Posted on Apr 17, 2023

Most organizations know they need an association management system, but when it comes down to choosing one, it can often feel overwhelming. There are many options and many factors to consider. Once you know what to look for, you can make decisions with confidence and make the next right step for your organization. Association management systems are arguably the most effective tool to help drive your organization forward, so it’s important to be prepared as you start researching your options.

Top Features to Consider in an Association Management System

Data Management

It’s fairly obvious that association management systems are the home of your member database. However when you’re looking at various AMS options, one of the key factors to look into is whether and how the Association Management System can handle your organizational hierarchy such as professional vs. organizational or chapter models, membership types and price plans, and any other relevant structures unique to your organization. Additionally, it is also prudent to look into whether you can include custom fields or are limited on specific data sets you can track. Compare notes to see that the AMS you are choosing is about more than just basic contact information. Instead, look to see how much the data integrates with other relevant lists you manage such as contacts, sponsors, vendors, email filters, interest filters, and more.

Talk to Me

A solid association management system will allow you to send various types of emails and digital communications to your members seamlessly with rich segmenting options. Whether that relates to automated onboarding campaigns, renewal reminders, conversion campaigns to upsell membership to prospects or simply general emails to your entire database, a key factor to look at when searching for an AMS is how flexible you can get when segmenting your recipient lists based on your own sets of criteria. By filtering your audience for various types of communications, you can provide a better user experience and send target communications based on interests, longevity, involvement levels, and more to the correct audience.

Wow on the Web

Great association management systems give organizations the option to either set up basic websites built into the system and create gorgeous landing pages or offer ways to integrate with third-party web platforms. A built-in website designer offers a multitude of advantages such as a direct sync with other parts of the platform such as events, membership database and more. This in turn makes it easy to ensure your pages are always up to date. Look for a solution that offers a simple approach so you can be nimble and effective, without needing extensive knowledge of HTML and web programming languages!

Event Registrations

Member engagement is key within an AMS as well which is why another feature to look into when searching for an association management system is how it can help you manage your engagement through events. How does the system allow you to manage event registrations, set up event landing pages, share files and resources for the event, and manage payments? If you’re running a variety of virtual and in-person events, look for an AMS that will support these while at the same time seamlessly integrating that event data with your core member database. You may only need complex event registration capabilities for big events, but having the day-to-day events managed seamlessly within your AMS will make your data richer and allow you to draw insights faster, while also keeping the member experience seamless.

Seamless Transactions

When it comes to an AMS, the right choice for you is one that will make your life easier. Look for one that makes dues and renewals a breeze, through automated campaigns, self-serve functionality and options to expand on your offerings to members based on their membership type or more. Focus on a system that provides you with all of this in addition to core financial reports you need.

Member Autonomy

A good association management system will allow members to access core information they need in a few clicks and not make more work for your staff. We’re big fans of putting the power into the user. Whether it’s information about membership history, recent statements, event registration documentation, or information about members, we believe members should be able to access information easily without the assistance of a staff member of the organization. This not only makes for a better user experience for the member, but it frees up staff resources to focus on other activities to move the organization forward.

Did you know an AMS can also increase member engagement for your organization at large? When your members have a seamless experience, you drive greater value for your memberships. You also can gather amazing insights from a quality AMS solution, allowing your team to understand member activity and engagement levels regularly.

Can an AMS do all of the above? If you can get all of the features you want (and need) in just one system, you can streamline your workflows dramatically. As the data is all integrated and connected, you can rest assured that you have all the information you need about your membership, organizational health and more at your fingertips.

Association Management Systems can save you a ton of time while making your setup smarter too. We know just how much of an investment systems like these are for an organization, and we also know how beneficial they can be. That’s why at Membernova, we’re excited to offer an AMS solution that provides all of the above features (and more) for our users. There’s so much to love from our solution. We’d love to have you take it on a test drive to experience it as well!