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

Check out Fonteva for the best Association Management Software!

The best association management software, or 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, a top AMS solution is a smart move for practically any group.

The time and money that effective software saves leaves you more resources to devote to pursuing your goals and continuing to grow. As you begin your search, take the time to explore beyond the first dominant choices you come across. Other solutions typically include more specific features in nimble, more flexible structures.

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. Here they are:

  1. Fonteva Membership – Best for Salesforce users
  2. Doubleknot – Best for the needs of a niche sector
  3. Higher Logic – Best for those that need general management
  4. CiviCRM – Best open-source platform
  5. Mogli SMS – Best for messaging
  6. Wild Apricot – Best for smaller and mid-sized organizations
  7. Sage Intacct – Best for financial solutions
  8. MemberPlanet – Best for groups who have a smaller budget
  9. BlueSky eLearn – Best LMS option
  10. Eleo – Best for organizations who fundraise
  11. MemberClicks – Best for an all-in-one management solution for small groups
  12. OpenWater – Best for processing applications
  13. 123Signup – Best general cloud-based platform
  14. Boomset – Best for event technology
  15. Morweb – Best for content management
  16. Novi AMS – Best for QuickBook users
  17. ClubExpress – Best for clubs
  18. iMIS – Best for member recruitment
  19. Raklet – Best for customer support
  20. Almabase – Best for alumni associations
  21. StarChapter – Best for multiple chapters

If a more lightweight, membership-oriented solution might be more appropriate for your software needs, be sure to check out our membership software comparison and buying guide too! Ready to get started? Let’s dive in.

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

Fonteva Membership is among the best AMS solutions out there for a number of reasons.

Its comprehensive features fit within a lean and intuitive structure that can get your team up and running in no time. 

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, your 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.

What makes this one of our top choices?

What makes Fonteva Membership the best option in our association software review? It is fully native to Salesforce.

As a 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.

Doubleknot is a powerful niche association management software solution.

2. Doubleknot – Best for the Needs of 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.

As 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. They 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 will streamline your facilities management process and seriously boost engagement. Your members will appreciate the easy digital (and printable) ticketing system, too!
Doubleknot's top association management software is a strong choice for cultural and nature centers.

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 nonetheless 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.

3. 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 a more general but 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.
Higher Logic is a strong association management software solution for more lightweight needs.

What makes this one of our top choices?

With its lightweight yet comprehensive design, Higher Logic is generally a great choice for most groups.

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.

4. 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 inherently 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.

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.

5. Mogli SMS – Best for Messaging

Overview of this Association Software

Mogli SMS is a two-way text messaging, surveys, 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 more simple and follow a linear format, as well as 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.

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.

6. 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.

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.

7. 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 in how you 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 association’s whole team will be updated on your budget. 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.

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.

Contact Fonteva to get the best AMS system.
MemberPlanet is a great association management platform for all kinds of groups.

8. 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 all your members 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.

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.

9. 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 play out on their centralized dashboard. Find out which of your courses have the highest attendance and which are the least popular.
  • Assessments and certifications. You can 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.

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.

10. Eleo – Best for Smaller 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 effectively doubles 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.

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.

11. 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. Their software is great for staff and trade associations, as well as chambers of commerce.

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.

What makes this one of our top choices?

Recruiting and maintaining members is easier than ever with a solution like MemberClicks.

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.

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

12. OpenWater – Best for Processing Applications

Overview of this Association Software

OpenWater is an all-in-one 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 has an abundance of different processes that can all happen on its platform. Here is some of what they offer:

  • 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.

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 tools associations should use. It’s amazing how all the forms and applications that your association will have to process can all be done on this singular platform.

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

13. 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 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.

What makes this one of our top choices?

With these features, your staff can trust that your software is working as hard as they are.

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.

Boomset is a top association management software for event technology.

14. 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 for a conference with a famous speaker or it is a learning opportunity to advance in a field. With Boomset, your event will have a 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 come to 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. 

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.

Contact Fonteva to get the best AMS system.
Morweb is a great association member software for building beautiful web pages.

15. 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.
  • Their powerful web builder 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.

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.

Morweb’s 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.

16. 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 just as 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.

  • 2-way, 24/7 integration with QuickBooks. Keeping track of your trade association’s finances doesn’t have to be difficult! 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.

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.

17. 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

What ClubExpress’s features help this software stand out?

  • 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. Even have a list for 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.

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.

18. 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 as well as 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 still work well for managing your association.

Top Features of This Software

Engage with your association’s members easily with iMIS’s 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 make 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.

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.

19. 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

  • Tiered pricing model. Raklet offers a free plan for organizations with fewer than 1000 contacts and also additional packages designed for organizations of different sizes.
  • Offers 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. 
  • Can collect membership fees and ticket sales. Raklet will securely process financial transactions that are made through the platform. Feel secure and safe with Raklet!
Check out Raklet's association software for best customer support.

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 and their team is happy to help your staff out whenever you need it.

Almabase is the best association management software for alumni associations.

20. 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. With Almabase, 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.

What makes this one of our top choices?

Almabase is a great management solution for alumni solutions because it can easily merge and take information from Facebook and LinkedIn. Almabase is smart in taking advantage of social media resources, especially ones that alumni tend to use a lot. This is also a platform where people tend to post their education history on, so they can also find new members for their association from it. 

StarChapter is a leading association management software.

21. 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 keep your member data accurate and up-to-date easily. 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.

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. Depending on whether you’re a president or just a paid intern, StarChapter offers the tools to help your chapter best manage your local members.


If your association, organization, or other types of 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:

Download the guide to association management databases!



What is an AMS system? Check out our guide to learn the essentials for AMS systems and which one is the best for your association.

What is an AMS System? Your Association Questions, Answered

Contact Fonteva to get the best AMS system.

Each year, associations work hard to host memorable events and offer educational courses to keep their members engaged and invested in the community.

Going through the daily motions of administrative duties and repetitive tasks can take up unnecessary time for your association’s team. Without some sort of management software solution, your association doesn’t have the right resources and tools to consider more pressing matters and long-term goals, such as increasing membership retention and event attendance.

Your organization may already depend on some sort of tool to help run your online operations. However, as your association continues to grow, consider reviewing your software and upgrading to a more fleshed out and robust association management software (AMS) system to help manage the increase of data.

Investing in a new AMS system can be intimidating and take a lot of research, so this guide is intended to give you a head start. Though you probably know a bit about association management software systems, it’s always helpful to recap the basics so you move forward with a solid foundation. After reading our guide, you’ll be able to answer these questions:

  1. What is an AMS?
  2. What is an AMS system?
  3. How does an AMS help your association?
  4. What are the most important features of an AMS?
  5. What is the best AMS?

The best AMS system for your association is out there, so don’t let your day-to-day operations bog down your team’s productivity. Make online processes and data management easy for everyone by selecting the right AMS system for you.

What is an AMS?

What is an AMS?

What is association management?

Association management is a rather unique field because members pay dues in exchange for being 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 for community building.

Associations are usually governed through a board or an elected team to help oversee and handle all of the event planning, registration processes, and member details. 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.

What does association management software do?

Association management software helps associations stay on top of their administrative duties. Most management tools deal with simple membership data management needs and can handle basic accounting functions for collecting dues or tracking donations. While certain tools might save you a little time, there are more robust software solutions out there.

With the right AMS system, your association will be able to manage your members and their profiles more accurately.

Advanced software solutions with integration capabilities help your team gather, organize, and segment key pieces of data about your members. The more data you have, the better your team can plan and create engaging programs such as events, conferences, and educational courses. The best AMS system solutions will offer your association:

  • Event management tools.
  • Online store and e-commerce capabilities.
  • Automated dues payments.
  • Marketing and communication options.

While a basic association management tool will handle some of your daily tasks, a more powerful AMS system should even include, or be able to integrate with, other tools that your association relies on. An underlying data management solution like Salesforce is a good example.

What does an association management company do? 

An association management company is another option if your team is feeling overwhelmed with day-to-day operations. An association management company helps associations manage their internal executive, administrative, and financial duties. 

Association management companies might lift the weight off your team’s shoulders, however, you risk them becoming the public face of your association. A smart AMS system offers internal solutions for your association instead of having to depend on a separate firm for help.

What is an AMS system?

What is an AMS system?

Equipped with the right set of tools, your association can view trends over a wide period of time and pinpoint why members happen to be more engaged during the holidays or what factors affect membership retention.

The best AMS system provides your team with a 360-degree look at all of your association’s members. Advanced AMS solutions keep track of data and metrics generated by your various association management tools and member-facing outlets, providing all the information needed to formulate intelligent strategies for upcoming events or campaigns.

Here is what a well-rounded AMS system provides for your association:

A well rounded AMS system includes a variety of features, including member registration capabilities, an accessible database, and more.
  • Member registration capabilities
  • An organized, easily accessible, cloud-based database
  • An intuitive website builder
  • Sets of email marketing tools
  • eCommerce capabilities
  • Online event registration functionality
  • An online payment processor

Having a robust AMS system may very well depend on whether you pick a platform or stand-alone software solution. An advanced AMS platform is poised to develop and grow as your association has new needs. Because it is built on a single code base, platforms can expand functions more easily over time while keeping your data centralized.

However, moving to a platform may take a bit of time and require a lengthier investment in updating your association’s information architecture. If your association doesn’t find itself constantly in need of adding more tools to keep up with your growth, an advanced AMS software solution with integration capabilities may be a more appropriate option.

How does an AMS help your association?

How does an AMS help your association?

With the best AMS system, both your association's staff members and community members will benefit.

Benefits of an AMS for your staff

Your staff is working hard to plan content, education, conferences, and other events for your members. Without the right AMS system, your team also has to deal with the day-to-day operations of fact-checking member profiles and keeping track of due payments. The best AMS system will streamline and add efficiencies to these tasks, providing your association with:

  • Efficient and secure flow. 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. Make sure your AMS has reliable integration capabilities to make this possible— or even better, invest in a platform solution.
  • Increased security. Consolidating your association’s information in your AMS database is more secure than having it loose in an offline Excel spreadsheet. Association database management is more accessible to your staff when it is housed in an online software solution.
  • Data for smarter marketing and engagement strategies. An advanced AMS system with far-reaching integration capabilities will provide insight and help you make more data-driven decisions that will actually make a difference in your member engagement. 
  • 360-view of member engagement. Upgrading to an AMS system offers your staff a fully comprehensive view of your members. Your team can easily locate key member engagement metrics like event attendance and donation history.

Benefits of an AMS for your members

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

  • More intuitive and engaging communications. Your AMS can help you create automated emails, invoices, newsletters, and reminders to ensure members are updated in real-time. If your AMS is integrated with a reliable CRM system, you can pull data from there to personalize your communications as well. 
  • Consistent and improved experiences. With an AMS, your association can create beautiful 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. Your AMS can even create a members-only portal to provide white papers, informational guides, and educational courses.
What are the most important features of an AMS?

What are the most important features of an AMS?

Each AMS system should have a tool belt of solutions that include member management, communication options, event management, and data reporting.

Your entire suite of management tools works together so your team and staff can put more effort into engaging your members. Whether it is through various software integrations or tools built into your platform solution, your AMS system should provide these important features:

  • A membership database and member profiles. Even the most simple AMS solutions should have capabilities for storing member data and organizing profiles. With a more advanced option, you can pull information from your CRM system and compile well-rounded member profiles full of personal information, payment preferences, and other relevant data.
  • Communication options. If you want to increase your member engagement, you have to look for an AMS system with robust communication abilities. Your management tools should include automated marketing and communication options to keep your members updated on due payments, events, and more. Whether it’s through social media, email, or phone calls, look for an AMS system that can do it all.
  • Event management tools. The main way your association encourages member engagement is through the events your team plans and launches each year. With tools such as customizable forms, automated marketing communications, and data analytics, AMS systems with event management functionalities will help you impress your members and keep them coming back.
  • Collaboration tools for members. Some AMS systems emphasize community in their association engagement and host communal message boards where members can post comments and suggestions, providing a place for feedback and collaboration.
  • Reporting and data visualization tools. One of the most helpful aspects of association management software is the reporting and data analytics tools. Your AMS system is storing and organizing massive amounts of information from different streams, whether it is data on your members’ business affiliations or event engagement metrics. Having capable reporting and data visualization tools offers your staff a 360-degree view and gives insights on how you can improve your future events and marketing techniques.
What is the best AMS system?

What is the best AMS?

With so many different solutions out there for your association to take advantage of, our top pick is Fonteva.

Fonteva is a platform solution for all of your association’s management and member engagement needs.

We know that a centralized AMS platform is the future for association and organization management. Software solutions may come with vast integration abilities, but platform solutions are built to expand and seamlessly take on new functions, not simply to fit into an increasingly complicated toolkit of integrated but still separate solutions.

Fonteva is also 100% native to Salesforce, one of the most popular, effective, and robust CRM systems available. This means that from the very beginning, your team has access to the powerful underlying Salesforce infrastructure as you customize your AMS platform. Other management software will claim they’re compatible with Salesforce, but Fonteva is one of the few that actually is made for Salesforce.

Fonteva’s platform solution provides your team with an entire software ecosystem full of tools that can perform administrative duties. On a Salesforce-based platform, you can also configure Fonteva to your association from the very beginning. Customizations are easier than ever and more simplified than if you were working across multiple separate solutions and tools.

As the best AMS system, Fonteva's membership dashboard provides a robust view on your members.

With Fonteva, your association will:

  • Eliminate data silos, point solutions, and costly integrations.
  • Gain access to a community of Fonteva experts to help you with any problem or question you may have.
  • Handle seamless upgrades and improvements because each tool runs and develops on the same code.

The best AMS system will save your team time and money while helping your members feel a part of an enriching and engaging community. Stop feeling frustrated with day-to-day operations and administrative duties for your association and check out Fonteva

Hope you enjoyed this article!


Additional Resources

If you want to take the time and do some more research on your own, here are a few additional resources to check out next:

What is the best AMS system? Check out Fonteva's demo to see if this is the best solution for you!
Check out our guide on AMS platforms and how they can benefit your association.

AMS Platforms: A Comprehensive Guide for Associations

Running an association can be an incredibly rewarding experience. From providing membership programs to offering educational courses to hosting unforgettable events, your team works hard to bring people together over a common cause— whether they are colleagues in a particular field or volunteers working together to achieve a shared goal. 

Without the right capabilities in your association management software, it can be very difficult for your team members to navigate your association’s wealth of data in order to make the best possible strategic decisions.

If you tend to add different software solutions to your toolkit on an as-needed basis in order to keep up with your association’s growing needs, you already know that this approach can quickly become unmanageable. Instead, investing in a centralized AMS platform will be the smarter move. 

While software solutions address specific needs and will typically require individualized solutions for connecting them into your broader system, an AMS platform is the broader system that comes preconfigured with the tools you’ll need and can be easily expanded to include more. 

Upgrading to a robust, centralized AMS platform can be a particularly smart move for more established associations with a large membership

If you think an association platform might be the right tech decision for your team and want to learn more, then you came to the right place. After this guide, you’ll be able to answer these questions:

  1. What is an AMS platform?
  2. What is the difference between an AMS platform and association software?
  3. What are the benefits of using an AMS platform?
  4. What AMS platform should you choose?

Making tech upgrades can be a daunting task for associations, but taking it on an entirely solution-by-solution basis can easily over-complicate things. Don’t miss out on all the features and benefits that a more holistic solution like an AMS platform can bring your team.

Are you ready for an AMS platform that can handle your administrative duties for your association?
What is an AMS platform?

1. What is an AMS platform?

An association management software platform is a centralized solution for your organization to handle member registration, events, marketing, and more. An AMS platform should also have capabilities to build upon its codebase and connect to other software to grow as your association does.

The terms “software” and “platform” were previously used more interchangeably, but as technology keeps advancing, their capabilities do as well.

With association software, the ability to integrate each separate solution is crucial if you want the perfect, streamlined toolkit for your needs. Whether you want a specific CRM system or need a customized form builder, software integrations can take your overall tech strategies to the next level but will require potentially complicated steps in between.

But with an association management platform, these tools can all be available— without the integration process. A comprehensive platform will contain (or easily add) the essential tools and serve as a foundation to continue growing your toolkit. You can expand your platform to include:

Your AMS platform can expand and be built out with various tools like member registration tools, database tools, website builder, etc.
  • Member registration capabilities
  • Cloud-based member database
  • Website builder
  • Email marketing options
  • Online store
  • Online event registration
  • Online payment and donation processing

You may already be using various association software solutions to address these functions separately, so why should you make the complicated switch to a whole new platform? Let’s take a closer look at the difference between software and centralized platforms.

What is the difference between an AMS platform and association software?

2. What is the difference between an AMS platform and association software?

Platforms are constructed to allow other software functionality to be built on it within the same technical framework. Software solutions have more focused capabilities and are constructed to accomplish a more specific and limited set of tasks.

Let’s give a common example. Like platforms, today’s smartphones have their own operating systems and core sets of built-in functions. But they also have the ability to be built out and expanded with additional apps that are built especially for your smartphone’s code.

Platforms give you the ability to more easily do things that were not originally included in the original version of the platformand that’s what’s so useful about them.

On the other hand, a simple software solution’s code, customizations, and functionalities are completely separate from your other tools. While you maybe can customize your association software to fit your needs or even integrate them with other management tools, you need to also be aware of each tool’s differences to gain a comprehensive look at your association.

Membership Management

Both AMS platforms and association software can handle member management, but AMS platforms take it to the next level with its' unique features.

Association software usually has some sort of membership management functionality, but will probably need an outside CRM with integration capabilities. Using a constituent relationship management system is important for keeping all your data on your members in one organized place. Once you integrate your CRM and your association software, you can use that data to do things like create member profiles and track their engagement.

Rather than complete separate integration and customization projects with other membership software, you can choose an AMS platform that is fully native to your specific CRM system (like Salesforce). This way:

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  • Your data is consolidated.
  • Both your CRM and association software run on the same code.
  • Member profiles are well-rounded and have a single, accurate information source.

Event Management

Event management is crucial for both AMS platforms and association software, though its capabilities are going to be more efficient with platforms.

Events allow association members to come together, whether it’s through an educational course to get a certification or with a conference to provide networking opportunities. When you manage events, your association software should be able to support essential functions from registration to post-event data analytics. However, without integrations with your CRM, it’s hard to conjure a full report on how well your event did and how your members engaged with your event. 

On the other hand, AMS platforms are configured from the beginning to provide built-in connections across all of your essential tools and features. With an association platform, your event management tool and member management tool are both based in the same place. This allows you to more easily look at trends over a wide time period, drawing data from all different sectors of your operations without ever having to leave the core of the platform.

Payment and Accounting

You need robust payment and accounting abilities with your AMS platform or association software, with AMS platform's being more comprehensive and secure.

Whether it is for membership dues or for generous donations, associations rely on revenue raised from their supporters to create more engaging and valuable programming. Your association software toolkit probably includes some sort of payment processor and accounting tools, but the financial data that your software is collecting isn’t being fully utilized if it’s not positioned within a broader scope.

However, imagine the informed decisions your association can make when you have all your financial data, event data, and membership data, centralized in one location.

An AMS platform will have a full profile on each of your members, providing you with not only robust member profiles but also give insights to help you identify and pursue membership goals, like improving your member renewal rates.

Association Software vs. AMS Platform 

To recap, the main differences between association software solutions and AMS platforms are that:

  • Platforms are solutions that are made to extend their original design with additional built-in tools to perform functions that weren’t originally included.
  • An AMS platform is the foundation for a broader management system. Building on your foundation, a comprehensive ecosystem can flourish.
  • Association software is much more specific and typically needs special capabilities to integrate with other tools, like your CRM or event management software.

Making the transition to a platform can certainly be an important investment for your association. The whole process might involve updating your data architecture or rewriting some of your website’s code.

However, if you seem to be constantly adding and integrating new pieces of software to support your growing association, a centralized AMS platform will grow with you. In the end, the switch will help to save your association time and money.

What are the benefits of using an AMS platform?

3. What are the benefits of using an AMS platform?

If your association decides to upgrade to an AMS platform for your management needs, you’ll ensure that all your tools speak the same language and share data more freely. This doesn’t just save time and energy for your association’s staff, but also makes your members’ lives easier. 

Your AMS platform functions on one codebase and common language, making it easier for your staff and team to use as well as your members.

Benefits for your association’s staff

If you want your association’s staff to be spending more time on engaging your members and planning events, your association should switch to a platform solution. An AMS platform will provide your association with all these perks:

  • Easier data migration. The best benefit of a platform solution is that all your data will be truly centralized in a database. This way you can easily access and refer to data across your different tools, whether it is for generating a financial report, creating new marketing content, or performing member research.
  • Data-driven decisions. Your association deserves to make future decisions based on accurate, real-time, and reliable data. When you invest in a platform, you have access to data from all software streams. Since your data is within the same platform, you know you are pulling information from the right source. 
  • 360-view of member engagement. When your association relies on an AMS platform, you have access to a 360-degree view of your members. The best platforms are able to give you a comprehensive view of your members and let you easily locate member engagement metrics like event attendance. Using data trends pulled from your platform, you can better refine your engagement strategies for different segments of your member base.

Benefits for your association’s membership

Moving to an AMS platform solution doesn’t just make your life and your staff’s lives easier. A platform solution offers a smoother experience for your association’s members with:

  • Improved use of all association features. With an AMS platform, your members can register for courses and access association details in an effortless process. All of your operations and tools will be more closely connected, so the overall functionality of your association management system will be improved.
  • Easier access to association resources. Since all of your resources are in one place, and every feature is based on your single platform, your members will be able to access any information that they’re looking for. Make their lives easier by having readily available pages with event listings and a member directory. You can even configure a members-only portal to increase your resources’ authority. 
  • Less duplicate field-filling. Because all your data is centralized on your platform, there is less risk for duplicated field-filling or inaccurate information. Sometimes your members will fill out forms for events and then forms for donations with their personal details being submitted twice. A platform solution will intuitively compile their personal details and create member profiles by pulling data from different streams.
What AMS platform should your association choose?

4. What AMS Platform should you choose?

If you’re ready to start thinking about switching to an association software platform, start by exploring Fonteva.

Here at Fonteva, we know that platform-based solutions are the future for associations and other complex organizations. Why is Fonteva the AMS platform your association should choose?

Fonteva is an AMS platform that is 100% native to Salesforce, one of the world's most popular CRM.

Fonteva is built on Salesforce, one of the most popular, flexible, and effective CRM systems available today. This means that from the start, Fonteva’s association and membership management tools are seamlessly built into your underlying database. Other solutions boast about their CRM integration options, but Fonteva was genuinely made for Salesforce.

When you use an AMS platform, pick Fonteva for a hollistic look at your association's members through its membership dashboard.

With Fonteva, you can configure your platform solution to your association from the very beginning and simplify your activities. Investing in Fonteva will help your association:

  • Not waste time with customization. Because your platform has been configured from the start, you don’t have to tweak any tools to fit your association.
  • Eliminate data silos, point solutions, and costly integrations. You don’t have to worry about having any inactive duplicated member profiles floating around.
  • Have access to a community of coders and developers who are familiar with Fonteva. As Salesforce experts, Fonteva’s team will be able to help your association with any questions you have.

Don’t miss out on Fonteva’s association management platform. Start increasing member engagement today!


Additional resources 

Looking for more information on association management platforms and how to make your members’ lives easier? Check out the following additional resources for more guidance:

Are you ready for a platform that can do it all? Check out Fonteva for a comprehensive AMS platform.
Make the most of your association LMS with these eLearning best practices for associations.

5 eLearning Implementation Best Practices for Associations

If your association is looking for more ways to facilitate your members’ professional development and encourage them to take active roles in all that your association has to offer, you’ll want to consider providing them with eLearning opportunities.

Effective eLearning targets your members’ most pressing continuing education needs and presents courses in a captivating way.

eLearning helps your association improve your members’ engagement by providing them with a valuable resource for their growth and keeping them informed in their field. You can utilize your association learning management system (LMS) and other platforms.

Let’s take a look at how your association can get started providing eLearning opportunities for your members. To implement your eLearning system successfully, you’ll need to:

  1. Choose an association LMS that will suit your members’ needs.
  2. Provide members with the opportunity to earn and track professional certifications.
  3. Notify members when new courses are available to them.
  4. Promote social learning opportunities and live learning events.
  5. Share learning opportunities on your association’s website.

The first step in getting your members started with eLearning is to choose the right association LMS to suit their needs. When the learning experience is personalized, they’ll be motivated and engaged.

1. Choose an association LMS that will suit your members’ needs.

The best association LMS will positively impact both your members’ learning experience and your education team’s work to create and distribute course content. Look for a modern LMS that incentivizes course progress and completion for your members and communicates with the association software you’re already using.

Choose an association LMS that helps your members get excited about completing courses through:

  • High-quality content. Content is king in eLearning, and you are the expert in your field. Provide high-quality content to keep your learners motivated to complete courses and come back to you for more. Look for an association LMS that makes it easy to get your content up and running quickly, without sacrificing quality.
  • Interactive learning experiences. Interactive course authoring capabilities like being able to add interactions to videos and drag-and-drop experiences help learners retain more information than they would reading or watching alone. When members enjoy the learning experience, they’ll be motivated to complete more courses.
  • Gamification elements. Everyone loves a little friendly competition or a challenge to beat your personal best! Scoreboards and other gamification elements keep members motivated throughout their courses, while completion badges that they can display on their profiles in your association management system (AMS) increase their engagement with their fellow members.

The right association LMS facilitates your members’ professional development, engages them in your association’s offerings, and provides them with the opportunity to share valuable information about their areas of expertise with their colleagues. When your LMS and AMS are integrated, sharing this information becomes even easier.

2. Provide members with the opportunity to earn and display professional certifications.

The certifications and credits that your members earn when they complete courses using your association LMS are important indications of their professional standing. In certain fields such as healthcare, these certifications are often required for maintaining their career and potential advancement in their fields. Help your members progress in their careers by selecting an association LMS that they can use to earn and track necessary professional certifications.

As you compare eLearning systems for your association, look for one that facilitates the certification process by:

  • Encouraging course completion. When members know that their profiles in your AMS will be updated automatically to reflect the courses they’ve completed and the certifications they’ve earned, they’ll be motivated to participate in your continuing education offerings.
  • Show CE records. Many of the accreditation bodies need to see continuing education records from the past three years, so ensure that members are able to self-report courses they’ve completed and certifications they’ve earned on their profiles and upload transcripts from previous eLearning systems they’ve used.
  • Connect with other members. One of the major benefits of membership in your organization is the opportunity for networking with other professionals in the same and related fields. When members are able to earn and display their certifications, they’ll know who may be a valuable connection or resource just by browsing their colleagues’ profiles.

An effective eLearning system makes earning required certifications more convenient for your members, helping to remove potential barriers in the way of their career development. To learn more about granting professional certifications through an association LMS, you can visit Web Courseworks to see how the process works for healthcare associations.

When your members learn that using your association LMS to complete courses is both enjoyable and valuable, they’ll want to enroll in more. Make sure that your members are made aware whenever new courses become available to them.

3. Notify members when new courses are available to them.

Creating new courses is an important component of your association’s mission to facilitate continuing education opportunities for your members. The first step is selecting an association LMS that makes it easy for your team to develop effective ways of presenting the material they most need to learn. You’ll also want to use your LMS and other software systems to send automated notifications and reminders to your members.

For the most effective communications, choose an association LMS that integrates with your membership management system and can help you:

  • Provide an adaptive learning experience. Help your members continue gaining valuable knowledge and skills in a specific field or subfield by selecting an association LMS that recommends them future courses to take based on their history in the LMS, past purchases, interests, and more.
  • Automate your communications. Both your association LMS and your AMS can help you communicate with your members more efficiently by allowing you to set up automated email notifications and reminders.
  • Facilitate course purchasing and registration. Purchasing and enrolling in new courses shouldn’t be inconvenient for your members. Choose an association LMS that automates parts of those processes to save them time and energy.

With an up-to-date LMS (and potentially new membership management software as well, to make more effective use of your integrated software systems), your association is sure to meet your learners’ needs. You can even make their experience a collaborative one through social learning opportunities.

4. Promote social learning opportunities and live learning events.

Everyone’s preferred learning style is unique, and everyone can benefit from engaging more deeply with the material they’re learning by discussing it with others. Choose an association LMS that facilitates social learning on the platform and allows members to register for live learning events.

When your learners have the opportunity to participate in social learning opportunities, they’ll retain more of the information they learn and be more motivated to complete additional courses. Your association LMS can help by incorporating:

  • Discussion boards and live chat features. Learners participating in an online course can take advantage of these features to discuss the material with each other, gaining new perspectives and better understanding.
  • Registration for live learning events. Host a live learning event for members who live nearby to attend. They’ll be able to meet each other, collaborate in person, and learn more about your association. Publicize the event in your association’s communications to increase attendance.
  • Materials from past live learning events. Your online learners are likely spread out all over the country, if not the world, so they won’t all be able to attend your live learning events. However, this doesn’t mean they have to miss out! Make sure that your association LMS allows you to upload materials distributed at the event so that online learners can access them, too.

When you’re able to engage all of your online learners in social learning opportunities and even bring them together at live learning events, they’ll have a more memorable and enjoyable experience.

This is easiest to accomplish when your association LMS and membership management software are communicating to help carry out your event. If your membership management solution is built on Salesforce, you can check out re:Charity’s list of the top Salesforce apps to find the right software for facilitating your live learning event.

To make sure that your members make good use of the courses, events, and other learning opportunities that your association offers them, don’t forget to share them on your association’s website!

5. Share learning opportunities on your association’s website.

Your website is a hub for news about your association and information on all of the ways your members can choose to get involved. A clean, modern site that offers easy access to all the features of your AMS and association LMS will motivate members to take part in the continuing education offerings your association provides.

Whether your association has recently updated your site or you simply think it may be time to revamp your online presence, you’ll want to make sure that your site offers:

  • An engaging site design. Have new courses to offer or other exciting information about your association? Ensure that all of your updates are clearly presented on your website and that members can easily navigate to your most-used site areas. If you’re looking for guidance or inspiration, you can check out some effective web design tips here.
  • Access to members-only content. Members should be able to login securely to their courses on your association LMS, their member profiles on your AMS, and other protected areas via links on your website. To make the process convenient for them, make sure that they can get wherever they need to go in just a few clicks.
  • Mobile functionality. Your members are busy professionals and often on the go, so make sure that they can access your site from their smartphones. You’ll also want to choose an association LMS that allows them to complete coursework on their mobile devices so that they can continue learning from wherever they may be.

By choosing an excellent eLearning platform and incorporating it into an effective network of software solutions, your association can transform your members’ experience. You’ll encourage them to become lifelong learners and motivate them to take part in the opportunities your association creates for them.


When your association provides your members with quality eLearning opportunities, you’re demonstrating that you value their continuing education and professional success. The right association LMS is sure to improve your learners’ experience and encourage them to grow.

Author Bio

Amber Bovenmyer is the Director of Sales & Marketing at Web Courseworks. She’s committed to helping association executives realize the potential of their education programs and turn them into high performing revenue generators. Amber was named one of Madison, Wisconsin’s 40 under 40 and the number 1 LMS salesperson by Talented Learning.


Explore our top picks for the best Salesforce plugins for associations!

Salesforce Plugins | Top Picks for Your Association

Demo Fonteva's native Salesforce platform!

If your association uses Salesforce, you already know why it’s the world’s leading CRM and management platform for businesses and organizations of all sizes. Its features are comprehensive and offer an unrivaled level of functionality.

However, the Salesforce AppExchange is by far one of the platform’s biggest benefits.

The AppExchange is a central marketplace for Salesforce apps and plugins, which allow for the complete customization of the platform’s utilities. This makes it incredibly easy to build your own toolkit of features, all designed to work seamlessly on the management platform you’ve come to rely on.

We’ve written elsewhere on the top Salesforce plugins for event management, but hosting member events is just one part of what your association does.

Associations have complex needs. From membership management to fundraising, partnership building to digital marketing, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Study up on the wide range of plugins for Salesforce available on the AppExchange with our top picks:

  1. Fonteva Membership
  2. Fonteva Events
  3. Salsa
  4. OneCause
  5. SwagIQ
  6. Marketo
  7. SMS Magic Interact
  8. Ebsta
  9. Automate.io
  10. CalendarAnything

These top plugins offer a fairly comprehensive overview of the level of quality and utility to expect from top-notch apps. Let’s dive in:

Fonteva Membership is a top Salesforce plugin for associations looking to streamline management.

1. Fonteva Membership: Best Salesforce App for Association Management

Plugin Overview

Designed to be the last management tool you’ll ever need, Fonteva Membership is the future of association management software. With comprehensive data management, member engagement, and eCommerce features, Fonteva’s AMS solution is a top plugin for Salesforce that should be on every association’s radar.

The intuitive features of Fonteva Membership makes it one of the top Salesforce plugins.

A few features and characteristics make this plugin a top association management software solution, including:

  • Full member profiles. Comprehensive profiles are automatically populated with new engagement data, combining the robust CRM foundation of Salesforce with the management insights of Fonteva. Easily track key engagement metrics at every level.
  • Member portals and communities. Create public and private microsites and member communities. Empower your members to engage in new ways with self-service options and interactive chapter, committee, and group portals.
  • Intuitive reports and dashboards. Draw from your wealth of data to generate customized reports at the push of a button. Refine your engagement and management strategies in real time with built-in dashboard capabilities.
Intuitive data reporting tools make Fonteva Membeship a top Salesforce plugin.

Why This Plugin Stands Out

It can be a challenge to find the right association management solution to meet your needs, but if your association already uses Salesforce, this one’s a no-brainer.

Because Fonteva is a native Salesforce app, that is, software built entirely on the Salesforce platform, the integration is seamless.

This translates into several major benefits for your association. As a true-cloud solution, Fonteva Membership software is always up to date. Your management and database tools speak the same language, meaning all your data is automatically reported.

The intuitive, comprehensive, and lean features of Fonteva Membership give your team the flexibility to effortlessly switch focus from individual metrics to big picture trends and fine-tune your strategies like never before.


Fonteva Events is a great Salesforce plugin for nonprofits that need to plan and manage events of any size.

2. Fonteva Events: Best Salesforce App for Event Management

Plugin Overview

As Fonteva’s suite of event planning and management tools, Fonteva Events is a fully native plugin for Salesforce. Designed to streamline even the most complex, enterprise-level events like major conferences and expos, Fonteva Events packs a punch with its comprehensive features.

Fonteva Events is one of the most powerful Salesforce plugins for event planning available.

Associations regularly plan and host all kinds of events for members, partners, and their communities. This plugin makes planning events in Salesforce a breeze because it offers features like:

  • Event lifecycle management. Comprehensive planning features and intuitive management interfaces let you track the progress of your events every step of the way. Get big-picture insights as you manage micro-level details.
  • Dynamic session builder. Association events have to be engaging, and Fonteva Events makes it easier than ever to create custom session tracks for your attendees. Your member communities can even collaborate on their own sessions for the big day.
  • Custom event sites. An event website has to accomplish a lot, from promoting your sessions to processing registrations and payments. Fonteva Events offers an all-in-one solution to host your event website and report its generated data directly to your Salesforce database.
Custom event sites integrated with your database makes Fonteva Events an excellent Salesforce plugin for associations.

Why This Plugin Stands Out

Like its counterpart membership management suite, Fonteva Events is the perfect Salesforce app for event planning and management because it’s fully native to the platform.

In the past your organization might have used a third-party event planning tool to organize and manage your meetings, conferences, and fundraisers. If that’s the case you already know that a lot can fall through the cracks when your team is busy switching between platforms.

With Fonteva Events, all your management data and tools reside within your Salesforce CRM.

This allows your team to make more informed decisions at every step in the complex event planning and management process. Plan smarter events, manage them more efficiently, and then learn more from them than ever before.


Salsa is a top Salesforce plugin for online fundraising.

3. Salsa: Best Plugin for Online Fundraising

Plugin Overview

While not available as an app on the Salesforce AppExchange, Salsa offers a robust online fundraising suite that fully integrates with your Salesforce CRM.

For associations that devote considerable time and energy to raising money and processing payments online, Salsa’s collection of tools can be an invaluable addition to your toolkit. Its full integration with Salesforce means it speaks the same language as the management platform on which you’ve already built your operations.

Some top features of the Salsa suite of online fundraising tools include:

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising capabilities
  • Customizable fundraising and donation forms
  • Donor, advocate, and volunteer-specific tools
  • Embedded matching gifts database access
SalsaLabs is a Salesforce plugin that offers a full suite of online fundraising tools that fully integrate with Salesforce.

Why This Plugin Stands Out

Integration with Salesforce means your set of online fundraising tools from Salsa can draw directly from your data, helping you make smarter decisions in any campaign.

For instance, integrated fundraising tools make the perfect addition to the list segmentation features of Salesforce. Target your members and supporters better than ever while raising more along the way.


OneCause is a top Salesforce plugin for donor engagement.

4. OneCause: Best Plugin for Donor Engagement

Plugin Overview

OneCause leads the race in donor and member engagement tools.

Besides offering a suite of online fundraising tools, OneCause makes a powerful partner for associations that need to better engage their members. Even better, it offers a free plugin for Salesforce to ensure that all the valuable engagement data you generate goes exactly where it needs to be — in your Salesforce CRM.

OneCause specializes in a few main areas of donor and member engagement, including:

  • Text-to-give software
  • Online payment processing
  • Mobile bidding tools and apps
  • Online auction planning and management
OneCause is an effective Salesforce plugin for donor engagement.

Why This Plugin Stands Out

Auctions are among the most reliable fundraising and engagement techniques for all kinds of enterprise-level organizations and associations. OneCause leads in online and mobile auctions because its tools were the first and continue to be the best in the space.

If your association needs a new engagement-boosting set of tools for its arsenal, the integration provided by the OneCause plugin for Salesforce might just be the icing on the cake.


SwagIQ is a top Salesforce plugin for building relationships.

5. SwagIQ: Best Plugin for Building Relationships

Plugin Overview

Your association has a lot of crucial relationships to foster and cultivate. From sales to partnerships, marketing to engagement, it’s essential that your team stays on top of managing the web of relationships that supports its efforts across the broader space.

SwagIQ is designed to help you close more deals, attract more partners, and break through the noise by simplifying and managing your interactions.

As a plugin for Salesforce, this means your whole database of information is at your fingertips as you use any of SwagIQ’s key features:

  • Create and manage your swag gifts and products for members, partners, and donors
  • Boost your marketing efforts by making real connections
  • Track shipments, direct mail, and digital marketing campaigns
  • Trigger outreach at the right moments with real-time, rules-based alerts in Salesforce
Swag IQ is a top Salesforce plugin for building and managing relationships.

Why This Plugin Stands Out

Relationships with their members, whether individuals, businesses, or other organizations, is of utmost importance for associations. Smarter tools and plugins for Salesforce like SwagIQ make it easier than ever to drive engagement and grow your influence with both physical and digital outreach.


Marketo is a top Salesforce plugin for digital marketing.

6. Marketo: Best Plugin for Digital Marketing

Plugin Overview

More and more, associations depend on their ability to engage members online and attract new audiences using digital content and tools. Digital marketing is a challenge for many associations, but the right tools can help.

You already know that Salesforce offers powerful tracking and reporting capabilities for your marketing campaigns. Adding the Marketo suite of marketing and email automation tools to the mix is a smart move for any association.

Some of Marketo’s top features and tools include:

  • Email campaign creation, management, and tracking
  • Smart automation tools to maximize the impact of email communications
  • Lead nurturing features for cross-channel campaigns
  • Lead scoring and analytics to track potential donors, members, and upgrades

Why This Plugin Stands Out

Of all the aspects of your association’s operations, the ability to easily access and analyze your data is perhaps the most important when it comes to marketing. Marketo is an ideal plugin to help your team better streamline its marketing activities and learn more from your past campaigns.


SMS Magic Interact is a top Salesforce plugin for communication.

7. SMS Magic Interact: Best Plugin for Communication

Plugin Overview

Smarter communication strategies are an essential way for modern associations to maintain the healthy cultures of engagement that they encourage among their members.

Salesforce apps like SMS Magic Interact make it easier than ever for those associations to reach members where it really matters — on their smartphones. Increasing visibility in the right places goes a long way toward increasing member engagement.

Consider these features:

  • Central text conversation management, segmentation, filtering, and alert tools
  • Industry-specific message templates for easy use
  • Fast text campaign set-up and customization
  • Video and image embedding

Why This Plugin Stands Out

Like Fonteva’s suite of association management tools, SMS Magic Interact is a native Salesforce app. This means all of your text message tools, past campaign data, and member contact information are within easy reach of one another. Take your communications to the next level to keep your members engaged!


Ebsta is a top Salesforce plugin for integration with LinkedIn.

8. Ebsta: Best Plugin for LinkedIn Integration

Plugin Overview

It’s likely that many if not most of your members and other contacts use LinkedIn to stay connected and updated within their professional circles. Information that your members add to their LinkedIn profiles is valuable for your association’s communications and outreach efforts.

Ebsta is a plugin for Salesforce that allows you to update your Salesforce records as you browse your members’ and other connections’ LinkedIn profiles. Because Ebsta is an extension that you can access right from your web browser, you don’t have to leave LinkedIn to add information to Salesforce.

Using Ebsta, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify records that already exist within Salesforce as you browse LinkedIn
  • Update Salesforce without having to navigate away from LinkedIn
  • Gather information from other professional networking sites and job boards
  • Log and plan calls, tasks, and other interactions with your contacts
Ebsta is a top Salesforce plugin for integrating with LinkedIn.

Why This Plugin Stands Out

The more updated information your association has on your members, the better you’ll be able to stay in contact with them. Ebsta helps you gather the most important details into Salesforce for easy reference and more effective outreach.


Automate.io is a top Salesforce plugin for integration with WordPress.

9. Automate.io: Best Plugin for WordPress Integration

Plugin Overview

Your association uses several online platforms to keep in touch with your members and provide them with opportunities for professional growth. One of the most important locations for your members to stay up-to-date on your association’s offerings is your website.

If your association has built your website on WordPress, one of the most popular CMS platforms around, you can use Automate.io to integrate your Salesforce member database with your WordPress website as well as over 100 additional apps your association may be using.

Automate.io can help your association:

  • Eliminate the need to import data manually between apps
  • Automate communications with members
  • Create workflows that allow you to market and sell your association’s offerings
  • Gather valuable information from emails and social media sites
Automate.io is a top Salesforce app for integrating with WordPress and other popular apps.

Why This Plugin Stands Out

Especially as your association expands, keeping all of your members updated on your news, events, services, and other offerings can require a lot of effort! Save your team time and energy using a Salesforce app like Automate.io.


CalendarAnything is a top Salesforce plugin for scheduling.

10. CalendarAnything: Best Plugin for Scheduling

Plugin Overview

Whether your association is hosting a conference, sending out communications to members, or planning additional opportunities, scheduling is an essential part of your process. Creating an effective schedule becomes much more manageable when you can do so directly within Salesforce.

With the CalendarAnything scheduling plugin for Salesforce, your association can create calendars right in your member database. Customizable color coding and views, as well as a mobile app, make it easy to stay organized.

CalendarAnything offers features such as:

  • Calendar creation from preexisting standard and custom objects in Salesforce
  • An easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface
  • Sharing capabilities via the Salesforce1 app and Office 365
  • Messaging capabilities for greater collaboration
CalendarAnything is a top Salesforce plugin for scheduling across your association.

Why This Plugin Stands Out

Scheduling your association’s various activities and offerings—and making sure that all of your members are aware of these opportunities—is a more efficient and effective process with a Salesforce app like CalendarAnything.


If your association is smart enough to use the world’s leading CRM and data management platform for businesses and organizations, you owe it to yourself to explore the AppExchange.

Plugins for Salesforce can completely change your interactions with the platform, taking it from an excellent foundation to the ultimate toolkit.

Be sure to continue your research with a few additional resources too:

Demo Fonteva's native Salesforce platform to see how it can streamline all of your association's operations!

Find the perfect association management solution with our simplified 8 step process.

Find the Perfect Association Management Solution | 8 Steps

Your team pours its heart and soul into leading your association in a way that benefits all your members. You need an association management solution that’s got your back.

If your current management platform falls short and you’re looking for a newer solution, making the right decision can certainly feel overwhelming. After all, an effective association management solution becomes central to your association’s operations. From payment processing to event planning, online communities to data reporting, association software has a lot to accomplish.

Plus, any new solution you find must fit within your budget. It has to work with the other tools you’ve come to rely on, and most importantly, it should be easy for your team to use!

It can be difficult to know which qualities to prioritize as you research your options. What’s the best way to find the association management solution that checks all the most important boxes? From our years of experience in the space, we’ve boiled down the process to 8 key steps:

  1. Build a team to assess prospective association management solutions.
  2. Identify your objectives for a new association management solution.
  3. List, analyze, and rank your association’s software needs.
  4. Identify a first round of potential management solutions.
  5. Explore the features of each association management solution.
  6. Review your first impressions and initial responses.
  7. Watch demos of the top association management software.
  8. Choose your new association management solution.

Once you’re familiar with these essential steps, we recommend beginning with our top picks for the best association management software on the market. They should give you and your team a great starting point as you start your research.

A new association management solution is an important investment! You owe it to your association to take every precaution in finding the perfect platform to suit its goals and needs.

Build your association management solution assessment team.

1. Build a team to assess prospective association management solutions.

As with many important administrative decisions, establishing an assessment team to research your options is the first step in finding a new association management solution.

Your team should ideally represent a full range of perspectives. That is, any potential solution needs to work just as well for your rank-and-file members as it does your leaders and administrators. We recommend building a team that includes individuals who together represent all or most of these positions within your association:

  • Executive leadership – someone who needs actionable, big-picture views of data
  • Administration staff – future day-to-day users of your management solution
  • Outreach coordinator – someone who connects management and membership
  • IT or systems manager – individuals who can identify potential stumbling blocks
  • Accountant or treasurer – someone who fully understands your budget and options
  • Rank-and-file member – the people who need intuitive tools for actual engagement

Of course, the scope of your team will depend on the size of your association. Don’t let your team grow too large, but definitely don’t restrict your perspective. This leads to a warped view of the software you’re considering.

The main point is to cover all your bases; you need to know that an association management solution will be a useful management, planning, marketing, and engagement tool that actually works and provides value for everyone. Otherwise, it’s simply not a worthwhile investment.

We’ll cover the actual process your team should follow in later steps.

Identify the essential objectives that an association management solution must address.

2. Identify your objectives for a new association management solution.

Next, you and your team will lay out your exact reasons for needing a new association management solution. Be as specific as possible. This step is all about about finding the ‘north star’ for your software research.

Chances are you’ve already got a firm grasp on your most immediate goals. Are you looking to replace an existing association management solution? Did that management software prove ineffective? If so, what exactly was wrong? These answers will guide you in establishing your essential objectives.

Your essential objectives are the concrete guidelines to keep in mind as you research your options. Any potential solution you assess should satisfy these objectives. Typical examples will be in direct response to a new need that has arisen for your association. Try this exercise by filling in the blank:

Use this exercise to determine the objectives that possible association management solutions must meet.

You probably answered with one or more of these typical essential objectives:

  • Provides an easier-to-use experience for our members and staff.
  • Doesn’t crash, freeze, or otherwise waste time and resources.
  • Includes tools and features that are actually engaging.
  • Generates more coherent and useful data reports.
  • Fits within our changing annual budget.

Or is it all of the above? List out your essential objectives with your team, and make sure everyone understands them. Remember, they should include both your big-picture goals, like the ones listed above, and other quantifiable guidelines. These include a concrete budget and a timeline or projected deadline for implementation.

Now list and rank what else you need from an association management solution.

3. List, analyze, and rank your association’s software needs.

Once your team establishes a set of concrete essential objectives for your next association management solution, take a step back to examine your more general needs.

This is when you think about all the additional features that each stakeholder in your association wants from its next management platform. 

With a range of perspectives on your assessment team, there should be no shortage of wishlist items to consider. Consider every angle of interaction — what features would be most useful to an executive, administrator, accountant, or member? Compile all your software needs and ideal features, tidy up your list, then start ranking. Your list might look something like this:

  1. Budget-appropriate cost
  2. Engaging and easy to use for members
  3. Integration with current tools for staff
  4. Smarter data views for long-term planning
  5. Comprehensive event management features

Refine all your team’s top needs and wants for a new association management solution to a ranked list of 5 to 10 entries. While your essential objectives are the most important, these ranked additional needs act as extra guideposts as you weigh your options. Any possible solutions you consider must address your essential objectives and then fulfill all or most of your additional needs. 

Your team should identify a first round of association management solutions to consider.

4. Identify a first round of potential management solutions.

Now it’s time to jump into the research itself. One way to simplify the process is to consider what type of management software would be most useful for your association — niche, general, or flexible:

  • A niche solution is designed to meet the exact needs of your specific type of organization. Their key features are often extremely useful, but functionality might be limited overall. For instance, generating comprehensive reports or integrating with your CRM might prove difficult.
  • A general association management solution will address your most important objectives and dominate the market, but it’s likely not your best choice. Consider all the alternative solutions out there that offer more flexible, customizable features.
  • flexible association management solution will provide the benefits of both niche and general management platforms. This is typically because they’re cloud-based, built on more nimble, cost-effective, and adaptable infrastructures. A native Salesforce app is a great example.

These categories can guide you in the right general direction and narrow the playing field as your team starts researching all the platforms out there.

Next, read some reviews to get a sense of the software space. The top third-party software review sites are especially useful. Since any verified users can submit their reviews, these sites tend to offer the most reliable feedback on any given association management solution. Capterra, AppExchange, and G2 Crowd are your best bets for reviews and rundowns of top features.

Review sites like G2 Crowd are great resources for your association management solution research.

As a team, or on your own as team leader, generate a list of 10 or fewer top association management platforms. As we mentioned above, they should all address your essential objectives from Step 2 as well as most (or at least several) of your additional needs from Step 3.

Explore the features of the association management solutions you've found.

5. Explore the features of each association management solution.

This is the stage where you really dig into each of your top picks. Ask your team members to research the features, reviews, pricing, and specifications of each association management solution that you identified in your first round. At least two team members should independently research each platform.

There are a few categories of features that reliably indicate innovative or particularly strong choices when it comes to association management tools. These include:

  • Real-time data insights
  • Seamless mobile functionality
  • Member-facing flexibility
  • Predictive data analysis

Additionally, association management solutions that prioritize community-building are typically designed with an eye towards intuitive user experience. Online communities that offer members plenty of freedom to engage and manage their own interactions are a perfect example.

Keep detailed notes as you research each software solution. An easy way to organize your findings might be a chart — one side contains each management platform, the other lists each of your essential objectives and additional needs. Check off where each solution meets the criteria to quickly see how they stack up. Here’s a sample template:

Use a chart like this to compare your association management solutions.

Remind your team members to reach out to individual vendors for answers to their more specific or technical questions, on the analytics reporting or security protocols of the software, for instance.

Now gather your team to discuss your impressions of each association management solution.

6. Review your first impressions and initial responses.

Gather your assessment team to compile all your findings and compare your impressions of each association management solution. Since each prospective software was researched by at least two team members, you should have fairly well-rounded responses that represent a range of perspectives. You might even wish to conduct a few more rounds of research to ensure a 360 degree view of each solution.

The most important part of this step is to organize your team’s thoughts and draw some conclusions. If you made charts to track how each solution stacked up against your essential objectives and additional needs, it’s time to compile and average all that data. Here’s how yours might look:

Use a chart to easily compare how the association management solutions stack up.

Then sit down with the team to discuss your findings and qualitative observations. You might get started by asking a few questions:

  • Which solutions satisfied the most essential objectives and additional needs?
  • Which association management solution satisfied the least of them?
  • Did any software really jump out as particularly high-quality or reliable?
  • Which solution seemed like it might be the most useful overall?

Directly comparing the management platforms this way can quickly reveal the top choices. Be sure to make full use of your whole team’s perspectives, though.

For instance, if one team member works in IT support or management, ask them to imagine implementing the solutions. Do they foresee any glaring issues? Their insights can immediately reveal which solutions will work well with your existing infrastructure, like comprehensive Salesforce apps, and which will end up creating more work in the long run.

After reviewing all your findings and impressions, it’s time to refine your shortlist of prospective association management solutions to around 3 or 4.

Watch demos of the top prospective association management solutions you identified in the last step.

7.  Watch demos of the top association management software.

Before getting started with this step, your team may wish to repeat Steps 4 through 6. Depending on your association’s needs, deadlines, and the number of initial solutions that your team found, it might be worthwhile to take a little extra time with your research. Just make sure to shrink your shortlist with each new round of review.

As you draw closer to making a decision, it’s time to take each association management solution for a test drive. The executive-level member or other leader of the assessment team should organize demos of the top solutions that you identified in the previous step. Reach out to the individual vendors to schedule a demonstration of their software.

Your whole team won’t need to be present for the demos — gathering their insights was the point of the previous steps — but it’s still important to include one or two others. The most important team members to involve in the demo process are:

  • Leaders and executives
  • Technology and development
  • Member-level users
  • Any other team member whose insights are particularly relevant to your overarching goals for the new software

Finding an association management solution that satisfies the team’s objectives, proves easy-to-use for both leaders and members, and gets your resident tech expert’s seal of approval is probably a winner. This includes all of its member-facing, administrative, and database functions.

During the demos, take notes and ask specific questions that you’ve brainstormed ahead of time. Consider all sides of each demonstrated software. Address any features you think might be lacking, and discuss pricing in-depth with the vendor. Now is the time to get definitive answers before making your final decision!

Choose your next association management solution. Congrats!

8. Choose your new association management solution.

By this point your shortlist of possible management platforms should be narrowed down to just 2 or 3. 

All of your team’s hard work will soon pay off! Your reward? The satisfaction that comes with knowing you’ve made the absolute best choice for a new association management solution.

Even if one of the prospective software solutions stands above and beyond the others, don’t abandon your careful, systematic approach just yet. Complete the following steps:

  1. Compile all your notes from the demos, and briefly discuss them with the demo team members.
  2. Look back over your essential objectives and ranked list of additional needs. Make sure that you and your team haven’t lost focus over the course of your research.
  3. List out the most impressive or important features of your final candidates.
  4. Compare price points, and weigh your options in terms of your budget.
  5. Make your final choice. Congratulations!

Implementing a new association management solution is an important moment for your association! An effective platform will serve as a powerful foundation and partner for your growth. Feel secure knowing that you and your team took the time and effort to find the right one.


Wrapping Up

If you’re a leader of your association, or if you’ve simply been tasked with researching all of your association’s options, you’re probably already aware that choosing a new management solution is a major responsibility.

However, by following a few essential steps, building a reliable team, and breaking it down into a systematic approach, there’s nothing stopping you! Bookmark this page to reference the process later if you need it again, and make sure to continue your research with a few additional resources, too:

Download the guide to association management databases!

Choosing new association management software? Check out these top Personify competitors!

Top Personify Software Competitors for Associations

In the search for your next association management software, you will likely encounter Personify AMS as a popular choice. The Personify360 platform helps associations, organizations, and businesses handle complex operations — including constituent management and eCommerce — with pre-built modules, third-party integrations, and custom coding.

It might seem at first glance that Personify can provide the functionality your association needs. But before you make a purchasing decision, remember that while the Personify360 platform’s flexibility offers the opportunity for your association to customize the solution to your exact needs, users have found the platform overwhelming.

If you don’t have a dedicated IT staff whose job it will be to customize your AMS with custom coding and third-party software extensions, you might want to consider some of the top Personify software competitors:

  1. Fonteva for Associations
  2. Doubleknot
  3. Salsa
  4. MemberPlanet
  5. 123Signup
  6. Sumac
  7. Novi AMS

We’re confident you can find exactly what your association needs within this list of top association management solutions! Let’s jump into the list.

Fonteva is the top Personify AMS competitor.

1. Top Personify Software Competitor: Fonteva for Associations

If you’re looking for association management software that’s easy for administrators and users, Fonteva for Associations could be the perfect Personify software competitor for you.

When you use Fonteva software, you don’t need to know how to code just to customize the platform to your association’s unique needs. The administrative interface is easy to use, letting your staff build drag-and-drop reports within the platform itself instead of exporting sizable .csv files to a third-party reporting solution. Configure events, member communities, revenue accounting, and any other popular Fonteva modules without extensive technical knowledge.

Plus, since Fonteva is built entirely native in Salesforce, you have access to the Salesforce AppExchange. If you discover a specific need Fonteva’s extensive capabilities can’t meet, you can easily install apps that are guaranteed to be compatible with the Salesforce platform.

It’s not just your administrative team that will benefit from Fonteva’s ease of use. The member interface is reminiscent of consumer apps they’re used to using to browse social media and shop online.

And if you or your users ever run into a problem you can’t solve, you have Fonteva’s full customer success team to help you out, as well as Salesforce’s community of user forums and technical support.

Fonteva is the top Personify AMS competitor for its ease of use.

What Sets This Personify Software Competitor Apart

Fonteva for Associations is powered by Salesforce, which means the solution is:

  • Available: Choosing a true-cloud solution means you can access your member database anywhere from any device.
  • Flexible: With access to the AppExchange, you can meet any business needs that Fonteva doesn’t address out of the box.
  • Secure: Salesforce boasts more than 3 million certified developers, working every day to make the platform more secure.
  • Scalable: A true-cloud solution built in the word’s largest CRM means you have all the space you need for members and admins.

Hosting your association management system in the world’s largest cloud-based CRM brings with it all these advantages and more, so you never have to be slowed down by legacy AMS solutions!

Doubleknot is a top Personify AMS competitor.

2. Personify Software Competitor: Doubleknot

Some membership programs, like those of visitor-serving institutions such as museums and science centers, are not structured in a way that a general association management software solution can support.

If your membership program has specific needs, why not choose a more specific solution? Otherwise, you’re left purchasing a highly customizable solution and spending money on features you don’t need or choosing a basic solution and integrating third-party software, paying for the software itself and the integration.

Museums and science centers need a solution such as Doubleknot that can provide:

  • Automatic discounts and promotions to members shopping or registering online.
  • Print-at-home or mobile membership cards, including family membership cards.
  • Gift memberships, including personalized messages to the recipient.
  • Automated membership renewal notifications sent when deadlines are approaching.

Provide a seamless member experience with the right software solution!

Doubleknot is a top Personify software competitor for museums.

What Sets This Personify Software Competitor Apart

Unlike many other types of membership programs, museum and science center membership programs often attract members with benefits on admission or special program registration.

If your members join your program because they want to take advantage of a member benefit, shouldn’t you make it easy for them to do so?

Doubleknot allows members to add a membership to their online cart and then apply their member benefit to the same purchase. And your staff can use mobile POS systems for linebusting, signing up visitors who want to move to the shorter members-only admission line.

Salsa is a top Personify AMS competitor.

3. Personify Software Competitor: Salsa

For associations whose members are primarily donors, association management software that stresses fundraising is essential. That includes arts and cultural organizations, advocacy organizations, and some higher education institutions.

Salsa is a top Personify software competitor for these situations because in addition to a robust donor CRM, you get features like:

  • Mobile-friendly online donation forms
  • Automatic gift acknowledgments
  • Event registration forms
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising
  • Online marketing

All of these features of Salsa Engage integrate with Salsa CRM, automatically updating comprehensive donor profiles with donations, pledges, fundraising event attendance, and participation in peer-to-peer campaigns.

Salsa is a top Personify software competitor for arts and culture nonprofits.

What Sets This Personify Software Competitor Apart

Not all association management solutions are perfect for fundraising-focused associations. These associations have unique needs that they can’t afford to give up.

Instead of purchasing expensive fundraising-specific add-ons, Salsa provides these features as a core element of Salsa Engage, which integrates seamlessly with Salsa CRM. Don’t sacrifice the features you need to sustain your fundraising in the interest of a more robust CRM — get both!

MemberPlanet is a top Personify AMS competitor.

4. Personify Software Competitor: MemberPlanet

If your focus as an association is communication, MemberPlanet might be the solution for you. The association management software provider helps your administrative team stay on top of member communications over email campaigns and group text messaging features.

Whether you’re inviting members to an event or soliciting donations, you might need to address your messages to a specific segment of your membership base. MemberPlanet allows your association to create distribution lists to help you target messages to the members who need to see them.

As all good marketers know, targeted messages are more likely to be opened, read, and acted upon. To encourage members to engage with your association, you need to be approachable and give them any opportunities you can!

MemberPlanet is a top Personify software competitor for associations that value communication.

What Sets This Personify Software Competitor Apart

MemberPlanet truly places emphasis on communication and building a strong member community within associations. This emphasis is perfect for the missions of:

  • Nonprofits
  • Schools
  • Religious organizations
  • PTAs
  • Alumni associations
  • Greek associations

123Signup is a top Personify AMS competitor.

5. Personify Software Competitor: 123Signup

Professional associations and trade associations need association management systems that can accommodate the operations of member communities spread out across a vast geographic region. For these associations, 123Signup is a top Personify software competitor.

123Signup offers:

  • Membership management, including membership levels
  • Event registration for industry and networking events
  • Certificates for reaching professional development objectives

Your professional or trade association can rely on 123Signup to keep your members engaged in the professional community.

123Signup is a top Personify competitor for trade associations.

What Sets This Personify Software Competitor Apart

123Signup’s system is built to facilitate professional networking. You can organize members-only events, allow members to modify their profiles, and open up a member directory for users to browse.

Even better, your members only have to be signed in to take advantage of their networking benefits. Their membership status is automatically validated when they register for events or redeem certificates.

Sumac is a top Personify AMS competitor.

6. Personify Software Competitor: Sumac

Nonprofits looking for a basic solution to address several operational needs would do well to consider Sumac.

At its core, Sumac is a nonprofit CRM. But nonprofits that need more than constituent management have the option to purchase add-ons to address specific needs. The membership add-on provides:

  • Membership applications
  • Automatic renewal and dues payments
  • Membership cards
  • Trend reports

Because add-ons are included in pricing levels, nonprofits with membership programs considering Sumac should take a look through the pricing options to ensure they can get what they need in their budget.

Sumac is a top Personify software competitor and a no-nonsense nonprofit CRM.

What Sets This Personify Software Competitor Apart

Sumac is a no-nonsense software solution.

Your administrative team will not have trouble configuring the basic CRM and any add-ons, and users will appreciate the simplicity of membership functions embedded directly into your website through website integration.

Novi AMS is a top Personify competitor designed by and for trade association professionals.

7. Personify Software Competitor: Novi AMS

Trade associations looking for a comprehensive AMS that also facilitates website creation should consider Novi AMS. As the only association management software approved by Intuit for sale in the QuickBooks App Store, Novi AMS is particularly strong when it comes to accounting and financial management.

Novi AMS was created by and for trade association professionals who understand that these organizations have unique priorities and structures. Designed to make association management and web design easy, some of the most important features of Novi AMS include:

  • A 2-way, 24/7 sync with QuickBooks that eliminates the need for manual re-entry of financial information from one system into the other.
  • A membership database organized according to the parent/child (employing company/employee) structure that many trade associations use.
  • An easy-to-use CMS that doesn’t require coding experience and can be updated from your mobile devices.

Novi AMS features a robust member database and integrations with some of the most popular email automation platforms, making it easy for your association to stay in touch with members.

Novi AMS is a Personify competitor that makes it easy for trade associations to create and update great websites.

What Sets This Personify Software Competitor Apart

Novi AMS facilitates all aspects of managing your association and providing for your members, from keeping them updated via your website to processing their payments using top-of-the-line accounting features.

With a strong understanding of trade association professionals’ goals and priorities, Novi AMS allows you to focus on creating the best possible experience for your members.


Now that you know a little about the top Personify software competitors, you’re ready to learn more about your top choices! If you focus on your association’s specific needs, you can’t go wrong.

Want more information about other association management software? Check out these resources:

  • iMIS Software: An Overview and Alternative. iMIS is one of the most popular association management solutions. But what do you know about it? Read our review and our suggestion for a top alternative.
  • Top Abila Alternatives. Thinking about Abila for your association management needs? MAke sure you consider these top Abila alternatives before making a purchasing decision.
  • Aptify Review | Our Assessment and Comparison. Double the Donation has put together a review of Aptify, another legacy AMS you might be considering. Read up on the pros and cons, plus their suggestion for an alternative!

Learn more about member and association management software.

Check out these powerful Abila alternatives to help you choose your next association management software solution!

Powerful Abila Alternatives for Association Management

Your association is looking for its next association management software solution. You know that you need a capable solution that can grow with your association, one implemented successfully by associations like yours across the country and the world.

With just those specifications in mind, you might be tempted to go with Abila, the first solution you find that fits those requirements.

But don’t stop your search there! There are powerful, trusted Abila alternatives on the market that offer similar features, including modules and flexibility your association can’t get anywhere else. Why base your long-term association management software purchasing decision on generic requirements when you could find software that addresses your association’s unique needs?

There are Abila alternatives out there that are a perfect fit for your association — and we’re willing to bet you can find them in this list:

  1. Fonteva for Associations
  2. Salsa
  3. Doubleknot
  4. Wild Apricot
  5. Realm
  6. SilkStart
  7. Tendenci
  8. Novi AMS

Ready to find the Abila alternative that’s perfect for your association? Read on!

The top Abila alternative is Fonteva.

1. Top Abila Alternative: Fonteva for Associations

Fonteva for Associations is true-cloud association management software built for enterprise-level associations ready to shed the restrictions of legacy AMS.

With Fonteva for Associations, you get all the benefits of a Salesforce-native solution, including:

  • True-cloud hosting, with all the space you need to grow your association.
  • Non-disruptive updates, with three free updates each year included in your license.
  • Flexibility, connecting you to the Salesforce AppExchange to meet any unique business needs.

You’ll realize the benefits of a true-cloud, Salesforce-based solution when you can host an event, segment your members into communities and committees, sell merchandise online, and keep track of your revenue accounting all within the Fonteva solution!

When you house your member data, events, and dues payments in one central, true-cloud solution, you’ll never lose data during transfer or updates. Plus, your members can take advantage of their benefits automatically at checkout on your online store, when registering for an event, or when accessing online communities based on their permissions.

What to Love about This Abila Alternative

Fonteva for Associations is one of the most user-friendly solutions in the space, with drag-and-drop reporting making administrative tasks easier for you and a consumer app-inspired user interface making engagement with your association easier for your members.

But if you ever encounter a situation you can’t solve on your own, Fonteva’s world-class customer support portal and phone support team are there for you. You also have all the resources for Salesforce support at your disposal, including user forums relied upon by more than 23,000 nonprofits and higher education institutions.

Pricing of This Abila Alternative

You don’t have to worry about any hardware or software installation or upgrade costs with Fonteva for Associations. Instead, you’ll be responsible for a license and a one-time implementation cost, which covers non-disruptive updates that we automatically schedule outside of office hours.

Even better, if your association is a 501(c)(3) organization, you can take advantage of a discount on the price of a license!

To request a quote, visit our pricing page.

Salsa is a top Abila alternative.

2. Abila Alternative: Salsa

If your association is a 501(c)(3) organization or relies on donations in some way, Salsa could be the perfect solution for you! Salsa CRM, a world-class donor management system, and Salsa Engage, a marketing, advocacy, and online fundraising platform, work together to help your association build a complete picture of your fundraising and donor engagement efforts.

Choosing Salsa means you’ll get:

  • Comprehensive donor profiles
  • Donation tracking
  • Direct mail fundraising
  • Donor management dashboards

For donation-focused associations, Salsa is the top choice for membership (and donor) management.

What to Love about This Abila Alternative

Salsa’s products will allow your team to focus on directing and advancing your membership program without worrying that smaller administrative tasks are falling through the cracks.

When your association implements Salsa CRM and Salsa Engage, data is automatically shared between each program, module, and department. That means that your donor profiles are always up to date with the online petitions your members sign, the donations they make, the events they attend, and the marketing campaigns they’ve received, opened, and clicked on.

You can always manually add notes and modify these profiles when the need arises. But you don’t have to keep track of all the routine details by hand!

Pricing of This Abila Alternative

Visit Salsa’s website to submit a request for a quote.

A top Abila alternative is Doubleknot.

3. Abila Alternative: Doubleknot

Arts and cultural organizations with membership programs have specific needs that not all association management software can meet. So why choose a generic association management system like Abila and pay for features you’ll never use, plus add-ons or third-party integrations to fill in the gaps in your operations?

Doubleknot is the membership management solution for museums, science centers, zoos, and aquariums. Their specialized solution allows for the operations these organizations need to rely on:

  • Automatic member benefits
  • Gift memberships
  • Automatic renewal alerts
  • Member directory
  • Event participation history

These features ensure that consumer-facing, revenue-generating museum membership programs are sustainable and profitable.

What to Love about This Abila Alternative

The lifeblood of visitor-facing membership programs is new member enrollment. Members might join for any reason, but most often they join to take advantage of a discount or special members-only promotion on admission, program registration, or special event.

Doubleknot boosts enrollment on two levels: first, through enabling your staff to enroll members from anywhere, and second, by making it easy and profitable to offer the most popular member benefits. 

With mobile POS systems, museum staff can take membership registration through long admissions lines. And when non-members make an online purchase, if they add a membership to their cart, their member benefits apply to the same purchase!

Pricing of This Abila Alternative

Contact sales@doubleknot.com for a quote for your museum or science center.

A top Abila alternative is Wild Apricot.

4. Abila Alternative: Wild Apricot

Large associations might want to check out Wild Apricot, an all-inclusive membership management solution with a focus on bringing your association to members wherever they are.

Top features include:

  • Cloud-based membership database
  • Online payment gateway
  • Website builder
  • Event registration

As with all cloud-based membership database systems, Wild Apricot is always up to date. As soon as a new member fills out an application or a current member registers for an event, that information is accessible to any user with internet access.

What to Love about This Abila Alternative

As important as automatic membership profile updates are, sometimes, you need to give your members the autonomy to update their own profiles. With Wild Apricot, your members can modify information on their profile, including their payment information and contact details.

Wild Apricot member profiles can be updated from any desktop or mobile device, so your members are never without connection to your association. That connection is what all your essential membership management system features are for!

Pricing of This Abila Alternative

Wild Apricot customers can choose monthly billing or annual prepaid scheduled for different plans, based on the number of members your association needs to house. Prices start at $25 per month for 100 members and run to $350 per month for 15,000.

A top Abila alternative is Realm.

5. Abila Alternative: Realm

Church communities extend past the pews, so why not implement a specialized membership software solution that can address the unique ways you engage with your congregants?

Realm is that solution, providing the following features to church communities:

  • Custom member profiles
  • Online giving and pledges
  • Groups and committees
  • Event planning and attendance tracking

Whether you’re organizing a fundraising potluck to raise money for a mission trip or just reaching out to check in on a specific member, Realm gives you easy access through the free mobile app.

What to Love about This Abila Alternative

Connection and communication are essential for church communities, and Realm’s highlighted features demonstrate just how much emphasis they place on getting those aspects right.

But that’s not all you can do with Realm! Keep administrative duties organized, stay on top of your finances, and produce reports about the data that matters to your ministry.

Pricing of This Abila Alternative

With different features for a specific number of users available at different price points, Realm can cost as little as $30 per month or as much as $209 per month, plus startup costs. For congregations of more than 150 members, contact Realm for a pricing discussion.

A top Abila alternative is SilkStart.

6. Abila Alternative: SilkStart

For associations with members across the country (or the world!), it often makes sense to create local chapters that can take some of the administrative burden off your executive team’s shoulders. If you’re a multi-chapter association, your association management software should reflect the reality of how your association operates.

SilkStart is a top choice for associations with multiple chapters because it offers:

  • One central database with custom fields
  • Company plans, affording benefits to employees
  • Automatic renewal reminders on a flexible schedule
  • Custom membership levels

These features make running a large organization with local chapters possible to manage in one solution without having to purchase an individual solution for each.

What to Love about This Abila Alternative

Hefty software like SilkStart is always in danger of becoming impossible for the average user to operate without extensive training and support from technical professionals.

SilkStart places special emphasis on ease of use. Administrators can create events and reports with drag-and-drop features, and users will find mobile-optimized forms easy to fill out on the go.

Pricing of This Abila Alternative

Annually, the premium plan comes in at $180 per month, while the multi-chapter plan starts at $475 for 10 chapters.

A top Abila alternative is Tendenci.

7. Abila Alternative: Tendenci

If you’re willing to put in a little extra work to craft the perfect solution that fits your association’s membership program to a tee, then Tendenci could be the platform for you!

The open-source association management software provides associations with a website that they can then customize with features like:

  • Membership management
  • Events management
  • Job postings
  • Community forums

Not all association management systems will be perfect out of the box. Tendenci takes that reality and builds an entire platform on it!

What to Love about This Abila Alternative

It might seem intimidating to build your own website and membership management tool from the ground up.

But you don’t have to be highly technical to make the most of Tendenci. With templates and access to a code snippet library on GitHub, your association has all the tools it needs. Just add a little determination and creativity!

Pricing of This Abila Alternative

Price ranges from $169 per month to $399 per month, or a custom price for large international organizations.

Novi AMS is an excellent Abila alternative for trade associations looking for an association management software solution.

8. Abila Alternative: Novi AMS

Trade association professionals are looking for an association management system that makes it easy to foster connections among members and facilitate their professional development.

Novi AMS was designed by and for trade association professionals and keeps their needs and interests in mind with features such as:

  • 2-way, 24/7 sync with QuickBooks accounting software
  • An easy-to-use CMS
  • A membership database designed for trade associations
  • Targeted communication tools

Novi AMS offers an association management system that is easy for both your association’s leaders and your members to use. The platform covers a variety of trade association needs, from accounting to eCommerce to event management.

What to Love about This Abila Alternative

Novi AMS is an all-in-one association management platform that can help your trade association not only collect and organize member information but also create an engaging website with its easy-to-use CMS.

The platform is also the only AMS approved by Intuit for the QuickBooks App Store. The 2-way, 24/7 sync with QuickBooks ensures that any financial information input into one system appears in the other automatically. This integration saves you time and facilitates highly accurate accounting.

Novi AMS was created to address the specific needs of trade organizations. The parent/child structure of its member database reflects the fact that trade association members tend to join as employees of a company rather than as individuals. Other affiliations between members and institutions such as parent companies also show up in the database.

Pricing of This Abila Alternative

The Novi AMS pricing scale is based on your association’s annual revenue. You can visit their pricing page to learn more about pricing options for your association.


Now that you’re prepared with a list of the top Abila alternatives, it’s time to venture into your purchasing process! Make sure you’re always looking for the solution that’s a perfect fit for your association, not just the largest or most popular option.

Need more resources before you make a decision? Try these:

  • iMIS Software: An Overview and Alternatives. iMIS is one of the most popular association management systems on the market. But is it the best choice for your association? See if our top alternative would be a better fit for your association.
  • Top 6 Personify Software Competitors. Have you considered Personify for your association management software needs? Don’t make a decision before you check out our list of the top Personify software competitors!
  • 5 Essentials for Your Membership Management System. Not quite ready to dive into the association management software market? Get our checklist of essentials for your membership management system before you set off on your purchasing journey.
Learn more about member and association management software.

Learn everything you need to know about iMIS software and the top-rated alternative.

iMIS Software: An Overview and Top-Performing Alternative

When it comes time to invest in a new association management software solution, you’ll quickly realize that the number of options on the market are overwhelming. Even more overwhelming, though, is the sheer amount of information on each provider’s website, on authoritative review websites, in industry publications, and in online customer forums.

Some names pop up more often than others, though, like iMIS ® software! The solution by ASI is widely used, but is it right for your association in particular?

In this post, we’re going to cut through the noise for you. We’ve provided:

  1. A clear overview of iMIS ® software
  2. Some potential drawbacks you should be aware of during the search process
  3. top-rated alternative to consider as you move toward a purchasing decision.

Let’s get into it!


Get a comprehensive iMIS software overview.

iMIS ® Software OverviewiMIS software encourages member engagement.

There’s a reason why iMIS ® software is so popular. The association management solution is all-encompassing, offering an expansive suite of features and the ability to customize the solution to your association’s unique needs. Plus, the software solution has been around for more than 25 years, first designed by Advanced Solutions International (ASI) in the early 1990s! It’s had plenty of time to establish a loyal following.

Let’s delve into some of the most popular features.

  • Membership: Host member information in online PCI-compliant profiles that members can update themselves. Encourage members to join or manage chapters, committees, and companies, then record participation in these online groups.
  • Fundraising: Accept one-time, recurring, major, planned, and tribute donations through iMIS software. Manage all steps of the donation process, from donation forms to receipts and automatic pledge reminders.
  • Events: Plan and execute events with flexible pricing rules and automatic communication features. Plus, create an event microsite with public RSVP lists, your event schedule, and social media integrations.

As you can see from these features and the way they’re configured, the overarching focus of this software is member engagement, with self-service member profiles.

Of course, many associations have needs that iMIS ® software can’t meet. Read on to see if your association is one of them!


Learn about the top iMIS software drawbacks.

iMIS ® Software Drawbacks

Agile, enterprise-level associations often find that iMIS ® software’s greatest asset doubles as a significant drawback: its breadth of features.

While it’s important to choose a provider that offers the solutions you need for your association’s operations, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice speed or ease of use. You have enough to do without learning how to use a complex new system:

If you need something more than the out-of-the-box features, you should be able to find what you need and implement it without worrying about potential problems with the integration.

Plus, when it comes to the customization itself, iMIS software isn’t built for the average administrator. The solution can be coded to meet your association’s needs — with the help of ASI technical assistants or an in-house member of your staff who happens to be an expert in SQL reporting.

You might end up needing to bring on a consultant to help you customize the software, run updates, and perform routine maintenance, increasing the actual cost of the solution as a whole.

Considering these sorts of future costs and anticipating technical issues or growing pains is an essential part of finding the right association management solution. Committing to an outsized solution too early is rarely a smart move.

Don’t want to have to deal with complex coding or disruptive maintenance processes? We have the solution for you.


The top iMIS software alternative is Fonteva!

Top iMIS ® Software Alternative: Fonteva for Associations

To get the most out of your association management software solution, you might be looking for Fonteva for Associations.

With this top iMIS ® software alternative, you also get an improved member experience. Fonteva is designed with the consumer-facing apps and websites of social media and eCommerce platforms in mind. Members will engage with your association more deeply and frequently when their online gateway to you is intuitive.

Just take a look at how easy it is to promote member collaboration with community chat features:

Fonteva, the top iMIS software alternative, makes it easy for members to stay engaged through online communities.

Built entirely native in Salesforce, Fonteva also brings with it all the advantages of a true-cloud solution built on the most widely used and trusted CRM in the world. The solution is:

  • Scalable, able to grow along with your association without replacing costly on-site servers that limit capacity.
  • Flexible, directly connected to the Salesforce AppExchange to fill any niche needs your association has.
  • Up-to-date, with three upgrades delivered over the cloud per year that will never disrupt your operations.
  • Global, compatible with languages and currencies from around the world, as well as more than 100 payment gateways.
  • Supported, by top-notch Salesforce customer support and Fonteva’s customer success team.

If that all sounds exciting but intimidating, don’t worry! Fonteva for Associations is also lean and user-friendly, eliminating the need for extensive outside help with customization or reporting with access to the Salesforce AppExchange and drag-and-drop reporting features.

Building dashboards like this one is easy:

Create drag-and-drop dashboards with top iMIS software alternative, Fonteva.

Each member of your team, across all different departments, can choose the modules that help them do their jobs and add them to their dashboards with ease and no technical expertise.

 


Now that you have the essential information about iMIS ® software and Fonteva for Associations under your belt, it’s time to make your decision!

Need more information about association membership software? Check out these additional resources to help you in your purchasing process:

  • Association Management Software: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide. Make sure you have a game plan before venturing further into the association management marketplace. Let our essential buyer’s guide serve as your road map.
  • Top Abila Alternatives. Considering Abila for your association management needs? Make sure to check out some of the provider’s competitors to see if your association might find a better fit elsewhere.
  • Top Personify Software Competitors. Another popular association management solution, Personify, might be the best choice for your association. But before you make the final decision, consider these top Personify software competitors!
  • Best 15 Membership and Association Management Software. Before querying vendors, ensure that your list includes the best in the business. Double the Donation has put together reviews and ratings of every solution that should make your list.

Learn more about member and association management software.

Strengthen your member community with your association management system!

Association Management Systems: 7 Tips for Strong Community

A strong member community is more than a point of pride for your association’s executive team — it’s also your best retention and recruitment tool rolled into one!

Think about it from your members’ point of view. Members who feel like they truly belong in your association will want to stick around, and potential members will want to join because they see personal, social, and professional value in the network.

To encourage a healthy, engaged member community, you don’t need much besides your passion and a capable association management system.

In this post, we’ll explore these top strategies for engaging your member community, all made possible by a great association management system:

  1. True-cloud solutions keep software up to date
  2. Association membership directories inspire connection
  3. Communities and committees empower members
  4. Association software events management diversifies engagement
  5. Mobile functionality encourages participation
  6. eStores help members show off their membership
  7. Association membership system tracking flags at-risk members

Ready to foster a strong member community within your association? Make sure you have the right system in place with our ultimate buyer’s guide to association management software, then get ready to put your system to use!

Implement a true-cloud association management solution.

1. True-cloud solutions keep software up to date

For you to put these tried-and-true member engagement strategies into practice, you need your members to first be engaged with your association management system. After all, you can’t foster a sense of community through your software if your members won’t log on to their profiles.

Nothing dissuades participation quite like out-of-date software. Your members don’t want to use software that’s so outdated that it gets in their way, and they can’t use software when it needs to be taken offline to be manually updated. Don’t miss out on member engagement for easily avoidable software reasons!

To ensure that your members actually use your software, choose a solution that’s based in the cloud, like Fonteva. Since Fonteva is based in Salesforce, the most popular cloud-based CRM, updates are automatic, fast, and included in your license:

Invest in a true-cloud solution to ensure your association management system is always up to date.

Plus, up-to-date software is one of the best defenses against a costly password breach. When you use Fonteva, you can assure your members that you’re taking steps to protect their confidential private information, and you don’t even have to push the updates live — the system updates itself automatically, applying the latest patches from the most secure cloud CRM in the world, Salesforce.

There are plenty of other benefits that come from choosing a true-cloud association management system, including:

  • Storage space for as many member profiles and events you need
  • Access to the database from anywhere, not just in your office
  • Smooth and quick implementation, so you can hit the ground running

These factors let you bring as many members into your system as you want as quickly as you want, so you can get started with your membership engagement strategy right away.

The Takeaway: A true-cloud association management system like Fonteva stays up-to-date automatically, encouraging your members to use it and thereby opening up opportunities for your team to foster a stronger community.

Choose association membership software with public member directories.

2. Association membership directories inspire connection

A strong member community isn’t made up of members who only interact with your association’s administrative team.

The communities that members want to join and stay in are those in which members regularly and meaningfully engage with each other, not just the association’s leaders.

That doesn’t mean there’s nothing your team can do to foster a strong community! To the contrary, the structure you set can either encourage or discourage members from connecting with one another.

One simple way to set your community up for success is to allow members to find each other through a membership directory. Think about it like social media — your member profiles might even be modeled after highly intuitive consumer-facing social networking apps, like Fonteva:

Your association management system's member profiles should be easy to find through a member directory.

It might seem too simple to be true, but a membership directory does more than you think:

  • Connections: What if you discovered that someone you knew through an association attended the same university as you? When members can see each other’s profiles, they will discover unexpected, happy connections that encourage them to reach out and start conversations.
  • Groups: Ensure that your members can see what groups, committees, and chapters other members are in and can request membership in those groups. Members might not know what networking opportunities are out there until they see them listed on other members’ profiles.
  • Badges and awards: The competitive spirit is alive within most member communities! Display badges and awards publicly on your members’ profiles for other members to see and aspire to.
  • Profile updates: Because members know others will be searching for them through their profiles, they are more likely to keep the information in those profiles updated. This information helps your association later on with marketing and analytics.

When your members establish real connections with other members and engage more meaningfully within your association management system in these ways, they will feel more invested in your association. The more time and attention they devote, the closer they feel to the community!

The Takeaway: Encourage your members to find meaningful connections to other members — and to update their own profiles regularly — by setting up a public member directory.

Empower your members with communities and chapters within your association software.

3. Communities and committees empower members

Centralizing a lot of your association’s planning is important. But it’s not practical, especially for enterprise-level associations, to manage each aspect of your operations from such a high vantage point.

Why not pass off some of that administrative weight onto your members? The privilege to manage some of their own operations is actually empowering for your members.

Look for an association management database that incorporates member-driven communities and committees that allow your members to:

  • Create new member groups and microsites
  • Personalize the appearance of group pages
  • Grant access to members who request it
  • Communicate online or through email
  • Display committee membership on public profiles
  • Integrate with payment gateways
  • Organize special projects and events

With these key features, your members will feel a sense of responsibility and authority, not just belonging. They can organize events, sell merchandise, and facilitate relevant conversations.

Even better, ensure that your members can accomplish all these tasks on the go! With Fonteva, communities and committees operate like consumer-facing social networking apps. Here’s what your member sees when they view a committee from a mobile device:

Empower your members to engage with your association and other members on their own terms within the structure of your association management system.

The Takeaway: With a degree of administrative access, your members will become more invested in your association and its mission.

Manage events in your association management system.

4. Association software events management diversifies engagement

If your goal is so inspire a sense of belonging, there’s nothing better than an in-person event. Some things just can’t come across in online communication.

Whether it’s a networking lunch, a conference, or a cocktail party that you want to organize, the key to an engaging membership event is integration with your association management system. If your event management solution and association management database are integrated, you’ll be able to:

  • Save time and administrative stress: All the information from your event registration forms goes straight into your membership database without you having to manually transfer it after your event.
  • Offer automatic member benefits: If certain higher-level members get a special registration slot, for instance, you need an association management system that can automatically apply that benefit instead of the member calling your office to override the system.
  • Sell memberships and event tickets together: Some people will want to purchase or upgrade their membership to redeem those special permissions. Invest in a system that can streamline membership purchase and event ticket purchase into one checkout.
  • Allow local chapters to host events: You’re already empowering your members to find community online, so why not give them the agency to bring that local community together in the real world?

With Fonteva, event management is already included! You get all the features that come along with Salesforce event planning:

With Fonteva's association management system, you get comprehensive event planning features on top of the Salesforce CRM platform.

On top of these event personalization features, you keep your data centralized in one place when you organize events in your association management database.

The Takeaway: Organizing events with your association management system doesn’t just ease your administrative burden. With an integrated event management system, you deliver a smoother experience for your members.

Ensure your association membership software is mobile-friendly.

5. Mobile functionality encourages participation

More and more often, your members are accessing the most important elements of their social and professional lives through their mobile devices. By implementing mobile functionality, you encourage your members to take your organization with them on the go into multiple arenas of their lives.

The easier it is to access your member community, the more your members will do just that.

When looking for membership and association management software with the right mobile features, keep in mind that you want to encourage users to use your app, not discourage them. A mobile app is not useful if it’s so difficult to use that none of your members want to log on.

You should search for an intuitive app that doesn’t require you to train your members on how to use, like Fonteva:
Make sure your association membership management solution can connect your members with their community even when they're on the go.

The Takeaway: When members log on to Fonteva on their mobile phones, they see familiar menus and feeds that they might see on a social networking app. This familiarity encourages them to use the app wherever they are!

Encourage members to show off their membership with your association software's eStores.

6. eStores help members show off their membership

Selling branded merchandise online is a great way to make additional revenue for your association. Plus, every time your members wear branded merchandise from your online store, they walk around as free advertising for your association!

Beyond the free advertising, branded shirts, water bottles, and stickers are ways for your members to identify themselves outside their member profiles in the real world. The more tangible their membership is, the more connected they feel to it, and the better chances they have of renewing their membership.

With Fonteva, you can sell all of those items and more:

Offer members automatic discounts at your eStore with your association software.

Instead of signing up for a third-party site to sell your items, integrate your eStore with your association management system. You’d be surprised by the benefits:

  • Enforce a variety of custom pricing levels based on membership level
  • Track purchases by custom membership profile fields
  • Take advantage of the same payment gateways you use for dues and donations
  • Sell memberships, tickets, and even sponsorships using the same checkout system
  • Allow members to store their payment information in a secure online wallet connected to their profile

The Takeaway: Go beyond bringing in additional revenue and use your association management system’s eStore as an opportunity to engage your members.

Track at-risk members within your association management system.

7. Association membership system tracking flags at-risk members

Even engaged members can decline to renew, for a number of potential reasons. They might not be able to cover their membership dues, they might have moved to a different city, or they might not be getting out of your association what they wanted.

Those reasons are important for your association to know because they can help guide your operations in the future. But before you can discover them, you need to identify those members before they lapse out of your association.

For that, you need a robust reporting option that’s:

  • Accessible, so each of your association’s departments can build reports about information that’s relevant to them
  • Intuitive, so anyone can produce useful reports regardless of coding experience and without help from IT
  • Customizable, so any staff member can monitor any custom fields that are helpful for their segment of your association

When you integrate these reporting features with your association membership database, you can build reports that pull from membership information without having to import it. The association management system does the work!

Take a look at the kind of data you have quick and easy access to with Fonteva’s reporting dashboards:

Monitor your membership base for at-rick members within your association management system.

Associations need to monitor their membership renewals for approaching deadlines. Automated membership renewal letters are great early defense against missed renewal deadlines, but you might consider a more personal approach when the deadline is right around the corner.

There are other factors that can indicate an at-risk member, which depend on the association. If your association plans many events, for example, members who haven’t attended in a few months might merit a call or email to ask them why they haven’t shown up.

With Fonteva dashboards, you can view common membership statistics while personalizing your view for your particular organization.

The Takeaway: Decreasing attrition becomes a more streamlined project when your association takes advantage of a sophisticated association management system’s custom reporting.


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 all the different features discussed above.

For more about association software, check out these additional resources:

Download our guide to association management software!