Explore our complete guide to membership directories!

Membership Directories | Complete Guide & Best Practices

Contact us to find the right membership directory solution!

Regardless of the size or type of membership program that your organization offers, every association can greatly benefit from the implementation of a membership directory. In fact, thousands of organizations have already begun leveraging the power of directories to engage both members and the general public. 

For example, the American Psychological Association relies on its online membership directory to host the profiles of over 122,000 different educators, scientists, and researchers, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a dedicated member directory to manage its 3 million business members.

However, your membership program does not have to be from a national or international association with millions of members to enjoy the advantages of a membership directory. Associations as large as the Chamber of Commerce and as small as local ministries can optimize their operations with this versatile digital resource. 

Like association management systems, these databases are quickly becoming essential tools for every membership organization. They are major hubs of activity for engagement and enrichment of the member experience, and soon enough it will be common practice for all membership programs to provide at least a basic directory system. 

If you’ve just discovered membership directories, need guidance in your search for the right directory, or are simply eager to learn more, this comprehensive guide was made with you in mind. 

This educational resource will tick through all the essential information about membership directories, including a brief overview of the software and all the benefits and critical features to remember when selecting your own membership directory system. Finally, we will top things off with our own top pick for the best membership directory solution:

In just a few moments, you should be confident in your ability to navigate member directories and select the perfect directory software for your own organization. Ready to take your membership experience to the next level? Let’s get started. 

Explore our overview of what an online member directory is.

What Is An Online Membership Directory?

Membership directories are databases that contain key information and profiles for each member of an association. Data such as names, contact information, photos, and more are compiled here, stored in one centralized location for easy access. 

Beyond that, there is a certain level of customization available for members to advertise what they’d like about themselves, both personally and professionally. It’s as simple as that, but what each organization chooses to offer with its membership directory can vary. 

The primary function of member directories is to keep track of association members, organize them into searchable groups, host membership information, and provide opportunities for members to more meaningfully connect with your organization and each other. 

You can almost think of them as a part-catalog, part-social media service for your members. They’re meant to record a member’s activity and status with the membership program, and can be used to initiate a host of other engagement activities within your association program and between members.

These comprehensive lists can be public or private, but typically all directories are searchable even with some soft restrictions. That way, other members or the general public can take a look, see who belongs to your organization, and peruse relevant details in any member’s profile.

Explore the benefits of an online member directory.

Why Is An Online Membership Directory Important?

When some organizations first learn about membership directories, they make the mistake of thinking of these systems like storage lockers for member data. 

While these databases do store member data, their function and importance to your association’s operations go far beyond just holding your member’s names and personal information in a virtual vault. 

Here are just a few of the fundamental ways in which a member directory can add essential value to any membership organization:

Allow members to connect through an online member directory.
  • Legitimacy and professionalism. An online directory gives you the chance to tout your lengthy list of members. With a public directory, you can also take the opportunity to highlight or feature prominent members and their achievements. This further promotes the prestige of your organization and its ability to foster the professional development of potential members.
  • Member networking. Member directories also allow your members to network and get to know each other without having to meet in person. This extra point of connection encourages relationship-building far beyond what could be achieved during the span of a typical event, creating long-lasting connections that boost both member engagement and retention. During a time when physically connecting with one another is such a challenge, this has become an especially important feature.
  • Streamlined internal operations. This technology can also benefit your staff and association leaders in their day-to-day tasks. Routine operations such as segmenting member groups, tracking membership status, and sending targeted communications are made simpler and more efficient with these dedicated member databases. 

No matter if you’re the leader of a professional society or a trade association, increased member acquisition, member engagement, and member retention are three of the primary drivers of any membership organization; and a membership directory can help you reach your goals with regard to all three objectives.

This technology can be used simultaneously as a tool for promotion, engagement, and internal management, all with fairly minimal oversight on the part of your organization.

Learn about the essential components of an association member directory.

What Are The Essential Components Of An Association Member Directory?

Each membership program has its own unique needs, services, and goals. As such, each membership directory will be used in different ways, with some pieces of member data holding more weight than others depending on which organization is using the software.  

Yet while every membership directory looks a little different, each listing should include some common information and data fields: 

  • Name
  • Phone number(s)
  • Email address(es)
  • Photo
  • Location
  • Social media handle(s)
  • Join date

These member profile essentials achieve a number of different things. For one thing, they lay the groundwork for the most fundamental information to identify members. Beyond that, they give curious searchers and fellow members a snapshot of your constituents, the ability to contact them for deeper engagements, and the opportunity to explore their online presence. 

Discover the features of a strong member directory.

On top of these basics, you should also consider including association information that is specific to your industry or mission, such as: 

  • Certifications. This is especially important for members who have earned professional or educational certifications through your association or a partner organization. 
  • Online learning achievements. Incentivize members to participate in your events, lecture series, and custom e-learning programs with pinnable digital badges. 
  • Employment level. A member’s chosen field and how far they are in their career are important factors for member-to-member networking. On top of that, this data will help you to send personalized event, skill-building, and learning opportunities to the relevant members. 
  • Membership level. If your organization includes different tiers of membership, be sure to include this on your member profiles. This will advertise your higher levels of membership to the public, as well as to lower-tier members who could be motivated to increase their dues for greater content access and exclusive opportunities.
  • Other affiliated organizations. Including information about members’ employers, volunteer activities, charity involvement, and other interests will allow members to showcase their activities and connect with those who have similar interests. Plus, your organization can better understand the interests of your members to help you determine the types of benefits and events you should offer. 
  • Event participation. Increase the exposure and visibility of your events by allowing members to advertise what events they’ve participated in and in what capacity (for example, as a featured presenter or speaker).

When looking for your own membership platform solution, be sure to keep an eye out for these fundamental features. Regardless of the services your membership program offers, these critical components will help your association achieve greater member acquisition, engagement, and retention. 

Explore how Fonteva's membership directory software can help your association.

How Can Fonteva’s Membership Software Help?

Learn how the Fonteva membership directory solution can help your association.

Membership database software is the technology through which membership organizations administer their programs. These systems lay the foundation of all membership programs with a wide range of powerful capabilities. 

For example, a robust membership software can store important member data, facilitate communications, plan events, support eCommerce and digital fundraising, and more. 

Fonteva’s software not only supports these various functions, but optimizes them and provides sophisticated solutions to improve your organization’s campaigns and backend operations. 

If that wasn’t enough, the Fonteva membership’s software solution can also run and enhance your online membership directory. 

Here are just a few of the features that Fonteva’s system offers to leverage the full potential of your directory: 

  • Comprehensive Member Profiles and Membership Levels. Maximize the immersion experience of your membership directory with comprehensive profiles. These customizable widgets encourage members to create more comprehensive and active online profiles in your directory and further connect with your program. Additionally, implementing membership levels and including these levels on member profiles will generate promotion for these higher-paying tiers. 
  • Member Communities. Take your membership directory’s networking capabilities to the next level with dedicated member communities. These special-interest groups and committees allow members to organize themselves by important classifiers and even create group-wide events, activities, and discussions around those interests. This not only engages members but also allows your organization to further personalize your communications and events. 
  • Intuitive Dashboards. Customizable dashboards help increase productivity and task management across your organization’s different departments. Each separate team and individual staff member can track their specific goals, projects in progress, membership statistics, and financial data. Leverage the power of this tool to increase efficiency across your entire organization. 
  • Event Management System. Considering how radically the COVID-19 pandemic has rocked our engagement landscape, it’s more important than ever to invest in a software solution that can optimize your in-person, virtual, and hybrid event management. Fonteva’s event management system integrates directly with your membership management system to create a more personalized, engaging event experience for your members. 
  • Revenue Accounting. Stop relying on riskier, less secure third-party servers to complete your annual accounting. Fonteva’s membership software integrates with your membership profiles to easily track fees, card transactions and refunds, and registration.This will enable you to simply, quickly, and securely complete your financial reporting.
  • Reporting and Analytics. While many membership solutions have basic reporting, Fonteva’s association management system includes extensive data reporting features. With data segmentation and customization for different departments, advanced file exporting options, and reporting for any KPI in your member database, your association can create informed data-driven strategies to optimize your operations. 

To learn more about association membership software and how the Fonteva solution can streamline your association’s success, check out our essential guide to membership software.

Additional Resources

If you want to ensure that your members remain engaged and involved in your association for the long run, membership directories are an essential tool that you may be overlooking. These versatile databases don’t just benefit your staff as you catalog and track member data, but they also give your members a chance to drive their own engagements and form long-lasting relationships within your organization. 

No matter how engaging your association may be in offering its members different events, services, and engagement opportunities, there is no replacement for the connections that can be created through a membership directory solution. 

For information on other critical services for your membership program and more tips on how to streamline your operations, check out these other top resources:

Take a tour of Fonteva's membership software solution!
Choosing the best membership platform, and 10 top membership site solutions.

Choosing the Best Membership Platform: 10+ Top Solutions

At a time when work, play, and everyday life are being carried out online, it’s more important than ever to choose the right platform for your membership database. After all, while you may not be seeing your members every day, your membership website is the gateway through which they see you. 

A strong, accessible platform can engage users, increase member retention, improve internal operations, and incentivize associates to encourage their personal network to join your organization’s program. On the other hand, a poor interface and user experience can sour member relations and reflect negatively on the organization itself.

Considering all these intersecting factors of the member experience, it’s no wonder that choosing the right association management software can be so daunting. It’s a big task, with many moving parts to consider.

However, you shouldn’t have to be a coder, a UX specialist, or a graphic designer just to pick out the right platform. To ease the search, we’ve compiled a list of the best software on the market based on a balance of usability, visual appeal, overall functionality, and integration capabilities.

Here are our top choices.

  1. Fonteva
  2. CMS Hub
  3. MemberSpace
  4. YourMembership
  5. MemberPress
  6. WildApricot
  7. SubHub
  8. Memberful
  9. Membership Works
  10. Kajabi
  11. Podia

After covering these top picks, we’ll review the essentials to keep in mind during your search, including the basics of membership platforms and important features to look for. Let’s dive in.

This section lists 10 of the best membership platforms according to Fonteva.<a name=

10+ Top Membership Platforms to Explore

Here are our top picks for the best membership platforms on the market. 

1. Fonteva – All-in-One Salesforce App

This is a screenshot of Fonteva's membership software homepage.

With an intuitive design and a comprehensive arsenal of integrated tools to maximize member and staff activity, the Fonteva Salesforce App is without a doubt our favorite AMS solution. 

While many other services only offer either big-picture solutions or are specialized for niche membership program types, such as point or tiered programs, Fonteva caters to all association program strategies. 

Not only that, but the service is also run on one of the world’s premier CRM platforms, providing a full-scale system of optimized association technologies through Salesforce.

Stand Out Features

  • Complete scalability. Salesforce’s cloud-based hosting allows for mass storage and powerful processing capabilities. Yes, organizations of any size and phase of development will benefit from this service. However, with the Fonteva app, there’s always opportunities for growth.
  • Full integration and reportage. The transfer of data onto this app is practically instantaneous. Records and important KPIs are logged, processed, and set for future tracking with minimal hassle for your organization. On top of that, automated and customizable reports are available to keep your team up to date on site performance. 
  • Member communities and networking. Users are capable of connecting with one another and forming dynamic, enduring bonds within the association database. This opens up the door for member engagement and increased retention even when your team isn’t actively working to improve these metrics. 
  • Powerful event management capabilities. The Fonteva platform makes it easier than ever to plan, host, and manage events, all within the native software. Whether it’s a virtual fundraiser or an in-person conference, this service accommodates every event type to raise member attendance and engagement.
  • Salesforce AppExchange. With Fonteva, the entire Salesforce toolkit is at your disposal. Our software is powered by one of the world’s most robust CRMs, integrating the powerful Salesforce library of marketing, analytics, and enterprise resources into your association development plans.

Check out Fonteva

2. CMS Hub

This is a screenshot of CMS Hub's membership platform homepage.

CMS Hub stands out for the versatility of its SEO and personalization toolkits. 

Rather than an association management system, CMS Hub is instead a broader content management system. While this software might not have been made with membership site logistics as its express purpose, the accessibility and usability of this platform make it a powerful tool for any association organization. 

Stand Out Features

  • Data segmentation. CMS Hub not only tracks your data, but offers programs that break down these user analytics into segmented chunks. This is then used to help optimize functionality, target user interests, and improve content that is underperforming. 
  • Personalization and smart forms. Take your personalization and engagement efforts to the next level with CMS Hub’s smart forms, smart content, and smart CTAs. These built-in algorithms automatically process user data to customize member site experiences. 
  • Integrated SEO tools. CMS Hub also comes with a pre-installed package of search engine optimization tools, including a content strategy tool that pulls data directly from Google to build future SEO campaigns. 

Check out CMS Hub

3. MemberSpace

This is a screenshot of MemberSpace's membership platform homepage.

If you’re seeking simplicity and accessibility for your membership site creation experience, then MemberSpace is the perfect gateway to the online world of associations. 

All in all, this is an incredibly easy to use, straightforward association software solution with a wide range of tools to customize your site in a wide variety of ways. 

Stand Out Features

  • Highly accessible user interface. MemberSpace is made so that any membership professional can easily hop on and begin navigating their site creation tools. No design, coding, or UX/UI experience is required to sink your teeth into this service. 
  • CMS freedom. Most membership systems key into a specific CMS, such as WordPress, and transitioning to a new system may prove challenging. MemberSpace specifically advertises its compatibility and easy switching between all major CMS platforms. 
  • Association networking communities. MemberSpace is not only an AMS, but it doubles as a community for other membership site builders to share best practices, tips, and strategies among fellow association professionals. 

Check out MemberSpace

4. YourMembership

This is a screenshot of YourMembership's membership platform homepage.

YourMembership is a fully integrated association solution that offers a strong content strategy toolkit across the board. 

The service is already highly accessible, but one of its biggest benefits is most definitely the organization’s commitment to service and smoothly facilitating the transition onto the platform. 

Stand Out Features

  • Workflow automation. YourMembership offers a streamlined workflow system, creating an intuitive dashboard of content that helps to streamline the planning and execution process for everyday operations and larger campaigns. 
  • Training programs and ease of use. One of the platform’s biggest areas of focus is accessibility. Training courses are available to help membership professionals at any stage of their careers learn something new about design presentation, user experience, and marketing strategies in the virtual sphere. 
  • Implementation teams. Each customer organization is partnered with a team always available for contact in order to maximize their content and grow comfortably into the platform. 

Check out YourMembership

5. MemberPress

This is a screenshot of MemberPress's membership platform homepage.

MemberPress is an all-access membership plug-in for the WordPress CMS. 

An extension of one of the most popular, open-source CMS databases on the internet, this service could be a good fit for associations looking for the smoothest and easiest possible transition into the online association sphere. 

Stand Out Features

  • Absolute WordPress compatibility. This service works for and with WordPress to provide the most complementary possible experience in the CMS. All templates and tools already existing in WordPress will be supported by this extension. 
  • Course and pricing creation. Launching e-learning and e-commerce opportunities with this software is especially simple, with a special Courses add-on being one of the many simplified programs offered by MemberPress. 
  • Content dripping. Timing, queuing, and dripping content is made all the easier with MemberPress. The plug-in carefully manages the lifecycle of content available for members, managing expiration dates and access launches to drive the demand for these pieces of content. 

Check out MemberPress

6. WildApricot

This is a screenshot of WildApricot's membership platform homepage.

This popular membership software platform specializes in the management of small to medium sized organizations.

WildApricot provides a cost-effective solution to smaller organizations that might otherwise be unable to enjoy these powerful association tools. With outstanding SEO and design capabilities, this AMS option is a popular choice. 

Stand Out Features

  • Membership database. With a versatile cloud-based hosting service, WildApricot is able to store and implement tons of member data with no trouble. Important details such as payment preferences and user activity are all kept up to date and ready for use. 
  • Payment processing. WildApricot uses an integrated payment processor to directly accept important online payments, from dues to additional on-site purchases. Due reminders and other payment notifications add an additional layer of efficiency to this streamlined system. 
  • Site creation tools. The platform boasts a library of dynamic website design tools to ensure that you have a sleek, aesthetically pleasing layout in only a few hours. Not only that, but the service includes drop and drop features that simplify data transfers into the site. 

Check out WildApricot

7. SubHub

This is a screenshot of SubHub's membership platform homepage.

This middle-of-the-way association website builder provides a strong set of services across a broad scope of different needs. 

In particular, SubHub specializes in providing varying levels of membership. This makes the program especially helpful if you’re looking for a service that allows you to easily segment content access according to the membership type of users. 

Stand Out Features

  • Stacked membership access. Managing content access between your various membership levels can be a balancing act. However, SubHub has specific programs in place to maintain how, when, and what each level of membership sees on your website. 
  • Intuitive editing software. SubHub’s built-in content editor analyses your content and suggests new strategies to more effectively communicate ideas to members, all before you hit post. 
  • Customer support. The in-house SubHub customer service team is second to none, with staff always available to improve your site building and offer new opportunities to maximize the platform’s many uses. 

Check out SubHub

8. Memberful

This is a screenshot of Memberful's membership platform homepage.

Not only is Memberful a great option for website builders, but the service also specializes in membership management across a variety of other mediums. 

Their multi-channel integration tools allow you to expand your presence across your members’ various preferred channels of engagement. If you’d like to take your association beyond your website alone, Memberful offers easy connections to various services in the world of podcasts, newsletters, and social media. 

Stand Out Features

  • Multi-channel integration. One of Memberful’s biggest selling points is its ease of integration across a wide range of different entertainment and engagement platforms. The service syncs and gathers all of your accounts, from Discord messaging to MailChimp and CampaignMonitor data. 
  • Easy member engagement. User engagement is of the utmost importance to Memberful. Members are sure to be entertained by its various cross-community integrations, lively member networking options, and profile customization opportunities.
  • Automated communication. Never worry about forgetting to send members important communications, or member questions going answered. Memberful automatically handles key messaging, such as subscription, renewal, and payment emails.

Check out Memberful

9. MembershipWorks

This is a screenshot of MembershipWorks's membership platform homepage.

MembershipWorks guarantees a responsive, flexible membership management solution with robust customer service and care. 

If you’re hoping to find a cost effective service that prioritizes the training and support of newer membership professionals, then MembershipWorks may just be the AMS pathway for you. 

Stand Out Features

  • Smart member search. MembershipWorks includes an intuitive directory of members that are searchable by names, keywords, and customized labels to make sure you’re able to find who you’re looking for among your supporters. 
  • Data security and administration. Security is a major priority for the MembershipWorks team. It’s possible to place multiple levels of limited access across sensitive folders and management widgets, and member data is stored in three safeguard servers in case of hardware failure. 
  • Membership CRM. The Memberworks “Timeline” allows you to study member activity at a glance. All this important data, from attendance to payment plans, is available at the tip of your fingers. 

Check out MembershipWorks

10. Kajabi

This is a screenshot of Kajabi's membership platform homepage.

This membership software solution is promoted as the ultimate way to sell what you know. Association programs are just one of its possible uses, as it can also be used to sell online courses, market products, and monetize your skills and services.

Overall, Kajabi is a strong AMS platform that is especially useful if you’re on the lookout to launch additional e-learning or shopping opportunities. 

Stand Out Features

  • Shopping and e-commerce. Setting up a catalog and shopping widget is extremely simple. Facilitating e-commerce in any way, shape, or form your membership desires is Kajabi’s speciality. 
  • Pipelines. Kajabi includes fully-automated programs to help launch your future marketing strategies. With the Kajabi Pipeline, scaling your organization for campaigns should never be an issue. 
  • Mobile performance. The Kajabi app ensures that your members will have a smooth and pleasant mobile experience. This feature grows more valuable with each passing day, as mobile usage increases and optimized mobile performance becomes a standard benchmark for all association organizations. 

Check out Kajabi

11. Podia

This is a screenshot of Podia's membership platform homepage.

Like Kajabi, Podia is an all-in-one sales platform that includes membership program management among its many other uses.

However, Podia endeavors to offer similar services with greater affordability and a far more personalized service experience. If you’d like a more economical, guided journey into your AMS launch, Podia may be the right fit for you. 

Stand Out Features

  • Affordability. Podia is one of the most affordable membership platforms available, with plans starting at just 39 dollars a month. Considering the strength and versatility of the tools provided by the service, this is a fantastic offer to consider if your own budget is limited. 
  • Two-step checkout. Payment completion has never been easier. With just two clicks, members can easily have their purchases processed and move on to navigate other areas of your site that might catch their interest. 
  • Unlimited membership levels. With Podia, you have the ability to create as many membership levels as you see fit. Customize each level with its own unique access, navigation capabilities, and perks, and Podia will quickly process and implement these special programs for members to enjoy. 

Check out Podia

This is an overview of what a membership platform is, its hosting types, and its benefits.

Membership Platforms: An Overview

At the most basic level, membership database software allows associations to carry out their membership programs.

Typically, these systems store and process important details about members and their activities. This makes it easier to analyze trends in user data and formulate actionable goals towards member engagement. 

On top of that, this software should also offer a variety of sophisticated solutions to enhance the member experience. Here are just a few of the many tools that a model membership platform would offer: 

  • Facilitation of communications. Users are far more likely to interact with organizations that use their preferred communication channel, and 95% of users want to see proactive communication from the organizations with which they do business. 
  • Streamlined event planning. Automatic reporting, notifications, and easy logging of event schedules are popular methods offered to simplify the event development process. 
  • Data tracking and analytics. Keeping track of essential KPIs and data metrics should be a given for any membership platform service worth its salt. 
  • e-Commerce. This could include additional on-site subscription services, e-learning, and gift opportunities to bring more revenue directly through the database. 
  • Online fundraising. While in-person fundraising opportunities are limited, the right online fundraising features can accommodate the broad base of your members, regardless of physical limitations. 

These basic support features are the baseline for a strong association platform. They address some of the most important aspects of the member experience, and offer opportunities for generating more non-dues revenue. 

Locally Hosted Vs Cloud-Based

This is a distinction many program organizers might not be aware of, but it can significantly affect the cost, functionality, and scale of their association management systems

For reference, many traditional management solutions are hosted locally. This is the old framework of operation, with hosting taking place on client servers. 

These local or in-house servers are usually promoted for their speed and security, as operations can take place without having to connect to a third party server. However, these systems can be inflexible, unable to perform automatic updates and instead relying on the association to make any necessary software changes. 

Cloud-based solutions are free from the restrictions of a local server. They are a decentralized system, meaning that operations can take place on a larger scale with more powerful processing and greater storage. Furthermore, updates occur automatically and the separate overhead cost of physically installing and maintaining these servers is cut out. 

As long as a secure and trusted host is chosen to undertake your cloud-based operations, the overall price, efficiency, and power of the cloud system could very well outweigh the benefits of a local hosting solution. 

Benefits of Membership Platforms

Benefits for Staff

Considering all the hard work your staff is already doing to ensure the success of campaigns, events, and member satisfaction, the everyday headaches of managing an membership management software system should be reduced to a minimum. An effective, robust membership platform should decrease administrative time, optimizing efficiency and easing your workload with:

  • Automatic reports and automated messaging. These programmed capabilities cut out the administrative middle man by giving you regular updates of important site metrics and allowing basic member inquiries to be answered without distracting staff.  
  • Integrated event planning and multi-channel communication. These solutions streamline the event development and promotion process. A strong event management system will enable you to carry out the event lifecycle with the greatest possible efficiency. 
  • Data tracking and customized reports. By drawing on data that’s been automatically stored in this centralized location, the platform can share critical data with departments across your association.
  • Easily-monitored finance and accounting. Revenue, membership fees, and donations can be tracked without issue, and automatic notification features such as due reminders can expand these incoming funds. 
  • Enhanced member engagement strategies. Boost member retention and engage users with such features as automatic renewal notifications, grace periods, member self-service options,customizable member profiles, and easy online payment processing. 

Benefits for Members

An optimized association software can not only streamline in-house operations, but it should also offer an additional level of engagement, connectivity, and accessibility for members. The right software will facilitate a positive, rich on-site experience by providing:

  • Customizable profiles and searches. Members should be able to update their profiles with custom fields. This will allow them to connect to other, similar profiles in an easily accessible and searchable database. 
  • Invitations and member networking. For example, members should be able to organize virtual communities or forums and invite new members to join. The power to participate in special projects, manage permissions, and organize events is a powerful incentive for member engagement and retention. 
  • Device optimization and payment integration. Studies show that 56% of members favor one loyalty program over another because of ease of use and accessibility, and 8 in 10 users would stop engaging with content that displays poorly on their device. These strategies accommodate your members’ needs and preferences and encourage future engagement. 
  • Self-service portals. These self-guided tools will put power back into your members’ hands and allow them to manage their own digital experience. Features such as member directories and registration pathways will allow them to curate optimal encounters through and within your association, according to their own preferences.
This section lists some of the important features of a membership site platform.

Membership Platform Software Essential Features

This image describes the essential features for a membership platform.

Depending on what sort of service and projects are guiding your own organization, the function and special features of your membership software may vary. However, on a broader scale, there are a few features that every association program can benefit from. 

Regardless of whatever angle you’re approaching the management of your association web software from, be on the lookout for these essential tools: 

  • Comprehensive member profiles and membership levels. These tools greatly increase the opportunity for member engagement within your web platform. Not only will members be able to create a rich virtual persona, but granting them different levels of access incentivises members to continually increase their involvement and pledged support.
  • Member communities. While you should try to forge a strong relationship between members and your organization, allowing them to connect with one another is a highly effective strategy to raise member retention and engagement. Give them the chance to create their own committees, organize and develop special projects, and build a personal network of colleagues and peers. This sense of community, respect, and responsibility is a powerful motivator to secure potentially lifelong membership and support.
  • Intuitive dashboards. The many departments that comprise your organization have vastly different priorities, goals, and projects. Therefore, it only makes sense that each sector of your team should have its own dedicated interface to record their own unique tasks. The intuitive dashboard feature makes this possible, offering team members their own customizable tool to track goals and focus on the information that is most important to them.
  • Event management systems. There are very few associations that have nothing to gain from an event management solution. These versatile technologies help to streamline every step of the event lifecycle, from development to registration and launch. With an effective event management system in place, the attendance, engagement level, and revenue gains for member events can be boosted far beyond what was previously possible. Keep an eye out for membership software that supports the integration of event planning features.
  • Revenue accounting. Handing off financial data to be processed through a third party system is not only a significant security risk, but an unnecessary division of your resources. With an association system that integrates your accounting software, this data can be more easily and efficiently translated into usable statements on member activity. This feature will allow you to track key financial trends, such as membership fees and refunds, and pair them to the relevant member profiles.
  • Reporting and analytics. Data tracking is one thing, but robust reporting and analytics features will allow your association to understand the meaning of this data and create actionable goals based on what you see. A membership platform with a truly optimized reporting tool will make it possible for you to customize analytics by department, intuitively display data for staff members, and report on any of the data fields stored in your database. Look out for this tool if you’d like your internal operations streamlined for maximum efficiency.

If you’d like to learn more about these critical features, as well as other tools that every membership platform should carry, check out our essential guide to membership software. No matter how you plan to run your own program, these services are key to enriching the member experience, formulating future campaign strategies, and smoothly carrying out events.

Additional Resources

Your membership platform is the center of member activity, the nexus of their engagements through and with your organization. A positive online experience can make all the difference. On the other hand, even small hiccups in design and management can deal a significant blow to member relationships.

However, with this comprehensive list of what features to look out for and who are the major players on the AMS market, we hope that your search for the right membership site software has been made a little easier. 

For more information on membership site software, other top performers in the industry, and what to know in the AMS sector, take a look at the following resources:

  • AMS: What is it? & 5 Solutions. If you’d like to learn more about association management software and how Fonteva’s AMS systems stack up to the competition, check out this quick crash course.
  • Top Membership Management Software and Reviews. Are you eager to streamline your membership management operations? This definitive buyer’s guide to membership management software should get you started on your search.
  • Membership Software: The Essential Guide. Clear up any confusion or inquiries you might have about membership software with this comprehensive guide to the technology and its essential features.
Contact us now to match with the best membership site solution!
What is an AMS? And 5 Solutions.

AMS System: What is it? & 5 Solutions

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

Juggling so many different balls isn’t easy—that’s where association management software (AMS) comes in.

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

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

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

This is an overview of what an association management system looks like.

Association Management Software: An Overview

In simplest terms, association management software (AMS) systems are comprehensive solutions aimed to help automate and digitize many of your recurring tasks. From communicating with members to managing and planning events, your AMS should do it all.

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

1. 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.

2. What AMS System Features Should You Look For?

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

These are the essential features of an association management system.
[These are the essential features of an association management system.]

While every association has different priorities, on matter what, your AMS should have these essential features

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

3. What Are The Benefits Of Association Management Systems?

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.
  • Increased recruitment and retention — With an AMS optimizing your communications and ensuring you offer the best member experience, your association can not only recruit new prospects but retain current members. Plus, automatic dues payments and pre-scheduled dues reminders can also prevent members from lapsing. 
  • Decisions backed by data — With all the data collected from emails, events, and other online engagements, you can make more informed decisions about your association’s future. For instance, use data to help you figure out which marketing outreach strategy has the highest chance of success by observing past ones. Or, pick the next online webinar topic by looking through feedback from your other learning opportunities.

Benefits 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:

  • 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.
  • Community building opportunities — In addition to advancing in their career and participating in valuable learning opportunities, individuals join your association to meet other like-minded people and be a part of a community. Your AMS can promote this with online discussion boards, engaging event ideas, and more. 
Explore these association management systems.

Explore These 5 AMS Systems

As mentioned earlier, no AMS solution is built the same. Some are more comprehensive, whereas others are created to meet industry-specific needs. In order to help you find the AMS that’s best for your association and its members, we’ll walk through these different solutions:

  1. Fonteva
  2. MemberClicks
  3. MemberLeaps
  4. NoviAMS
  5. iMIS

Fonteva: All-in-One AMS System

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

Fonteva Membership is a dedicated association management system solution built for associations looking to streamline processes and make the day-to-day tasks of management more effective. As a true-cloud AMS, Fonteva users have the benefit of accessing updated data in real-time, no matter where they are.

With over a decade of experience partnering with associations, Fonteva knows exactly what leaders like you need to succeed when taking their associations online. Fonteva’s tools are flexible and built to grow with your association. 

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

Why This Association Management Solution Stands Out

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

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

MemberClicks: AMS System Overview

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

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

Why This Association Management Solution Stands Out

MemberClicks offers these capabilities: 

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

MemberLeap: AMS System Overview

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

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

Why This Association Management Solution Stands Out

Check out these top features from MemberLeap:

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

NoviAMS: AMS System Overview

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

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

Why This Association Management Solution Stands Out

Here are some of the top features of NoviAMS:

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

iMIS: AMS System Overview

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

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

Why This AMS Solution Stands Out

With iMIS, you have access to these features:

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

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

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

Download our guide to association management software!

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

Top Membership Management Software Options & Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is Membership Management Software?

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 Essentials for your Membership Management System

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

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

1. Robust member profiles

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

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

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

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

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

2. Automatic member renewals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Event management

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your membership management software platform should also handle payment processing.

4. Payment processing

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

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

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

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

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

5. Analytics and reporting

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

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

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

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

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

6. Online self-service member portals

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

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

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

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

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

7. Full database customization

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

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

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

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

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

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

All-In-One Membership Management Software: Fonteva

Overview of this Membership Management System

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

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

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

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

Why Fonteva Membership Stands Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are other options for membership management software.

Other Top Membership Management Solutions

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

Regpack is another option for member management software.

Regpack: Overview

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

Regpack is an option for membership management software.

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

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

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

MemberClicks is another option for membership management software.

MemberClicks: Overview

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

MemberClicks is another option for membership management software.

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

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

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

GlueUp is another option for membership management software.

GlueUp: Overview

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

GlueUp is another option for membership management software.

GlueUp’s membership software solution contains these features:

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

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

HiveBrite is another option for membership management software.

HiveBrite: Overview

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

HiveBrite is another option for membership management software.

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

Ready for a membership management software platform that can do it all? Contact Fonteva today.
Choosing new association management software? Check out these top Personify competitors!

Top Personify Software Competitors for Associations

Learn about the future of association software in this whitepaper!

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!

Ready to learn how Fonteva can help you? Check out our virtual tour

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.

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!

Don't miss out on these features when purchasing an association management database!

5 Association Management Database Features to Know

When it comes time to upgrade your association management software, you shouldn’t go into the marketplace blind. Making a smart purchasing decision can set your association up for success for the future — the right association software will address your current needs and expand with your association as it grows.To ensure your enterprise-level association gets the necessary flexibility, scalability, and support from your new solution, go with a true cloud solution. Without the restrictions of a locally hosted solution, true-cloud solutions can provide all of the above and more.

Once you’ve narrowed your options down to cloud solutions, what else should you look for?

Here are the top five features to keep in mind as you embark on your association management software purchasing mission:

  1. Drag-and-drop dashboards
  2. Event management
  3. Member-driven committees
  4. Revenue accounting
  5. Advanced personalization

Integrating these features with your association management database allows your association’s administrative team to stay on track to meet your ambitious goals, all while encouraging your members to engage with the member community. The right association management database will do both: keep you organized and empower your members!

Get ready to take notes as we dive into it!

 

Stay on top of your operations with your association management database's dashboards.

1. Custom Dashboards

As your membership base expands over time, your operations and offerings should expand, too! More members means more revenue to fund new programs and initiatives, but it also means more responsibility to deliver what members are looking for.

To ensure you can identify those areas in which your association can improve, choose an association management database with robust reporting features.

When your association management database can produce reports, you can pull membership data without having to export to an expensive third-party reporting solution. You might be looking for:

  • Membership sign-ups
  • Renewal rates
  • Event attendance
  • Overdue invoices

With true-cloud association software like Fonteva for Associations, every member of your team can craft custom reports by pulling any of this data and more from any corner of your operations. And, through Fonteva’s drag-and-drop interface, you can do it without any help from IT.

Maintain a birds-eye view of your operations with your association management database's dashboards.

The ability to create custom reports without any coding is key for large associations with multiple departments taking on a variety of initiatives.

During your search for an association management database, be sure to ask about customization and configuration. If you will need to coordinate with the vendor or in-house IT every time you need a new reporting view, you’ll waste precious time jumping through those administrative hoops.

 

Plan events within your association membership software.

2. Event Management

Most associations, especially professional ones, plan events of some kind for their members. Whether those events take the form of networking cocktail hours or weekend-long conferences, they’re easier and more efficient to run within your association management database.

Not only will an integrated system save you money by eliminating the cost of third-party event management software, but you’ll also make the event registration and management processes quicker and more reliable. Your association management database can populate registration forms with your members’ data saved within it and record event attendance data and badges directly into your member profiles.

Besides the benefit of eliminating timely and costly data transfer, with events integrated into your association database, you can take advantage of:

  • Membership benefits — Encourage member attendance through special discounts, priority registration, or free add-ons automatically added to their ticket purchase.
  • Branded event sites — Consolidate registration, event details, updates, and photos on one branded website to get attendees excited about the event.
  • Member leadership — Allow local chapters or other member groups to plan their own events, saving your team time and encouraging member engagement.

Especially if your association hosts many events, consider looking for an association management solution based in Salesforce, like Fonteva:

Manage events from ticketing to sponsorship with Fonteva's association management software.

Salesforce event planning apps automatically integrate with your association’s member database because they’re hosted within the same platform!

 

 Empower your members with committees within your association management database.

3. Member-Driven Committees

Empowering your members to take the lead on some of your projects is beneficial for both you and your members:

  • For your association, member initiative results in less work for your team.
  • For your members, taking the lead brings them even closer to the member community.

To bring your member community closer together by encouraging your members’ initiative, you need software that can support member-driven projects. In your software search, look for solutions with built-in group features, like Fonteva for Associations:

Empower your members through your association management database with committees.

With committees in Fonteva for associations, your members can:

  • Request to join and manage those requests.
  • Communicate with other committee members.
  • Share documents, including meeting minutes.
  • Plan events for committee members or all members.
  • View the directory of committees.
  • Manage the committee’s calendar.

These features allow members to tackle special projects with minimal oversight from your administrative team. Just set the infrastructure in place and encourage them to use it!

 

Keep a sub-ledger of your finances within your association software.

4. Revenue Accounting

As your association grows, its revenue will grow alongside it! But as you start new programs or expand popular ones, your expenses will grow, too.

You already have an accounting solution that works for you. To support your association’s expansion, you need a more streamlined bridge between your association’s ledger and your books.

When purchasing your association management database, look for solutions that can centralize your financial data, not just your member’s contact data. We’re talking about:

  • Member dues
  • Product sales
  • Registration costs
  • Debits, credits, and refunds

Then, you need this sub-ledger to integrate with or export to your accounting solution. Try a solution like Fonteva, which can accommodate multiple currencies and export journal entries in common file types for easy integration with your existing accounting system:

Export your sub-ledger from your association membership software to your accounting solution.

The more streamlined your accounting can be, the more confident you can be as you plan your budget to grow your association.

 

Use your association management database to offer flexible pricing to members.

5. Advanced Personalization

No other association operates exactly the same way as  yours, which means your association management solution needs to be flexible enough to address your unique needs.

Take pricing rules, for example. Your members love to receive benefits associated with their membership. Depending on your association, those benefits might include:

  • Early access to event registration
  • Exclusive invitations to events
  • Coupons for your online store
  • Discounted membership renewal

A great association membership database can apply these benefits automatically to purchases your members make when logged in with their credentials. But the best software can also apply variable pricing rules based on the details in your members profiles, which greatly improves the member experience:

Apply variable product pricing within your association management database.

For example, you could offer a higher discount for gold members (20%) than you offer to silver member (10%). You could also offer an earlier registration slot for an upcoming conference to members who register more than a month before the event, or those who attended a certain training class, or those who made a donation of a certain amount in the past year.

Some members might purchase a membership just to take advantage of these benefits. To ensure that your office isn’t flooded with calls from new members wishing to take advantage of their new membership benefits, make sure that the association management database solution you choose is able to apply benefits to the same purchase when a membership is added to the cart.


Your next association management database is an investment! Let these tips guide you to a solution that will grow along with your association in the long term.

In the meantime, check out these association software resources:

Download the guide to association management databases!

Learn how to engage your members with your membership CRM!

Membership CRM | 6 Exceptional Tips to Engage Members

Associations like yours can’t just rely on outdated association management software for membership management anymore. Your needs are far too complex — you have events to plan, renewal letters to automate, and membership fees to collect, not to mention a vibrant member community to maintain.

What if you could do it all within one solution?

The right membership CRM will provide your association with myriad opportunities to engage your members — improving the member experience and increasing recruitment and retention — without leaving the platform.

To get you started, we’ve put together a list of seven strategies to engage your members through your membership software solution:

  1. Invest in a true-cloud membership CRM.
  2. Segment members into communities and chapters.
  3. Automate membership renewal and fee processing.
  4. Set up membership levels.
  5. Host members-only events.
  6. Send feedback surveys to members.

With these techniques on your side, you’re sure to bring your members closer together than ever. Let’s jump into them!

Choose a true-cloud solution to ensure your membership CRM is always up-to-date.

1. Invest in a true-cloud membership CRM.

When choosing membership software, you have two main options for hosting.

As we cover in our essential guide to membership software, those two options are local servers and cloud servers. Your choice will depend largely on your need for a scalable solution:

  • Locally hosted solutions rely on your own servers, whether they are in your office or at a hosting center. Going with legacy AMS limits the amount of data you can store because you can only use the space you have on your own servers, unless you add more hardware.
  • True-cloud solutions store membership data in the cloud. Because cloud servers are decentralized, there’s no practical limit to the amount of storage cloud-based databases offer.

Though your administrative staff will definitely consider the storage space issue when selecting a membership management database, your members might not have that issue in the front of their minds. Instead, they’re much more likely to notice when problems don’t get fixed right away.

If you invest in a cloud-based membership management system, updates are resolved as soon as they’re pushed out. You don’t have to buy any new hardware or manage your own software installation process. The system takes care of itself and presents you with the most accurate, up-to-date information whenever you need it, allowing you to improve the member experience. Updates in Fonteva, a true-cloud solution, are easy to view and install:

Invest in a true-cloud solution for your membership CRM.

Choosing a membership CRM that like Fonteva is based in the world’s largest cloud-based CRM platform, Salesforce, offers another benefit to enterprise-level associations: flexibility.

Salesforce services more than 23,000 companies, organizations, and associations, all of whom have access to AppExchange. When you invest in a Salesforce-native membership database software solution, you can find solutions to any specialized needs not covered by the program’s own features in point solutions on AppExchange. Your members will appreciate staying on the same platform they’re familiar with even as you add new modules to accommodate your association’s growth.

Use your membership software to segment your members into communities and chapters.

2. Segment members into communities and chapters.

One of the most efficient ways to get your members invested in your association is to foster a strong member community that sustains itself independently of your staff’s efforts. Give your members the agency to make their experience their own, and they will invest in the areas and projects that they love the most.

A great membership CRM will afford your members the capability to manage their own experience through features such as communities and chapters. These online communities foster camaraderie among members through features like:

  • Intuitive, easy-to-use interfaces that encourage social interaction
  • Custom permissions based on member profile
  • Communication features between members and administrators
  • Options to update membership profiles, renew membership, and pay fees
  • Member-created subgroups and subcommittees

Even if your members are spread out across the country or the world, you can encourage them to see themselves as active participants in your association via the virtual social spaces of communities and chapters. These types of online communities are especially useful for associations whose members need to coordinate plans with one another, such as volunteer-based associations, Greek alumni, or student organizations — just check out this alumni chapter in Fonteva:

Empower your members to interact with the communities and chapters in your membership CRM.

By incorporating these intuitive virtual chapters and communities, your association can encourage its members to interact with the membership CRM, each other, and your association.

Look for a software solution that is already geared towards your particular type of association or membership group. This way, the segmentation process can be that much more specific. For example, a Greek organization choosing a database software solution targeted specifically for Greek organizations will find it easier to segment their communications by categories such as members who are active, associate, inactive, or alumni.

Increase retention with automatic membership renewal notifications.

3. Automate membership renewal and fee processing.

It’s impossible to engage members who forget to pay their membership fees and fall off the map. Everyone forgets a deadline now and again, even invested members who want to stay in the program. Make sure you invest in a membership CRM that can keep you updated on your membership renewals, like Fonteva:

Stay up-to-date with your membership renewals within your membership CRM.

To ensure that the members that want to stick around have every chance to do so, you should automate your renewal process as much as possible. You should also take the opportunity of automatic renewal reminders to ask your members to upgrade their membership!

Program your membership software to send automatic messages to your members when:

  • Their membership is coming up for renewal, giving them plenty of time for them to submit their member dues.
  • Their membership has been renewed, thanking them for renewing or upgrading their membership.
  • Their membership has expired, letting them know you would love to have them back someday.

The top membership and association management software solutions will offer renewal automation as part of the package. Some will offer more customized solutions than others, so to ensure you’re implementing the right solution for your association, check out Double the Donation’s ranking of the top membership software.

Use your membership CRM to automatically apply membership benefits.

4. Set up membership levels.

Enterprise-level associations offer multiple membership levels to accommodate as many members as possible. Higher membership fees earn your higher-level members more benefits, special access, and a greater stake in your mission.

Why shouldn’t your membership CRM reflect those membership levels? A membership management system that can automatically recognize membership level will actually increase member engagement through:

  • Badges and certificates on member profiles.
  • Priority registration for events.
  • Authorization to join communities and committees.
  • Automatic benefits applied to online purchases.

Software that automatically recognizes and applies the benefits associated with higher membership levels makes upgrading to those levels more appealing to your members. Plus, with Fonteva, their membership profile will display their membership level to anyone who sees it:

Engage your members with badges on their membership profiles.

Think about it from your members’ point of view: if they can automatically register a day earlier, earn a special badge, or get a higher percentage off their online purchases just by upgrading their membership, without any other hassle, why wouldn’t they? These kinds of customizable features should definitely be taken into consideration when you start comparing different membership software solutions.

Use your membership management software to host events for members.

5. Host members-only events.

Nothing makes your members feel special quite like an exclusive invitation to a members-only event. The more spectacular the event, the more your members will want to participate.

Of course, more intricate events are harder to plan. As much as you want to host amazing events to strengthen your member community, is it worth the effort?

With the right membership CRM, the answer is yes, absolutely! Just look at how much control you have over your events when you use Fonteva’s membership CRM event planning features:

Plan members-only events right in your membership CRM.

Just think about the benefits of managing events within the same platform as your membership CRM:

  • Data: Eliminate the need to manually transfer data between systems by centralizing event participation data in the same place you house your member profiles.
  • Local events: You’ve already organized local committees and chapters, so why not invest in software that empowers them to organize their own events?
  • Registration: Automatically apply member permissions to the registration process, including member discounts and early registration.
  • Upsell: Do nonmembers want to attend your event? Upsell memberships at registration and automatically apply any member benefits to the same purchase.
  • Payment: Save time and startup fees by using the payment gateways you’ve already set up for membership fees for event ticket purchase.

Membership management software built in a flexible platform such as Salesforce can integrate seamlessly with the top event management features offered by the platform. That integration will save you and your members time and energy in planning a spectacular event.

Engage your members with feedback surveys sent through your membership software.

6. Send feedback surveys to members.

Membership engagement is a two-way street. Your association could spend hours planning blowout fundraising events and organizing online communities, but that would be time wasted if you’re not giving your members what they want.

To ensure that your members are getting what they need and want from your association, incorporate feedback surveys and polls into your operations. Use your membership CRM’s communications features, like Fonteva’s Chatter, to establish a direct line between you and your members that you can use to ask for feedback when needed:

Use your membership CRM to communicate with your members and ask for feedback.

Consider soliciting feedback:

  • Immediately after events.
  • Surrounding a membership drive.
  • Along with membership renewal notifications.
  • At the end of the calendar year.
  • During a fundraising campaign.

In your feedback surveys and polls, be sure to ask what your members enjoy about your membership program as well as what they would like to see change in the future. You can use their positive feedback in future marketing materials — just be sure to ask their permission to publish their comments!

Constructive feedback benefits your association on several levels. On one hand, your membership program gets better every time you incorporate feedback from members who care about its future. On the other, your members feel validated when they see that their feedback has been taken into account.


Now that you’ve got your members engaged through your membership CRM, learn more about what your membership software can do for your association by clicking on the links below:

Learn more about choosing membership software.