Include a Winners Gallery

Having historical data of your awards in a gallery is a nice thing for visitors to see, not just to look at, but also to get a better feel for your program. (Take a look at the website for The Oscars as an example.) Providing an archive of your awards adds to your legitimacy and prestige; by adding a gallery of winners, you are enticing entrants with the prize itself.

2. Review & Update Your Information

Keep information on the site updated regularly so visitors will be able to easily find what they need. Make sure all of the submission information is clear and concise. Review your website with the eyes of a newcomer and see if there’s anything you could add to help entrants. (Remember: better instructions means better submissions.)

Awards Call for Entry Best Practice

The call for entry (CFE) page on your awards website is nothing without the right elements in your CFE itself! When you’re carefully crafting this, be sure to include these 9 vital elements:

1. About the Awards – Your CFE is meant to excite people! By including information about your program’s history and tenure, you can generate interest and establish legitimacy too.

2. Categories – Listing out your categories will let interested entrants know whether or not their submission would be a fit for your program.

3. Judging Criteria – Showing how entries will be judged will help entrants structure their submissions and heighten the qualities of the entries as well.

4. Entry Criteria – Be sure to tell entrants all of the information they’ll need to submit upon entering! This will help them prepare and evaluate eligibility requirements.

5. Judges – Judges are typically industry experts, meaning that they can attract potential entrants too. Be sure to show off your judges for additional publicity.

6. Relevant Dates – Let entrants know when your CFE begins and ends so they can prepare their submission in time.

7. Fees – You don’t want entrants to get to the end of your program and then be surprised (often in a negative way) by the necessary fees. Detail different costs (like general entry fees, early-bird discounts, and late fees) explicitly and your entrants will thank you.

8. How to Submit – Include a link to the application to simplify the submission process for those who are interested. This can increase your number of entrants and create a hassle-free process for everyone involved.

9. Contact Information – Contact information makes it simple for those who have questions or want additional information to get it quickly and efficiently.

How OpenWater and Fonteva Work Together

Trade Associations and Membership Societies that use Fonteva as their AMS can integrate with OpenWater for single sign on, membership specific pricing and to exchange data with the AMS to enable seamless reporting on nominations for awards, submissions, judging and much more. Click here to learn more about OpenWater’s integration with Fonteva.

This is the feature image for this article about top membership management software and reviews.

Top Membership Management Software Options & Reviews

As your association grows, your requirements for your membership software grow, too — so much so that you’ve outgrown your current membership management solution!

After congratulating your members on another successful year, it’s time to get to work with your association leadership team and find your next membership management system. Your task is to find the best association management software that can handle your organization’s specific needs and scale with you as you continue to grow.

There’s no shortage of systems to choose from, and parsing through all your available options can quickly become overwhelming. In this guide, we’ll review membership management software basics and describe top options to give you a clear picture of how to proceed. We’ll cover these topics:

As you work through this post, keep in mind that the perfect membership management system looks different for every unique association. Features your organization can’t do without may not even cross the minds of another association’s executive team.

Ultimately, your members are the heart of your association, so keeping your member community and their needs at the forefront as you decide which management solution is right for your organization is essential. With that, let’s jump in!

This section will describe the basic features and purpose of membership management software.

What is Membership Management Software?

Membership management software is a specialized customer relationship management (CRM) system that association leaders use to stay on top of the administration of their association’s membership program.

These software systems store crucial information about association members, such as member profiles, continuing education history, and preferred communication methods.

In addition to storing this essential data, association management software enables association leaders to complete various administrative tasks meant to streamline management processes, improve communication with members, and boost member engagement.

For example, with the member information you gather through your software system, you can create courses, events, and other programs based on your audience’s preferences. This system can also keep track of members’ continuing education credits and event registrations, boosting personal and professional development. Additionally, communication features allow leaders to automate association-wide updates for a simplified notification process.

If your organization has yet to implement a full-fledged membership management system, you’ll be amazed at the opportunities it can reveal. You can ditch the messy spreadsheets and clunky communications systems you may have used in the past for an all-in-one solution that simplifies your management duties for maximum engagement success.

These are the seven essentials for your membership management software system.

7 Essentials for your Membership Management System

No matter what kind of membership program you operate, there are several essential features you should look for in new membership management software. Here are the top seven features to look for in a membership management system:

Robust member profiles are important features of membership management software options.

1. Robust member profiles

While all membership software should store necessary information such as contact details, more sophisticated solutions will automatically populate more specific information from other features you integrate into your membership CRM, such as:

  • Event attendance: When your members attend an event, your membership CRM should record the type of ticket they bought as well as any add-ons they opted into.
  • Connections: Your membership CRM should reflect relationships between members, like membership in the same chapter or employment at the same workplace.
  • Membership level: Your CRM should apply badges, special permissions, or discounts based on membership level when members make online purchases.

The best membership software will also allow members to modify their profiles. Encouraging members to keep their profiles up to date doesn’t just ensure that your data is current — it also fosters engagement in the greater member community. Users can explore the robust member directory to identify and connect with members for personal or professional networking opportunities.

For example, Fonteva’s member profile platform allows members to input basic information such as job titles and contact information, link their Twitter profiles to connect with other members on social media, and keep track of their subscriptions:

This is an example of the member profile page offered by Fonteva's membership management software.
Your membership management software should be able to handle automated membership renewals.

2. Automatic member renewals

One of the most significant benefits members receive from being in an association is joining a strong network of like-minded professionals. These connections are symbiotic and can help further each others’ careers through career advancement opportunities or sharing advice.

To maintain the strength of these networks as a member benefit, member retention is paramount. Membership software that can automate the renewal process will drastically increase your members’ chances of renewing by simplifying the process of renewal for both members and the staff tasked with notifying them.

Look for membership software that can identify individuals whose membership is up for renewal, then send them automated renewal reminders. These reminders should be:

  • Timely, giving your members plenty of time to pay their dues before their membership expires.
  • Recurring, to keep renewal on your members’ minds without annoying them.
  • Personalized, with your members’ name and a link directly to a renewal form.

Membership software should also send automatic welcome messages to new members and expiration notices for members who don’t renew in time.

Here’s the process of how these updates boost renewals:

  1. Your organization sends a reminder email to a member who’s up for renewal or a lapsed member with information on the benefits of staying involved. Depending on your organization, these benefits may include receiving training through an educational course or getting involved in your membership mentor program.
  2. You also describe exciting upcoming events, such as a virtual networking night or a new speaker series.
  3. Your member receives the message, personally addressed to them, and it gives them a reason to maintain their membership. They see how staying involved will benefit them personally and professionally.

On the other hand, members that don’t receive any reminders will forget about your membership program (or at the very least, take longer to rejoin).

If you want to know more ways to make your membership renewal letters more enticing, check out this guide full of tips and examples. For example, it’s good practice to use a personal greeting and friendly tone and incentivize early renewals with discounts or other perks.

Event management is an important aspect of your membership management software.

3. Event management

You might not think that event management is essential for membership software, but think again! The benefits of integrating your member database and your event planning software are practically endless. Your event planning team will be able to:

  • Eliminate manual data transfer from a third-party platform, saving time and promoting accuracy.
  • Avoid implementation and transaction costs from a second software solution.
  • Upsell memberships at registration, then apply member benefits to the same purchase.
  • Empower local chapters to plan events.

And those are just the benefits to your planning team. Think about how helpful integrated event features are for your members:

Members get automatic discounts, priority registration, and special permissions when they register, and their attendance records are automatically stored in their member profiles. They can check the member directory for others who registered for the same event to strike up a conversation about what they learned or experienced.

Not all association management software solutions offer these features! Make sure you research alternatives to popular solutions before committing.

For example, check out what Fonteva’s integrated event management platform looks like:

This is Fonteva's event builder, a critical feature in this membership management software option.

As you can see, Fonteva’s membership management software allows event organizers to manage ticketing, speakers, sponsors, and basic event information all within your membership CRM. This saves your team time and ensures everyone’s on the same page through every step of the planning process.

Your membership management software platform should also handle payment processing.

4. Payment processing

eCommerce and payment processing solutions are not only necessary to manage member dues, but they’re also crucial for driving non-dues revenue for your organization. These revenue streams, such as event tickets or online courses, are likely an important funding source for your association.

Once you find the best payment processor for your association, you need to ensure that your membership CRM will integrate seamlessly with it, tracking and managing:

  • Membership purchases.
  • Member dues, including recurring payments.
  • Registration and ticket purchases.
  • Refunds and deferred invoices.
  • Prices for online purchases.

Your membership software solution should be able to produce reports based on this data, providing your administrative team with a birds-eye view of your accounting. Top options also provide a seamless experience for your members, allowing them to easily and quickly submit online payments.

You'll want to choose a membership management software system that offers analytics and reporting features.

5. Analytics and reporting

Speaking of reports, there’s nothing more valuable to an association’s long-term goals than comprehensive analytics. There’s no way to know how to move forward if you don’t know what’s worked well — and what hasn’t — in the past.

The best membership CRM will make it easy to create custom reports for different departments, special committees, and projects with:

  • Reporting on standard as well as custom fields.
  • Simple customization interfaces (no coding required).
  • Easy export to common file types.

When every team member can customize their own reports while drawing from the same central, up-to-date database, every aspect of your strategy will benefit. Keeping track of everything from fundraising metrics to non-dues revenue and more helps your organization grow by allowing you to set data-driven goals that move the needle. Plus, you won’t have to learn how to use complicated reporting software that’s separate from your central system.

Self-service member portals are another important feature of membership management software.

6. Online self-service member portals

When you choose an association management system, you know that the solution’s focus has to be on your members. That’s why one of the most crucial features of your membership management solution is the option to offer online self-service member portals. 

Beyond the member profiles we mentioned before, you need to be able to empower your members to take charge of their engagement with options such as:

  • Full control over their membership tiers and status.
  • Easy online event registration and check-in.
  • Online networking and communication outlets.
  • Continuing education, certification, and accreditation options.

Members will want to continue or expand their engagement with your association when you offer them a smart membership CRM that improves their interactions with your organization and helps them further their careers. 

You'll want to choose a membership management software that offers full database customization.

7. Full database customization

You know that to use your database to the best of your abilities, it has to work for your organization. Your members rely on your association’s ability to meet their needs, so you need a software solution that fits yours!

When looking for membership software, make sure you choose a system that allows you to customize your database. Depending on your association, this could look like:

  • Customizable member fields, so you get all the information you need and none you don’t.
  • Member segmentation options, so you can analyze your members and conduct targeted communication efforts.
  • Customizable views, so your staffers can always see the most relevant information for their daily tasks.

Your organization will continue to grow and change, so don’t settle for a membership management system that can’t grow and change with you.

Based on these necessary features, few software options offer these requirements, but there’s one choice that stands out on top. Read on for an overview of our top software recommendation.

Learn more about membership management software with our free checklist.
Fonteva is our top membership management software recommendation.

All-In-One Membership Management Software: Fonteva

Overview of this Membership Management System

Fonteva Membership is a true-cloud association membership software native to Salesforce, the world’s foremost CRM system. Fonteva has over a decade of experience working with associations, professional societies, association management companies, and local governments. These organizations all use Fonteva to enhance management and engagement strategies with a cloud-based, scalable platform.

With Fonteva, organization leaders can complete these necessary functions with ease:

  • Empower members with easy access to the member directory, event sign-ups, and continuing education opportunities.
  • Manage ticketing, speakers, sponsors, and basic event information all within their membership CRM.
  • Integrate payment processing and automatic discounts for members who shop using their member profiles.
  • Access automatically-generated reports based on any number of metrics.
  • Give members access to a self-service member portal.
  • Create customized databases to fit specific needs.

With Fonteva Membership, organizations also receive implementation and data migration support and ongoing training on best practices for using the software. Transitioning member data to a new system can be a major undertaking, but with Fonteva, associations have a helping hand throughout the entire process. We’re with you every step of the way.

Why Fonteva Membership Stands Out

One of Fonteva Membership’s greatest assets that sets it apart from other options is that it’s built on top of Salesforce. Salesforce is the world’s leading CRM provider for a reason — it offers a highly scalable and customizable platform and employs an army of developers and partners to support customers and continuously devise new and innovative products.

With Fonteva, organizations receive updates, code-free customization, and 24/7 customer support from Salesforce. With the backing of Salesforce, users also rest assured that their membership system is protected with high-level security measures.

Fonteva has many other advantages — for one, it’s an easy-to-use system that doesn’t require an in-house IT department to get up and running. Additionally, since Fonteva is cloud-based, organizational leaders can access the system from any location, with any device.

Here’s a practical example of what Fonteva can do for associations. Check out this customized database, built for an event:

This is an example of how you can conduct event management through your membership management software.

A comprehensive dashboard provides a high-level overview of the most important reports and trends related to the event, ensuring organizers can carry out activities effectively and analyze data once the event concludes.

Fonteva offers the flexibility and extensive, yet user-friendly features to simplify management practices, save association leaders time, and strengthen communities through a personalized member experience.

Here are other options for membership management software.

Other Top Membership Management Solutions

Your choice in membership management software is a critical decision, so it’s essential to not rush into any solution too quickly. In addition to Fonteva, there are several other software options that may also be equipped to meet your organization’s needs.

Protech is another great option for membership management software.

Protech: Overview

Leveraging Microsoft’s intuitive Dynamics 365 software, Protech provides a rich membership management solution that can help streamline your association’s membership management processes from event planning to member engagement.

The Protech platform is another powerful option for membership management software.

Take a look at a few of the many tools available with Protech’s powerful AMS, such as:

  • Access to robust, enterprise-level e-commerce features, streamlining the online shopping and event registration process for both members and staff.
  • Seamless integration with AppSource tools, Microsoft Office and Business applications, and various third-party platforms.
  • Automated, personalized marketing and communication features, allowing associations to both simplify their outreach and maximize engagement across multiple channels.

Additionally, Protech provides event software, professional development tools, and a variety of other built-in or integrated features to help complete your association’s membership management toolkit.

Regpack is another option for member management software.

Regpack: Overview

Regpack combines association management and membership renewals into an all-in-one solution. It offers flexible and integrated payment processes, automated communications, and reporting systems.

Regpack is an option for membership management software.

In addition to expected features such as event registration, member databases and portals, and automated dues, organizations can use Regpack to:

  • Embed member application processes into their websites.
  • Offer donation opportunities through their websites.
  • Save money through optimized registration processes.

Regpack doesn’t just offer membership software — it also has systems for camps, schools and other educational programs, travel groups, and more. Therefore, a wide range of organizations turn to Regpack for management assistance.

MemberClicks is another option for membership management software.

MemberClicks: Overview

MemberClicks works with associations, chambers, universities, and association management companies to provide comprehensive software solutions that increase engagement and generate revenue.

MemberClicks is another option for membership management software.

Beyond just a membership management system, the integrated platform offers a suite of software tools, including:

  • A learning management system to store and distribute educational content and track members’ learning progress.
  • Job board software that helps connect job-seekers to new opportunities, providing additional value to members.
  • Membership website and CMS to create a modern, responsive site that engages and informs visitors.

MemberClicks also provides training resources for organization management and member retention.

GlueUp is another option for membership management software.

GlueUp: Overview

GlueUp provides a sophisticated yet easy-to-use CRM platform for associations, business networks, and chambers.

GlueUp is another option for membership management software.

GlueUp’s membership software solution contains these features:

  • An event management suite that allows organizations to set up branded event pages, ticketing, and event promotions.
  • A training management suite to create engaging, monetized webinars, manage certificates, and promote courses.
  • A community engagement suite to facilitate discussion and networking.

With GlueUp, organizations also receive access to two mobile apps: one for community members and one for association management teams.

HiveBrite is another option for membership management software.

HiveBrite: Overview

HiveBrite is a community management platform used by professional networks, school and university alumni groups, corporate alumni groups, and nonprofits.

HiveBrite is another option for membership management software.

With HiveBrite, organizations customize the platform to fit their specific needs and requirements. Associations appreciate HiveBrite for its:

  • CRM and member management tools that allow users to apply filters and conduct targeted member communications.
  • Content management to maintain an updated website.
  • Communication tools such as in-app messages and mobile notifications.

Like GlueUp, HiveBrite also offers the ability to create a customized, branded mobile app. HiveBrite’s “Who’s around me” app feature allows members to use a map to discover other members nearby.


From member recruitment to retention, your association management system is the most efficient tool in your association’s toolbox for completing essential tasks. Engaging your members in a strong member community starts with forethought and the best software available.

You may still have lingering concerns or questions about membership management software options or how to get the best ROI for your choice. If that’s the case, check out these additional resources before making your final decision:

Ready for a membership management software platform that can do it all? Contact Fonteva today.
Selling online courses for your association is a key engagement strategy that drives genuine value for your members. Explore our favorite tips and tricks here.

Tips for Selling Online Courses to Your Association Members

A major driver for becoming a member of an association is the opportunity to further a skill or advance in a particular field. Depending on your association’s mission and offerings, you likely host in-person events with speakers, or maybe even multi-day conferences, all to provide ample networking and learning opportunities.

However, your regular plans were likely thrown in for a loop the past 18-24 months. Now, virtual events and online experiences have taken the reign. Included in this genre are e-learning and online courses.

Selling online courses to your association members is an effective way to provide engaging and educational experiences and opportunities. If your association is made up of professionals in a similar field, online courses can even be offered for official accreditation that members can announce and pin to their online profiles.

If you want to expand your own online learning opportunities for association members, this article is here to provide you with some guidance. Selling online courses is more than just pulling together educational materials and handing them off to your members. From the topics you offer to the ease of your registration process, we’ve compiled a few key tips to keep in mind:

  1. Offer courses that will appeal to your members
  2. Make the online registration process easy to find and complete
  3. Invest in a secure online payment processor
  4. Follow up with a course registration confirmation email

Providing members value through online courses is not only an effective recruitment tool but can also increase retention rates for your association. You just need to offer courses that appeal to your members and encourage registration. Let’s begin. 

1. Offer courses that will appeal to your members

This may seem obvious, as you wouldn’t offer online courses on the subject of business marketing to members of a professional medical association. However, there are additional steps you can take to ensure that the online courses in your catalog are driving genuine value for your members. The best way to do this is by analyzing your data. 

Your association management system should store key information that you collect from your members. This should include both personal information like names, contact details, job titles, and engagement metrics such as what types of events they usually sign up for, and more. Make sure this information is easily accessible within your management solution.

This data can give you a clue into what online courses and events will garner the most registrations and meet the needs of your members. For instance:

  • Consider past courses or conference workshops that have been popular and pivot them to take place online
  • Make note of common job roles and levels and create online courses that target them

Along with looking at your existing data, you can also research similar associations in related fields and explore the online courses they offer.

Or, be more proactive and send out a survey to your entire member base. Ask them if they have a particular skill they want to develop or a course they want to take for accreditation. From there, you can begin planning how you can take this learning experience entirely online. Using live streaming software and other e-learning platforms will be your best approach. 

2. Make the online registration process easy to find and complete

Once you have a catalog of online courses for your members to select from, it’s time to start encouraging your members to register. No matter what, your online registration process should be easy to find and complete. 

Within your association’s website, have a dedicated space for your online courses built into your main navigation or include a prominent link on your homepage. Include calls-to-action within your event calendar or other association offerings. 

Send out an email to your members letting them know about the online learning opportunities. Ensure that you place a clearly displayed link to your registration page so that users know exactly how to sign up if they want to. From there, it’s critical that your online course registration process is as streamlined and convenient as possible. Often, a registration form that takes too long or asks too many questions can be what causes the potential attendee to simply give up in frustration.

Creating an intuitive and quick sign-up process is where a dependable online registration tool will come in handy. Let’s take some insight from this scenario featuring the Northwest Hydroelectric Association. They needed a solution that not only automates the registration process but also centralizes data for helpful reporting. After investing in a solution, they said “It frees up time from having to manually input every entry,” ultimately streamlining the sign-up process and positioning them for increased registrations.

Make sure your own registration solution has the following capabilities:

  • Customization to ensure the form is branded to the association. This not only improves user experience but also helps build the relationship between the registrant and your association. 
  • Embedding options for your organization’s website. Sending users to a third-party site not only interrupts the registration process but can also confuse the registrant and even make them suspicious of legitimacy. 
  • Personalization to cater the registration process to each individual. Look for tools with conditional logic abilities that react to the registrant’s answers by changing the form and the questions. If a member indicates that they’re interested in a follow-up course, the form could change to include additional information regarding their options. If they say they’re not interested, the form does not change at all. 
  • Integrated payment abilities. This way members can checkout during the registration process, meaning you don’t have to charge them with another tool or bill them later. We’ll talk more about your payment processor in the next section!

Along with the above capabilities, make sure that your registration page has all of the necessary information that attendees will need before they sign up for the opportunity. After all, online courses aren’t the traditional form of learning but have been rising in popularity due to their cost, convenience, and wide accessibility. If specific online software is required or the course you offer requires multiple sessions, these details should be prominently displayed before individuals register.

3. Invest in a secure online payment processor

The final step of the registration process for your online courses is payment. You don’t want to mar your member’s registration experience with an insecure and unsafe online payment process. One data breach can ruin your association’s reputation and make the selling of online courses (and acceptance of membership dues or event tickets) much more difficult in the future.

Make sure that you invest in a dependable and integrated payment tool, ensuring that course signups get finalized and that everyone’s data is protected. Your payment tool should

  • Be PCI Compliant. According to iATS Payments, “The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) was created by major credit card companies to set high technical standards to safeguard customer information. PCI Compliance is mandatory for all merchants, regardless of size.”
  • Automate payment invoices breaking down the transaction and registration. 
  • Offer payment plans and auto-billing to ease costs. 
  • Provide comprehensive payment reporting using a centralized system that both registration coordinators and accountants can access

To jump-start your online course registration offer discounts or early-bird signups to your most active association members. Some tools can even automatically trigger and apply discounts depending on the applicant. 

Consider creating different discount codes for member tiers. Taking insight from this Fonteva article, segment your members based on different discounts, like who has taken previous online courses or who has been a member for longer than a specified period of time.

4. Follow up with a course registration confirmation email

As the online course registration wraps up and payment is completed, it’s time to send out a course registration confirmation email. 

Registration confirmation emails have a couple of key uses. For one thing, they prevent confusion down the line about whether the registration was accepted. This verifies to the registrant that they have successfully signed up and that their payment has been received.

This type of email also opens up a communication channel between your association and online course participants. If there are any questions that registrants need answered, they can simply hit reply or use the preferred contact details provided in the email. 

This is also the place to relay all pertinent course information and target actions in the email. For instance, if a particular form needs to be completed before the course, make sure you have a bright button indicating that. Or, if the course requires a Zoom profile, the email should make this the focus action. If there are any urgent deadlines or other dates, make sure to bold them so that readers don’t accidentally gloss over these important details.

If you are having some trouble figuring out exactly what to say in your online course registration emails, Regpack has a handy guide along with three templates. Use the templates as inspiration and then tweak them to fit your association’s exact needs. 


Selling online courses to your association members provides them with engaging experiences and exciting learning opportunities. From making sure you offer the right courses to streamlining the registration process, the above tips and strategies will help you take your own member engagement to the next level moving forward. Good luck!

About the Author

Asaf Darash, Founder and CEO of Regpack, has extensive experience as an entrepreneur and investor. Asaf has built 3 successful companies to date, all with an exit plan or that have stayed in profitability and are still functional. Asaf specializes in product development for the web, team building and in bringing a company from concept to an actualized unit that is profitable.

Strengthening Member Engagement: Tips From an HR Consultant

Strengthening Member Engagement: Tips From an HR Consultant

Why do members join associations? For the professional value they provide. As an association leader yourself, you already know that this value often revolves around the experiences you offer, the people members will meet, and the abundance of opportunities you provide. These engagement methods aren’t just used to recruit new members, but are also essential elements needed to actively retain those members.

However, as time goes on, the same old engagement tactics won’t hold out. Whether more engaging alternatives are popping up or you’ve simply run out of fresh ideas, it’s worth it to explore how you can strengthen your association member engagement strategy. 

We at Astron Solutions are not association leaders ourselves, but we are experts in HR consulting. Not only do we have an array of association clients, but some of our staff have also held leadership roles themselves in associations, like President or VP of Finance. One of our main areas of expertise is internal employee engagement and productivity. The same best practices used to engage staff internally can and should teach you a thing or two about boosting external engagement with your members.

As we begin this new year, refreshing and revitalizing your member engagement strategies might be just what you need to ensure success for 2021. After all, no one could have predicted the impact of last year, and it’s likely that your own association needs an engagement boost. Here are our top tips from an HR consultant:

  1. Invest in a comprehensive management solution
  2. Communicate consistently and valuably 
  3. Offer ample learning opportunities
  4. Provide tools for members to engage with each other 

With most large in-person gatherings and face-to-face meetings on pause, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of digital tools and online platforms for member engagement. That’s why our first tip will be investing in a key management solution. Read on to learn more.

1. Invest in a comprehensive management solution

If you haven’t invested in a management solution for your association, then right now is a great time to start. With many of your member engagements now happening virtually (thanks, 2020), having a comprehensive management solution is even more crucial, especially if you want your members to have the tools they need to engage with your offerings and each other. It’s also incredibly useful to track all of those key engagements, which your software can do. 

For internal HR leaders, the solution we turn to will likely be some sort of talent or performance management software. For associations, membership management tools will be your best bet. Depending on the opportunities your association offers, try to look for membership solutions that can integrate with or also have event management capabilities.

Here are some of the top features your own solution should have:

  • Member database. Every piece of data and information you have on your members should live in your member database, also known as a constituent relationship management (CRM) system. Not only does this help keep your association organized, but you can use these data points to personalize member communication and build more meaningful relationships. Make sure to actively track engagement (like event attendance, online activity, etc.) as it’s essential if you want to strategically improve over time.
  • Online member profiles. Along with the data in your member database, provide a public member directory for members to browse through online. Encourage users to add photos so that your members can get familiar with one another even if they can only do it virtually. Members should be able to self-edit their profiles to avoid inaccuracies.
  • Email marketing and communication. In order to actively engage your members, you’re going to need a way to talk to them. With most of your interactions confined to the digital space, a management system with highly capable email and communication tools is key. We touch more on this in the next section. 
  • Event planning and management. As mentioned briefly before, finding an association management solution with event planning capabilities is key. For one thing, your association is already likely hosting a number of events, whether they’re smaller meetings, larger conferences, or a virtual experience. With your event tools integrated into your core management system, you have the ability to easily create event pages and streamline the registration process. Then, all of that data can be centralized in your member database to further help you engage your members. 

It’s worth it to invest in a comprehensive association management system whenever possible, instead of piecing together separate tools as your organization grows. With an integrated solution, you can pull all of your data together to create in-depth and meaningful reports. These help you and your team visualize past data and ensure that you’re always moving forward and improving. 

2. Communicate consistently and valuably 

One of the key ways to recruit members is to meaningfully communicate with high-quality prospects. This means sending content that aligns with their values, preferences, and so on. When a member joins your association, that doesn’t mean your communication with them should stop. In fact, as soon as they officially become a member, this should be the start to a long lasting and two-way communication channel. 

As an association leader, your role is to offer exciting and valuable opportunities and content, while your members’ jobs are to engage back and ask questions or offer feedback when prompted.

However, it isn’t enough just to send a couple of emails per month. The average email open rate is only around 15-25%, so taking steps to optimize your communication strategy is worth it. One essential strategy that many growing organizations often neglect is email segmentation.

According to DNL OmniMedia, segmentation is “the act of organizing the [contacts] in your database into groups— segments— based on their shared characteristics.” This could range from how long members have been active, what skills they have, and any other relevant qualifiers. This will depend on your unique association and the data points you value. 

Then, you’ll create targeted communication content for each segment and use your membership management solution to send emails out to the relevant recipients. This way, each of your members is getting outreach content specifically tailored for them. 

Creating targeted communication content is a must for developing more engaging relationships with members. If you want to take this to the next level, consider data automation to personalize your email communications. In fact, the Aberdeen group found that personalized email messages can improve click-through rates by as much as 14% and conversions by 10%.

In order to automate data personalization, it’s crucial that your membership database and email tool are integrated and work together seamlessly. Your tools should pull the relevant data points from your CRM and populate it into email communications. Implement these personal data points:

  • Name
  • Role
  • Event status
  • Past accomplishments

These little tidbits of personal information ensure that members know that the email they get is made for them. After all, no one enjoys receiving and scrolling through hundreds of spam emails that don’t even pertain to them. Set up the expectation early on that each email you send to members is actively valuable and targeted for them.

3. Offer ample learning opportunities

Many times, members join associations to further their career or expand on a certain skill. That’s why professional associations are so popular. This means that one of the most engaging ways you can continue building your relationships with members is to offer ample learning opportunities.

Because of the nature of current circumstances, your learning courses have likely pivoted to online. But don’t fret, as this approach actually opens up many more new opportunities than you might think. For instance, you can pre-record content instead of having to staff a live presenter, or ask an experienced staff member to step in for each session. 

Offering online learning also enables you to expand the number of people who can experience it. Members (or non-members) can sign up and participate in the course no matter where they are, and no matter what time it is.

To get a better sense of the types of learning opportunities your members would most likely be interested in, consider the following:

  • Take a look at your membership database and make note of common goals
  • Review what other professional associations are teaching and offering to their members
  • Research the industry and jot down different skills for different levels
  • Take a look at public e-learning online platforms and select a few that you think might benefit your members
  • Create and send a survey to your members asking them to rank their top choices for new educational content

Partnering with an e-learning content development company might also be a tactic to explore. If you’re thinking of taking your association learning to the next level, this article explains how custom e-learning development can help. 

4. Provide opportunities for members to engage with each other 

Along with the engagement opportunities you offer to your members, consider how you can encourage members to engage with each other. After all, a huge draw to becoming a part of an association is meeting others in your sector and taking advantage of networking opportunities.

Traditionally, your association likely hosted live events that brought your members together with professional speakers or a multi-day conference with a variety of different panels. However, due to the nature of current social distancing guidelines, we might not be able to host these types of gatherings until later in 2021. So, what other opportunities can you provide members to ensure they engage with each other in the meantime and going forward?

  • Dedicated online member portal where members can explore other profiles, get familiar with the other members, access discussion boards, and more.
  • Virtual association events where members can take advantage of live streaming tools and other online solutions to engage with others entirely online.
  • Association member committees made up of some of your most active members. Invite prospects to be a part of the committee, let them know of the role requirements, and encourage them to chat and discuss topics via text, audio, or video.

Ensuring that your members are engaging with each other is crucial for your recruitment and retention strategies. The same goes for employers trying to increase employee productivity. Without the ability to talk and interact with other team members, it’s harder for employees to feel a sense of belonging and loyalty to the organization. 


As an HR consultant, we are faced with numerous challenges when it comes to engaging employees and other constituents. Recruitment and retention are critically important for any organization that relies on people power, but it must all be backed up with solid engagement strategies. 

These tips are sure to help you with your own members and how you engage with them. Throughout it all, a solid foundation with a comprehensive management solution will be your best long-term bet. Start the new year with confidence and start strengthening your member engagement!

Check out our top picks to help you choose the best association management software to suit your members' needs.

Best Association Management Software | Our Top Picks

Learn about the future of association software in this whitepaper!

The day to day essential tasks of managing an association can be draining. From emailing members, recruiting prospects, ensuring that due payments are on time, it’s a lot to juggle, especially as your membership base grows. That’s where association management software, or AMS, solutions comes in.

The best AMS solutions are specifically designed to meet the unique needs of associations just like yours. With features spanning database capabilities, messaging and email tools, accounting and payment systems, and event planning solutions, a top AMS is a smart move for any association.

Whether you’re looking to invest in an AMS for the first time or you need to upgrade your solution, it’s worth it to take the time to explore beyond the first dominant choices you come across.

That’s why we’ve created this comparison of all the biggest names on the market – and provided our own reviews! This list spans a variety of niches and levels of comprehensiveness, so be sure to read through each section. That way you’ll get a clearer sense of the particular balance of specificity, utility, and ease-of-use that will best suit your association’s needs.

Before we explore these top picks, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions on association management software. Here’s what you can expect:

Comprehensive AMS systems usually span a vast array of management tools and capabilities. If a more lightweight, membership-oriented solution is more appropriate for your software needs, be sure to check out our membership software comparison and buying guide.

Ready to get started? Let’s dive into the FAQ first.

This section answers some association management software frequently asked questions.

 Association Management Software FAQ

What is association management software?

Association management software is a specialized solution that helps association leaders stay on top of their administrative duties, effectively organize memberships, and facilitate exciting engagement opportunities.

The software you choose should store essential information on your members and support organizational tasks through reporting and accounting features. The best solution should also integrate with or have event management capabilities, online stores, and more.

What can you do with association management software?

Specifically, association software can help you gather and organize member information so that you can create courses, events, and other programming. It should also track your members’ continuing education credits, register individuals for events, automate communications, and provide member-only portals and directories.

What should I look for in my association management system?

Not all AMS solutions are created equal. To ensure that your own system can effectively meet all your needs, your AMS should have comprehensive member profiles using the data input from registrations. These should auto-update as new information gets accumulated and let members self-edit.

Additionally, you should have access to dashboards and reports to make key insights. Ensure your event management tools integrate with your association membership database and that you have revenue accounting capabilities. The former centralizes your attendee and member data while the latter tracks member dues, donations, event registration fees, online store purchases, and more.

This section will go through our top picks for association software.

Our Top Picks for Association Software

Now that you have an overview of what an AMS is, what it can do for your leadership management, and the features that can take your association to the next level, let’s begin reviewing some of our favorite solutions.

Fonteva for Associations is our top pick for the best association management software.

1. Fonteva Membership – Best for Salesforce Users

Overview of this Association Management Software

With comprehensive features that fit within a lean and intuitive structure that can get your team up and running in no time, Fonteva Membership is among the best AMS solutions out there for good reason.

Focused on offering your team both big-picture planning capabilities and more specific tools to fine-tune your strategies, events, and communications, Fonteva Membership is a powerful partner for any membership-based organization.

Plus, the software is built on Salesforce, the world’s leading CRM platform for businesses. Retain more members and grow like never before with one of the most agile and intuitive AMS solutions on the market!

Top Features of This Software

Fonteva Membership includes a wide variety of intuitive features and tools, all designed to take your association’s digital operations to the next level. Some of its top features include:

  • Comprehensive member profiles and database reporting capabilities. Automated and custom data reporting into your member CRM makes it easier than ever to track your members, identify areas for growth, and get a firm grasp on your own data. Built on the Salesforce platform, Fonteva can help your wealth of data start working for you.
  • Powerful event management features. Fonteva Membership includes enterprise-level event management and planning tools with no extra integrations necessary. Draw directly from your own data reports, contact databases, and member CRM to plan your best event yet, all in a single platform.
  • Member communities and tools. Fonteva Membership allows you to create and customize communities and committees for your members. Plus, members have the ability to form and manage their own groups! Organized collaboration is easier than ever with a platform designed to truly facilitate it.
Fonteva's comprehensive and intuitive features make it the best association management software available.
[This is a screenshot of Fonteva’s website listing out top AMS features.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

As a fully native Salesforce app, Fonteva offers associations the power and the flexibility needed to not only fit comfortably within your operations, but also to streamline every aspect of them.

There are no growing pains with Fonteva – it’s a completely scalable solution.

As a true cloud solution, Fonteva Membership allows you to choose the functionality you need when you need it. You can easily add additional tools as your association grows and your needs change.

Protech is a robust association management software powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365.

2. Protech – Best for Microsoft Users

Overview of this Association Software

The tech solutions offered by Protech are built for and powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365 to create a comprehensive association management platform. 

Leveraging best-in-class business applications from one of the world’s most innovative software providers, the Protech association management platform provides users with a rich suite of membership management tools perfectly suited to teams using the Microsoft ecosystem. 

This, along with Protech’s vast integration capabilities and its member-focused design, has earned it a top spot among the best association tools on the market.

Top Features of this Tool

Protech is a full-service association management platform, meaning their software comes packed with an array of tools to confront any challenges your association may encounter. The Protech platform includes:

  • Sophisticated member analytics and data tracking. Through LX 365 and Microsoft’s Power BI, users are given access to interactive, customizable dashboards and reports to track member engagement, internal management, and their association’s health.
  • Expedited event management. Enhance your association’s events with simplified registration, expo logistic systems, and exhibit and booth management tools.
  • Seamless connectivity in and beyond the Microsoft ecosystem. Users can easily expand their suite of association tools by integrating additional software such as Microsoft’s Power Platform, Office and Business applications, and hundreds of other AppSource-native and third-party apps.
This is a screenshot of Protech’s website, displaying some of its top features.

What makes this one of our top choices?

The Protech association platform is the ultimate association management solution for teams who want to make the most of the Microsoft ecosystem. Comprehensive and customizable to users’ needs, this Microsoft-native association management platform is well-suited for associations of all kinds.

Doubleknot is a powerful niche association management software solution.

3. Doubleknot – Best for a Niche Sector

Overview of this Association Software

Doubleknot is the strongest contender in our association software comparison for “best platform for the needs of a niche sector.” Their core clientele? Cultural associations, nature centers, museums, zoos, and aquariums.

For organizations with completely unique needs, the best AMS is the solution that most directly addresses their needs.

Doubleknot’s clients rely on their membership programs for stable support. That’s why the software’s comprehensive and specially-designed management, data, and planning tools are their best choice for ensuring continued development and success.

Top Features of this Tool

Doubleknot includes a full suite of association management features plus additional tools perfectly suited for the management of cultural organizations and nature centers. These include:

  • Full membership management platform. Retain more members by gaining a deeper understanding of your program’s engagement trends and demographics. Customize your communications strategies and automate online benefits like discounts and registration perks.
  • Program management tools. Full event and program configuration options let you create simple or complex tracks for your members. Plus, Doubleknot makes it easy to fully customize and update your registration forms, add-ons, payment options, and communication settings.
  • Ticketing and reservation management. Doubleknot’s fully customized online reservations platform streamlines your facilities management process and seriously boost engagement. Your members will also appreciate the easy digital (and printable) ticketing system!
Doubleknot's top association management software is a strong choice for cultural and nature centers.
[This is a screenshot of Doubleknot’s website displaying its membership management capabilities.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

Doubleknot made our association software review because it’s a leader in a particularly difficult niche.

It offers fully comprehensive features that directly address the needs of organizations and membership programs that are too often overlooked by dominant AMS solutions!

Higher Logic ranks among the best association management software solutions available.

4. Higher Logic – Best for General Management

Overview of this Association Software

Higher Logic is among the best in our association software comparison for groups that need an effective and flexible suite of management tools.

The digital management toolbox provided through the Higher Logic platform offers effective, lightweight solutions for associations, commercial businesses, and nonprofit organizations alike.

Top Features of this Tool

Higher Logic’s association management platform provides a full set of digital tools to help streamline and boost your operations:

  • Interaction-centric design. Along with customizable member communities, Higher Logic features online forum-style discussion boards, perfect for starting conversations and engaging your members for the long run.
  • Customizable databases. In addition to full member profiles, dues tracking, and other data reporting tools, the software includes knowledge databases designed to help your team and members preserve your crucial combined industry knowledge.
  • Fundraising tools. Generate additional non-dues revenue with integrated advertising opportunities that attract new sponsors interested in connecting with your community. Plus, tighter data reports and projections make it easier than ever to plan a winning campaign.
Doubleknot's top association management software is a strong choice for cultural and nature centers.
[This is a screenshot of Higher Logic’s website displaying its association engagement tools.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

With its lightweight yet comprehensive design, Higher Logic is great general choice.

Its flexible features allow your team to collect more and more data in the long run, leading to more targeted decisions and smarter, more sustainable growth.

Highly customizable structure makes CiviCRM a best association management software solution.

5. CiviCRM – Best Open-Source Platform

Overview of this Association Software

CiviCRM is unique in our association software review because it’s completely open-source.

This has made CiviCRM a powerful software provider for nonprofits and associations all over the world. 

Although it’s technically designed to meet the needs of nonprofit organizations, the highly customizable open-source structure of the software makes it a great choice for associations with the resources and know-how to fine-tune a perfectly tailored management solution.

Top Features of this Tool

A number of key features place CiviCRM among the best association management platforms available, including:

  • Open-source software structure. As an open-source platform, CiviCRM is highly customizable and supported by its worldwide network of active users and volunteers. With some professional help, you can completely tailor the software into your own perfect management tool.
  • Full suite of membership tools. Along with comprehensive CRM and contact database features, CiviCRM includes a full toolbox for configuring and managing your membership program. Automated data reporting and smart groups make it an effective tool for associations, too.
  • Accounting integrations. CiviCRM can dramatically reduce manual data entry for your team, and its robust control system lets you fully customize the export process. This leads to more efficient, more organized, and more actionable accounting reports.
CiviCRM places top in any association management software comparison for its unique open source software.
[This is a screenshot of CiviCRM’s website listing its top features.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

CiviCRM will sit near the top of almost any association software comparison.

That’s because you can’t overestimate the potential value of using such a highly customizable solution for your digital management needs. 

With CiviCRM’s open-source platform, you and your team of developers can completely refine the software into your own perfect association management tool.

MogliSMS is the best association software for messaging between members.

6. Mogli SMS – Best for Messaging

Overview of this Association Software

Mogli SMS is a two-way text messaging, survey, and chatbot tool available in Salesforce that associations can take advantage of. With a cost-effective, unlimited user license, your organization can utilize Mogli SMS to communicate with members in an efficient process.

Mogli SMS is an effective association software solution that can help you manage and oversee your members.

Top Features of this Tool

Mogli SMS helps your association handle its communications in a transparent and clear stream. Here are some of the features it offers:

  • Messaging. With Mogli SMS, your association can send and receive texts to and from all of your contacts and leads. You can also schedule messages and send bulk messages if needed.
  • Surveys. Mogli SMS allows you to create and send out SMS surveys. They can be simple and follow a linear format, or be more complex and follow a branching format. 
  • Automation. Improve your relationships with members with automated notifications based on workflow and triggers. This also saves your management team’s time from bogging down their day with simple emails such as payment confirmations.
Check out Mogli SMS for the best association software for messaging for members.
[This is a screenshot of the Mogli SMS website.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

Mogli SMS continues to be a top choice for helping the flow of communications in associations because it is a tool that is native to Salesforce. Your association won’t have to waste time doing any costly integrations to try and figure out how to merge this tool with your CRM.

Wild Apricot consistently ranks among the best association management software for smaller and mid sized organizations.

7. Wild Apricot – Best for Smaller and Mid-sized Organizations

Overview of this Association Management Software

Wild Apricot is an extremely popular, comprehensive management solution option for smaller associations, nonprofits, and clubs.

The platform leads its niche by offering strong tools to smaller and mid-sized groups that would likely be otherwise unable to access them. 

As such, Wild Apricot’s association software is a strong general suite of digital tools that have been perfect for groups of all sorts.

Top Features of This Software

Some of Wild Apricot’s top features include:

  • Lightweight and accessible database. Wild Apricot’s member database tools provide a comprehensive, secure way to store all your important data in one place. Backed up in cloud storage, users can also access and update their own profiles.
  • Payment processing. Wild Apricot allows you to directly accept online payments for dues or other member purchases. Plus, the renewal and reminder processes are fully automated, which also makes financial reporting a breeze.
  • Website builder tools. Create a professional website for your group in just a few hours with the software’s built-in web design tools. A drag-and-drop interface lets you quickly create a site that includes all the important information and tools that members need.
Wild Apricot ranks high in lists of association management software reviews for its comprehensive and adaptable tools.
[This is a screenshot of Wild Apricot’s website listing top features.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

Wild Apricot is often among the top reviewed AMS solutions, and is a no-brainer for our association management software review. 

That’s because its suite of solutions is perfectly geared towards smaller and mid-sized groups and organizations that need a comprehensive set of tools without the heavy-duty price tag.

Offering effective tools that can be easily adapted to work for all sorts of community and professional associations makes Wild Apricot a top pick.

Sage Intaact is one of the best association management software if you need a financial solution.

8. Sage Intacct – Best for Financial Solutions

Overview of this Association Software

If your association is rapidly growing and you’re processing more and more membership dues, it’s smart to look into tools to help you handle the growing finances. Sage Intacct is not exactly an AMS system, however, it will help your association bill members, budget for events, and compile effective reports. 

Top Features of this Tool

As a financial solution on the cloud, Sage Intacct offers these top features:

  • Cash management. Track multiple accounts in real-time with Sage Intacct’s cash management tool. This helps you understand where your cash is coming from and where it is going, which will help your entire association get a complete picture of your cash footprint.
  • Automated billing. Instead of processing each transaction individually, automate your pricing, billing, and subscription models. Sage Intacct will help your members pay their dues on time as well!
  • Budgeting and planning solution. With Sage Intacct, your team can create a budget plan and even have multiple scenarios based on your single budget.
Sage Intacct is a leading accounting and financial tool for association management software.
[This is a screenshot of Sage Intacct’s leading accounting and financial management features.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

Sage Intacct, though not exactly an association management software, can still elevate how your associations manage their members.  As a Salesforce partner, this is another tool that can easily work with your existing CRM.

Sage Intacct is one of our top choices because they really value customer satisfaction and have a long history of customer success. When you’re dealing with something as delicate as your members’ finances, you should choose a tool with Sage Intacct’s success rate.

Download our whitepaper to learn more about choosing the best association software.
MemberPlanet is a great association management platform for all kinds of groups.

9. MemberPlanet – Best for Small Budgets

Overview of this Association Management Software

Too often, smaller organizations are unable to afford the management tools that can unlock higher levels of growth. MemberPlanet steps up to fill that niche.

As a lightweight, easy-to-use choice for small associations without the need (or budget) for more comprehensive management platforms, MemberPlanet is a strong choice for all kinds of smaller groups.

Top Features of This Software

Even as a more lightweight solution, MemberPlanet offers extremely effective features, like:

  • Communication tools. Easy email templates and group texting tools make it easy to direct your messaging campaigns. Spread the word to all your members quickly and easily with automated and customizable tools.
  • Simple payment processing. MemberPlanet’s ‘QuickPay’ platform is just one of their several payment tools. Collect membership dues, enable recurring payments, accept donations, and create customized invoices and forms in no time.
  • Easy-to-use member directory. Update, organize, and browse your member profiles in a straightforward database tool. You can customize fields and access permissions to make sure your whole team contributes to a culture of efficiency.
MemberPlanet ranks fairly high on any association management software comparison for its affordable suite of tools.
[This is a screenshot of the MemberPlanet website.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

MemberPlanet is a top association software solution because it more directly fills a void that other solutions ignore, that is, smaller groups without the resources for much larger software suites.

As a straightforward management solution, MemberPlanet’s features and tools get the job done without requiring too much customization or manual input.

The best association software for education and an LMS is BlueSkyeLearn.

10. Blue Sky eLearn – Best LMS Option

Overview of this Association Software

Blue Sky eLearn is not an AMS system, but instead an effective learning management system (LMS). Associations often provide educational opportunities, courses, and events to help their members educate themselves or even grant them official certifications. 

With Blue Sky eLearn, your association can offer a vast resource of learning experiences like classes, meetings, and events. 

Top Features of this Tool

Blue Sky eLearn is an award-winning, cloud-based solution that associations can readily take advantage of. Some of their key features include:

  • Unlimited storage. With Blue Sky eLearn, your association doesn’t have to worry about data overages. Because your data is on the cloud, your association can store a lot of rich, educational media.
  • Far-reaching dashboard. Your association can oversee important information on their centralized dashboard. For example, find out which of your courses have the highest attendance and which are the least popular.
  • Assessments and certifications. Give your association members various aptitude tests to evaluate how each of them does in your courses. You can award certificates to members who complete the classes and tests.
Blue Sky eLearn is the best LMS system in conjunction with your association management software.
[This is a screenshot of the Blue Sky eLearn website depicting its LMS features.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

Blue Sky eLearn is a top choice for associations and learning management systems because it can seamlessly integrate with webinar platforms, online communities, and association management systems. Check to see if Blue Sky eLearn will match with your current AMS system!

Eleo is another best association management software that might be perfect for your work.

11. Eleo – Best for Organizations who Fundraise

Overview of this Association Software

Eleo is a top association software that is especially powerful for groups focused heavily on fundraising.

The management suite acts as a platform for nonprofit organizations that need a donor management system to handle more complex needs.

This kind of flexibility earns Eleo its place on our association software comparison.

Top Features of this Tool

Some of the best features of Eleo’s software include:

  • Donor and member databases. Eleo’s flexible database functions are perfect for organizing and storing your data and contact information for members and donors alike. Designed for fast and easy access, you can quickly search your databases for exactly the entry you need.
  • Gift entry and acknowledgments. Within Eleo’s database tools, it’s easy to track individual gifts, record essential related data, and categorize the entry. Plus, the comprehensive database view allows you to effectively manage your thank-you and acknowledgment messages.
  • Grant management. If your association or organization applies for grant funding, keeping close track of the whole grant writing process is crucial to success. Eleo’s tracking features let you manage your grant projects, keeping all the essential data and plans in one organized place.
Eleo is among the best association management software solutions for its effective fundraising tools.
[This is a screenshot of Eleo’s top management features.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

While most association software solutions are useful for fundraising nonprofits (and vice versa), Eleo is designed specifically to fit between them.

Offering the best of both worlds, Eleo’s fundraising tools and easy-to-use management features make it a clear choice for our management software review.

MemberClicks is a great association membership software option for smaller to mid sized organizations.

12. MemberClicks – Best for an all-in-one management solution for small groups

Overview of this Association Management Software

MemberClicks is an all-in-one management software solution perfect for smaller organizations.

This software is a great choice for associations that are looking for a lightweight association software option that offers awesome customer support as well as top-notch event planning options. Their hands-on approach to implementation makes them a valuable resource for smaller associations.

Top Features of This Software

MemberClicks is a seriously robust software solution for its size, including features such as:

  • Member website and CMS builder. They offer organizations the option to build an appealing and informative website easily or use their tools to enhance an existing website. With MemberClicks, your organization can improve its web presence, grow your social community, and save time with its database solution.
  • Event management. It can be hard for a small staff to keep track of everything that goes into planning and running an event, but MemberClicks makes it easy. An association can generate and customize registration forms, manage attendees online, and create reports.
  • Automated application management and dues renewals. With these features, you can add member application forms to your website, send out automated and personalized emails about deadlines, renewal dates, and grace periods, and update member status automatically.
MemberClicks is a perfect association management software solution for smaller organizations.
[This is a screenshot of MemberClicks’ all-in-one membership management software webpage.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

MemberClicks is a top association management choice because it carefully balances economic practicality with robust functionality. Smaller associations will love using MemberClicks to manage their memberships, as recruiting and maintaining members is easier than ever.

OpenWater is the best association software for processing forms and applications.

13. OpenWater – Best for Processing Applications

Overview of this Association Software

OpenWater is a platform solution that helps process and collect applications and forms for online review. This is not an association management software, but it is a tool that associations can use often because they have to deal with forms all the time.

From awards, scholarships, fellowships, grants, abstracts, and accreditations, OpenWater can save your association an incredible amount of time.

Top Features of this Tool

OpenWater offers the following features:

  • Consistent branding. Even though OpenWater is a platform with multiple functions, it allows all of your processes to stay consistent with your branding. Your association’s team can create a custom-branded portal that even matches your own individual website!
  • Intuitive application process. As an association, you’re going to deal with a number of applications when people want to become members. With OpenWater, your association can ensure that applications are complete as it follows each registrant’s process.
OpenWater's association software will help you process forms and applications easily.
[This is a screenshot of OpenWater’s website.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

Even though OpenWater is not exactly an AMS, it is still one of our top choices for association software. It’s amazing how all the forms and applications that your association will have to process can all be managed on this singular platform.

123Signup is a great association membership software option for cloud-based platform.

14. 123Signup – Best for General Cloud-Based Platform

Overview of this Association Management Software

123Signup is a reliable and secure association management option for associations looking for a cloud-based platform.

When your association needs a lightweight platform that allows members to change their membership status, sign up for events, and network within the association, 123Signup is a powerful option.

With a scalable pricing system based on different memberships, 123Signup was a shoo-in for our association software comparison.

Top Features of This Software

123Signup offers tons of easy-to-use membership management features. Here are just some of our favorite options:

  • Event registration. When you host events, you can empower your members to sign up online as well as purchase or renew memberships during the process.
  • Real-time reporting and analysis. With access to 50+ pre-built reports, 123Signup gives you a better understanding of membership trends, event attendance, financial data and more, so that you can make better data-driven decisions.
  • Targeted emails. You never have to worry about members missing invites, newsletters, surveys, or renewal reminders with targeted email options.
123Signup is is a great cloud-based association management software solution.
[This is a screenshot of 123Signup’s homepage.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

123Signup is one of our favorite association software options because of its sweet simplicity. You get the features you need at the best price for you, and you don’t have to worry about overpaying or missing out. And your staff can trust that your software is working as hard as they are.

Boomset is a top association management software for event technology.

15. Boomset – Best for Event Technology

Overview of this Association Software

Boomset is an event technology software provider that can help associations conduct their events better. This is not exactly an AMS system, however, it does help facilitate a huge part of associations: planning and launching events. 

Associations host events for a number of reasons, whether it is a conference with a famous speaker or a learning opportunity to advance in a field. With Boomset, your event will have a powerful set of technological tools that everyone will be talking about.

Top Features of this Tool

Boomset services thousands of events with over 2 million attendees each year. With these key features, Boomset can help your association’s event to:

  • Self-service check-in. With Boomset, let your event attendees check-in by themselves. Don’t waste time with having staff members manually check-in individuals and form lines that go out the door.
  • Walk-in registrations. Let people attend your event as walk-ins. Sometimes people who want to go to your event don’t know about it until the day of. Your attendance rate can go up an incredible amount once you invest in a tool that allows walk-in registrations.
  • Access control management. Boomset also makes lives easier for the event’s staff members. Let them access a dashboard where they have control of the event. 
Explore how Boomset's event management tools can help your association management.
[This is a screenshot of Boomset’s homepage.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

Boomset is one of our top choices for associations, even though it isn’t exactly an AMS. This is because you can access the software and portal from any device. Both your event members and staff will likely be on the move during the event. Giving them mobile access to your event software and technology will make everyone’s lives easier.

Ready to find out which association is best for you? Download our whitepaper to find out.
Morweb is a great association member software for building beautiful web pages.

16. Morweb – Best for Content Management

Overview of this Association Software

Morweb is a unique platform because of its utility as both an association management solution and a robust content management system.

With Morweb, you can easily build functional, responsive web pages and empower your members to take advantage of your online directory, communication system, and document storage.

Your website can now be a central hub of institutional knowledge thanks to Morweb’s capacity to build searchable libraries of PDFs, images, Word documents, and more.

Top Features of this Tool

Morweb’s combination of association management and content management features make it a powerhouse software option. Here are some of our favorite features:

  • Customizable forms for collecting contact information, registering for events, volunteering, and uploading documents.
  • Widgets for streaming your latest updates like blog posts, event offerings, or news updates anywhere on your website.
  • Powerful web builder that makes it easy for anyone to create an attractive, functional, informative website—no coding knowledge necessary!
Morweb is an awesome combination association management software/content management software solution.
[This is a screenshot of Morweb’s website.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

Morweb’s customizable web design tools and attached AMS features make it one of the membership website builders in the industry. Plus, its intranet communication system, online community features, and ease of use all make it one of our top favorites in this association software review. This is a great choice for associations hoping to communicate better with members online.

Novi AMS is a great association management software solution for accounting.

17. Novi AMS – Best for QuickBook Users

Overview of this Association Management Software

Trade association professionals know that helping their members develop professionally and form valuable connections with other members are top priorities. Novi AMS is an AMS solution designed by and for association professionals that will help you achieve those goals.

Additionally, Novi AMS makes it easy for your association to keep track of important accounting information through its integration with QuickBooks.

Top Features of This Software

The platform is easy for members to use when they want to register for events and update their profiles. From creating websites to keeping member databases organized, Novi AMS facilitates every aspect of association management so that trade associations can work to build connections among their members. Here are some of our favorite features:

  • 2-way, 24/7 integration with QuickBooks. Novi AMS integrates with QuickBooks so that all information entered into one system automatically appears in the other. Your association will find it easy to track the invoices you create, the payments you process, and other important financial data.
  • Easy-to-use CMS. Novi AMS understands that not every trade association professional is a developer with extensive coding experience. Their CMS is designed to help you use simple tools to create an attractive and engaging website for your association and your members regardless of your level of coding knowledge. The sites created using the Novi CMS are fully responsive on all devices. You can even update them from your smartphone!
  • A member database designed for trade associations. Most trade association members join as employees of a company rather than as individuals. Your Novi AMS member database shows these parent/child relationships as well as additional affiliations your members may have with other institutions, such as larger parent companies.
Novi AMS is an association management software solution that makes it easy to create beautiful websites and keep your trade association member information organized.
[This is a screenshot of the NoviAMS website displaying their AMS software for Quickbook users.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

Novi AMS is the only AMS approved by Intuit for the QuickBooks App Store. For trade associations already using QuickBooks as their accounting software, Novi AMS can help ensure that you’ll have comprehensive financial records updated and available in both your AMS and your accounting system.

ClubExpress is the best association management software for clubs.

18. ClubExpress – Best for Clubs

Overview of this Association Management Software

If your organization is more of a club, ClubExpress offers a management system that is perfect for running your club and organizing activities. 

We know that clubs have unique needs, including consistent meetings and various rules depending on the club’s core mission. Whether you’re a part of a car club, a computer club, an outdoor club, or a community service club, ClubExpress is prepared to manage members and help plan meetings for clubs, large and small.

Top Features of This Software

Which ClubExpress features help this software stand out? These are some of our favorites:

  • No installation process. ClubExpress works over the internet using any browser and personal computer. Don’t fret if your club doesn’t have a tech team to help you with software installations—you don’t need it with ClubExpress!
  • Easily create a member database. Clubs want to manage and organize their members efficiently, and ClubExpress helps. You can even have a list of nonmembers who still want to get information but don’t want to make the full commitment. 
  • Provides a default (but customizable) website. As soon as you sign your club up online, ClubExpress makes a default website for you. You can then customize the color scheme and layout to fit your club’s branding.
ClubExpress is an association management software to help manage clubs.
[This is a screenshot of the ClubExpress website listing its top club management features.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

ClubExpress is a top choice for club management because there is no actual software you have to download. ClubExpress’s platform works over the internet, so if your team isn’t well versed in coding and software implementation, ClubExpress can be a great, accessible resource.

Your clubs information is then safely stored on ClubExpress’s secure data center and can be accessed anywhere!

iMIS is continuously the best association management software for member recruitment.

19. iMIS – Best for Member Recruitment

Overview of this Association Management Software

iMIS is a popular solution for association management because it helps organizations easily create an online community. This way, you can communicate with your members easily and control your web presence. 

iMIS isn’t specifically catered towards associations, as they offer solutions for nonprofits and unions as well. However, a lot of their features work well for managing your association.

iMIS isn’t specifically catered towards associations, as they offer solutions for nonprofits and unions as well. However, a lot of their features still work well for managing your association.

Top Features of This Software

Engage with your association’s members easily with these iMIS features:

  • An online community portal. Your members can interact with each other by connecting, communicating, and collaborating online. 
  • View of members’ interactions. Your association can zoom out and manage individuals, chapters, committees and more! With iMIS, you can keep track of member engagements and discover insights about how your association’s members are doing. 
  • Manage your web presence. Customize your website and internet presence by choosing from site templates or integrating it with your existing web management system.
Check out iMIS association management software for member recruitment.
[This is a screenshot of the iMIS website.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

iMIS comes with a few very effective features, but its most impressive one is its built-in engagement scoring engine. iMIS gives your association members an engagement score to help you learn about strengths and weaknesses in your member engagement.

Raklet is one of the best association software for customer support.

20. Raklet – Best for Customer Support

Overview of this Association Management Software

Raklet is an AMS system that associations and clubs can use alike. It provides a simple platform that lets you manage association events and collect membership payments easily. 

If your association needs a general solution to various problems, Raklet is sure to have some options. 

Top Features of This Software

These are a few of our favorite features from Raklet:

  • Tiered pricing model. Raklet offers a free plan for organizations with fewer than 1000 contacts and additional packages designed for organizations of different sizes.
  • Their own CRM. With a built-in customer relationship management system, Raklet can store data securely, as well as encourage community engagement within smaller, more private networks. 
  • Membership fees and ticket sales. Raklet will securely process financial transactions that are made through the platform.
Check out Raklet's association software for best customer support.
[This is a screenshot of the Raklet website and its features.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

Raklet is a top contender for one of the best AMS systems because they offer 24/7 support through email and phone. If your association has a lot of questions or would just like a little bit more guidance, Raklet is a great choice as their team is happy to help your staff out whenever you need it.

Almabase is the best association management software for alumni associations.

21. Almabase – Best for Alumni Associations

Overview of this Association Management Software

Used by over 250 alumni associations and schools, Almabase is an alumni AMS system that can help you oversee a vast network of alumni. 

Offer your members incredible opportunities with alumni events and provide an accurate and diverse online alumni directory for individuals to search through. With Almabase, you can effectively keep alumni connected and engaged.

Top Features of This Software

With Almabase, your alumni association can:

  • Manage events. Your association can plan reunions, homecomings, and chapter meet-ups. Don’t worry about setting up tickets or processing payments with Almabase.
  • Email marketing. You can send targeted communication with Almabase. Segment your alumni database with a filter such as “from Boston, MA” in order to invite relevant alumni to your events.
  • Alumni network. Almabase creates an exclusive online space for your association’s members to find other alumni. Don’t hold back your members and instead offer them Almabase’s platform so they can connect and communicate with other alumni.
Almabase is a great association management software for connecting to other alumni.
[This is a screenshot of the Almabase alumni membership website.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

Almabase is a great management solution for alumni because it can easily merge and collect information from Facebook and LinkedIn. Almabase is smart in taking advantage of social media resources that alumni tend to use a lot. Since people tend to post their education history on social media, this is a great way to recruit new members for their association.

StarChapter is a leading association management software.

22. StarChapter – Best for Multiple Chapters

Overview of this Association Management Software

If you help manage one of the local chapters of an association, StarChapter can give your board members a little boost with its management capabilities. StarChapter makes it easy to grow membership, attendance, and revenue within individual chapters. 

Top Features of This Software

StarChapter has various capabilities to help association chapters manage their local groups. Here are some of the top features StarChapter offers:

  • Membership management. With StarChapter, you can easily keep your member data accurate and up-to-date. Segment your chapter’s members into different committees to help create insightful reports.
  • Communication tools. Your local chapter’s board can easily send out newsletters and event invitations with StarChapter’s newsletter content management tool. Save time with automated emails and welcome new members within minutes.
  • eCommerce. Create an online store and sell your local chapter’s merchandise. You can even charge meeting dues to grow your chapter’s revenue.
Check out StarChapter's homepage to learn more about their association management software.
[This is a screenshot of the StarChapter website.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

StarChapter is a top choice for individual association chapters because it has special capabilities for board management. You can assign different members different admin levels on the software based on their role. Whether you’re a president or just a paid intern, StarChapter offers the tools to help your chapter best manage your local members.

Learn more about how Pathable is one of our favorite association software.

23. Pathable – Best for Custom Association Event Apps

Overview of this Association Software

If your association has had to cancel some of your biggest events this year due to COVID, you now have other options.

If your association puts on large events like conferences, Pathable has your back. They’re one of the premiere creators of custom apps for associations with tools that improve the experiences of event planners, attendees, and vendors alike.

Top Features of This Software

Pathable offers a variety of features that improve your event experience and increase opportunities for engagement, including:

  • Attendee networking. Pathable’s apps allow your members to own their experiences by empowering them to reach out to other attendees on their own.
  • Lead retrieval. With Pathable’s badge scanning capabilities, vendors can easily take note of attendees that they talk to, without having to keep track of tens or hundreds of business cards.
  • Discussion forums. Allow your attendees to continue their conversations year-round by providing them with a way to ask questions, offer feedback, and join conversations – all online.
[This is a screenshot of the Pathable website.]

What makes this one of our top choices?

Pathable is the best option for associations that are looking to take their event management abilities to the next level. With a custom app built for your event, you can engage members, provide value to vendors, and ensure that your community is able to own their event experience.

If your association, organization, or other membership-based group needs a new management solution, it’s important to do your research. Professional software can be a major investment, and this is especially true if you’ll be relying on it for such crucial functions as membership directories, event planning, online community management, and more.

One best rule of thumb: look for a lean solution. Both general and niche management software can offer extremely effective tools, but lean and integrated solutions tend to be the most flexible and useful for all situations in the long run.

Consider your group’s exact needs and use this guide as a launchpad for your research! Check out these additional resources for more information:

Contact us here to find the best association management software for you!

4 Tips for Creating Online Professional Development Courses

4 Tips for Creating Online Professional Development Courses

Picture this: you’re sitting in a conference room, yawning your way through a mandatory professional development workshop. There’s limited opportunity for interaction, and the accompanying reading materials are lackluster. The training session may even be covering material you already know or have learned in a previous course, creating an even more monotonous experience.

Luckily, this nightmare doesn’t have to be your reality—or the reality for your association’s members. Most of today’s professional development courses take place online, especially in our current circumstances of social distancing. However, just because a course is in an online environment doesn’t mean it will automatically engage your members effectively.

By creating online professional development courses that are convenient, engaging, and customized to your members, your association will be better able to provide value to members and boost engagement.

At Skyepack, we create interactive digital courses that achieve learning outcomes for professional associations like yours, as well as higher education institutions and K-12 schools. With experience working with such a wide range of learners, we’ve learned some helpful tips and tricks to make your association’s digital course materials more engaging and effective.

To develop a course that helps your members thrive, consider the following strategies:

  1. Design the course with the needs of your learners in mind.
  2. Choose a modern cloud-based platform.
  3. Include high-quality video content.
  4. Provide ample opportunities for interaction.

Whether you’re trying to help members meet mandatory requirements for continuing education, earn or maintain certification, or share industry trends and best practices, an online course can be an effective tool. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to provide members with the education they need to succeed in their careers.

1. Design the course with the needs of your learners in mind.

As an association leader, your primary goal is to provide value to members. They should be at the forefront of any decision you make, whether it’s choosing your association membership software, planning an event, or offering useful resources. Your members should also be prioritized when creating a professional development course.

In general, a course works best when it is tailored to the specific needs of the learners. This is true for any kind of classroom and learning environment, including professional development and continuing education.

You should consider your members’ expectations, prior knowledge, and future needs when curating your content and developing the course.

You’ll want to take into account questions including:

  • What topics have members expressed interest in in the past?
  • What content areas have already been covered in previous courses?
  • How much time are your members willing and able to devote to the course?
  • Do they need to track CE credits with their employer or to meet licensing requirements?
  • What are the learning styles of your members?
  • Are there any industry-leading trends you need to include?

These are just a few suggestions; you’ll want to consider any information you have on hand about your members and their preferences. You may even consider sending a survey to your members for more direct feedback.

By incorporating this information into your plans for the course, you’ll be able to design a curriculum that is overall more relevant and engaging to your members. 

2. Choose a modern cloud-based platform.

Next, be sure to choose an online content delivery platform that is cloud-based. Your members won’t want to download any software or be restricted to a single device. Instead, they should be able to access material via a computer or smartphone for more flexibility.

Plus, cloud-based content can be accessed from anywhere at any time. Whether your members are working from home, in the office, or traveling, they will still have access to the content they need to make progress in their learning. 

Streamline online course materials are convenient because they act as a centralized hub for the information. Your members won’t need to manage physical documents or PDF packets, because all of the material will be accessible in one location. They’ll also continue to have easy access to this information to reference it in the future, even once they’re done with the course.

A cloud-based professional development course can also be an excellent solution to accompany a virtual event. As the WebCourseworks guide to virtual events discusses, engaging static and interactive content are key when trying to replicate an in-person experience. Once in-person events are feasible again, online material also works well to convey information to members who aren’t able to attend.

3. Include high-quality multimedia and interactive content.

Online courses allow you to include dynamic content to delight and engage your audience. While you’ll likely still want to include traditional text-based lessons, adding multimedia and interactive elements will create variety.

This variety helps ameliorate the fact that attention spans have decreased in the digital age. When members can shift their focus to different types of content, they’ll be more likely to stay engaged overall.

First, the power of video should not be overlooked. In a world where streaming content reigns supreme, your members will enjoy the opportunity to sit back and learn for part of the course.  

However, to be effective, video must be done right! Low or poor production value will detract from the experience and leave your members unimpressed with the course. If you’re developing the videos yourself, invest in basic professional equipment rather than relying on a low-quality webcam. If needed, you can bring in an outside course developer to facilitate the entire process including storyboarding, scripting, and filming.

In addition to video content, you can also include other multimedia elements such as:

  • Animations
  • Photos
  • Graphs, charts, and infographics
  • Audio clips

Including content in a variety of formats will ensure your learners can process the information in a way that works well for them.

As this guide to digital course materials recommends, adding interactive elements to your material can also enrich student learning. While multimedia content is useful, it’s still a one-way teaching format. To increase engagement, you should create opportunities for your members to interact with the material hands-on. 

For a few examples, consider incorporating features like drag-and-drop elements, embedded assessments, or reading comprehension questions within the content.

4. Continue to improve upon the course over time.

Especially in the digital age, change happens quickly. Whether it’s new innovations in your industry, updates to professional requirements, or a shift in members’ working conditions, some changes may impact the needs of your professional development course.

To ensure that your course continues to be engaging and useful, set up a protocol for continuously improving it. Depending on the nature of the course, you may choose to make updates annually or after each new cohort of learners completes the course. 

Our instructional design team takes this idea of iterative improvements very seriously. For a visual representation of Skyepack’s curriculum development process, take a look at this graphic:

Here, you can clearly see how we view instructional design as an iterative process based on Agile methodology. Even once a course is launched and students start learning, there will always be room for further improvement. This is true for your professional development course as well!

For a course that continues to engage your members even as things evolve over time, you should revisit the course regularly, seek feedback from members, and implement that feedback.

Your association’s members look to your organization as a source of growth and professional development. To make sure you’re meeting these expectations and providing quality educational content, you must make sure your online development courses are highly engaging. With these strategies, your association will be well-positioned to create informative and interactive courses. Good luck!

Austin Bates: Director of Operations & Instructional Design 

Born and raised in Texas, Austin learned at an early age the importance of dedication to a craft. During his Masters pursuit at Texas A&M University in Educational Technology, Austin began to question “Why not create better ways to teach in the online environment?” Skyepack soon became his catalyst for this new paradigm in online instruction. He is valued for his abilities to plan course designs, implement powerful teaching technology, and execute daily production assignments. In his spare time, Austin enjoys biking, watching football, and making every minute count.