The Aptify Blog
The Aptify Blog is an honest and informative collection of articles to help association executives solve their most pressing issues.
Selecting a new membership management system isn’t a membership department project, it’s an association project. Colleagues from across the organization must be involved in the project from the start so they can help you select the best AMS software for your association.
If your organization is in the market for a new Association Management System (AMS), or if you’re comparing different membership software systems, the first question you’re asking is, “How much does it cost?” There’s not a lot of information out there about this; I’m sure you’ve noticed that most vendors will want to set up a call with you before they give you any substantial information. The main reason for this is that the answer isn’t cut and dry... It depends.
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One of the most important players in your association marketing plan doesn’t have a place in the org chart, doesn’t have an office, and doesn’t even get vacation time. You take this player for granted as long as they assist your marketing efforts. But when they don’t, it’s time to think about a replacement.
Every other department competes against yours for the limited funds your association has to purchase new technology. If your membership department (and association) needs a new membership management system, you must build a business case that justifies allocating money and staff time to selecting and implementing new membership software.
What goes through an Executive Director’s mind when you talk about the need for new member management software? “Now the membership department wants new software, geez, what department doesn’t want new software?” Or… “What’s wrong with the membership database we have now? I haven’t heard any real complaints.” Or… “Get in line. What do you think, money grows on trees?” (Mom? Is that you?) New technology is never an easy sell, especially when your department is perennially overlooked during budget time. Before you even think about approaching the C-suite, spend some time building your case for new membership management software—and make sure your case includes metrics that demonstrate not only the membership department’s need, but also the association’s need for new software.
Is bottom-line revenue top of mind for your association?