How to Choose the Best Association Management Software — A Guide to Finding the Right AMS
An association management system (AMS) helps you build, maintain, and track member relationships within your association. Through it, your staff can handle records, hold discussions, share ideas, and make decisions jointly. It will enhance your marketing and event management efforts, too.
Top features to look for in an AMS
A good AMS platform should allow both manual and automated data entry and reporting through an intuitive customer relationship management (CRM) platform. This feature will help your association to understand its reach through data, identify growth areas, and track its members.
Think you’ll need an AMS for your association? Here are the key features you need to understand.
Comprehensive member profiles and database reporting capabilities
Membership relationship management is one of the most challenging association management tasks.
Hours upon hours can be spent handling leads from your association’s website and inputting data from members and other contacts. For instance, there are tasks that involve:
Updating of contacts
Membership registration input
Membership fee billing
Volunteer scheduling for event coordination.
These tasks can be very rigorous and time consuming for your administrator. A reliable AMS can do this faster and more effectively.
At least 16% of associations raise their non-due revenue from charitable donations. One way to grow non-dues revenue is to leverage your AMS to drive more online giving during fundraising events.
Online giving is growing by the day, rising from 4.1% to 4.6% between 2016 and 2017. Your association management software should enable online fundraising that is optimized and easy to navigate for donors.
The fundraising experience should also be mobile friendly so that you can receive donations from the larger population that uses mobile devices to operate online. The AMS should have ample payment processing, email campaigns, and landing pages built in for optimal management of fundraising campaigns.
This tool can save you at least half the time that was originally spent on sending emails manually. The targeted emails also have the advantage of potentially getting over 23% more engagement than your run-off-the-mill types of emails.
Powerful event management features
Events and meetings are the lifeblood of many associations. You need to easily boost your attendance, save time and money, and communicate effectively with members.
The key event management to look out for include:
Pricing tiers (e.g. early bird, VIP, etc.)
The AMS should be used to tap into the association’s data reports and contacts to enable easy scheduling of events faster.
Website integration and other third-party integrations
Your association will grow as it expands its member list. More members mean more strength and management resources.
The right AMS can help you save time and energy that is needed to reach the goals of a growing association. This will leave your members with more time to create engaging programs that enable the professional development of each member.
The best association management software will integratel best in class software to enhance functionality. This ensures that you do not have to put aside any software systems that work well for you for your new AMS platform. Check to see which AMS can integrate with the tools you’re already using — that will give you a serious advantage in the implementation process.
Member communities and tools
An association needs a member portal where they can quickly and easily communicate with each other. This portal can also help them access all the information they need. Newer chapter members can also log in and update their membership data as required.
This feature can help the members to build customized committees and communities that bond them together. By giving them the ability to not only form but also manage groups interactively, a good AMS will empower members to collaborate.
A review of top AMS platforms
Let’s check out some of the best platforms out there.
Fonteva is the best association management software for large and medium associations that use SalesForce.
SalesForce is a top-notch CRM with business organizations management features. Fonteva is inbuilt into SalesForce to customize it further for use in associations.
(Note: Fonteva has also partnered with Gather Voices to ensure that associations that use the Fonteva AMS have access to a video relationship management platform).
Through Fonteva, you get comprehensive member data management and reporting tools. It has fantastic event management features.
The platform also has tools that help link the association’s communities for organized collaboration.
The Best AMS + Video = Success
When picking the best association management software, research is critical. An AMS is a significant investment, and you need one that is up-to-date with the trends, reliable and scalable as your association grows.
Once you get your best pick, consider pairing it up with video.Traditionally, video production has been expensive, complicated, and slow. But Gather Voices empowers associations to create dramatically more video, powered by real member stories recorded on their personal mobile devices.
Want to transform how your association tells member stories? Schedule a demo today to see how we can help you drive member engagement through video.