Relationships are at the core of all associations and chambers of commerce, paving the way for essential revenue that maintains their long-term success. Membership management software facilitates those relationships, allowing organizations to automate renewal campaigns, easily send event invitations and update members through newsletters or other communications. In this guide, we’ll walk through some frequently asked questions and provide our top recommended membership management software options: Membership Software: FAQs 12 Best Membership Management Software Options for Any Organization Next Steps: Choosing the Right Membership Management Software Membership software can save your organization’s staff members from dozens of hours of manual labor a week, freeing up more of your resources to focus on what matters most—creating a high-quality member experience. Membership Software: FAQs While there are many membership management software options to choose from, the right choice differs from organization to organization. To help you make an informed decision, let’s first answer some frequently asked questions about membership software. What is membership management software? Membership management software is a platform that helps membership-based organizations like associations, trade associations and chambers of commerce manage their membership databases, communicate with their members and orchestrate activities like membership renewals. What are the benefits of using membership management software? Membership management software automates many processes that would otherwise siphon away your precious staff time. Some of the key reasons to invest in this software include: Revenue maximization. Without dedicated association membership management software, you’re likely leaving money on the table. Your members might not renew on time (or at all) if they don’t get an auto-renewal notice. You could also miss out on other sources of revenue, like event revenue, if your registration process isn’t digitized and simple. Member engagement. Membership management software facilitates communication with members. From easily sending emails to quickly looking up a member’s phone number, you’ll stay in better touch with your members—which will increase their engagement and loyalty. Labor savings. With membership software, your association can automate a lot of the manual labor that goes into running a membership program, including adding new members to your database or importing email addresses. Data collection and reporting. By accurately collecting and analyzing member data, you can better understand what’s working and what isn’t about your membership program. This allows you to make improvements to retain your current members and attract new ones. Integrations. You can easily connect your membership management software with other common software solutions, allowing you to accomplish more for your organization. According to the Association Engagement Index, out of 12,700 association members surveyed around the world, only 21% indicated that the organizations were “excellent” in providing benefits and services that met their individual needs. With membership management software, you can better tailor your offerings to your members’ interests and goals to keep them invested in your association for the long term. Contact MemberClicks for a demo! What are the key features to look for in membership software? With comprehensive membership management software, your association should be able to provide enticing benefits to its members. As you conduct research, keep an eye out for these essential features: Membership databases. This is where you’ll store all of your membership records and keep track of details such as communication preferences. Membership auto-renewals. With auto-renewals, you can ensure all your members stay involved year after year. Membership reporting. Membership software should allow you to generate detailed reports on your member statuses and engagement by pulling data from your membership database. Payment tracking. With membership management software, you’ll be able to automatically track payments without having to note anything manually. Event marketing. When planning events, your organization can leverage event marketing features to boost event attendance and manage sponsorships. Email marketing. Email is an indispensable communication channel for your association to promote its membership program, welcome new members and stay in touch with current ones. By integrating these tools with your membership software, you can stay on top of these communications with ease. Intuitive user interface. One of the most significant expenses associated with membership software is training. By choosing software with an easy-to-use interface, you’ll cut down on how much you have to spend getting current and new staff up to speed. 17% of associations consider an inadequate database as one of their top challenges to expanding membership. To find the best membership management solution for your specific organization, keep both these key features and your overall goals in mind as you explore your options. 12 Best Membership Management Software Options for Any Organization Ready to start exploring membership software options for your organization? Use our top recommendations as a jumping-off point: 1. MC Professional MC Professional is the perfect membership platform option for professional associations and industry organizations, with over 3,000 current users. This user-friendly solution will equip you with everything you need to expand your membership and strengthen relationships with members. Furthermore, this membership management software integrates directly with several other high-quality tools for associations, including Classroom LMS and Conference App. By leveraging MC Professional, your organization can: Create an engaging membership website. You can choose from nine professionally-designed templates to create a customized website for your association or easily integrate your existing website with your new database. Plan exceptional in-person or virtual events. From setting up event registration to managing sponsorships, your organization’s staff can handle everything event-related all in one system. Facilitate online payments. With this solution, you can automate membership renewals and make it easy for members to pay their membership fees online. Engage in meaningful communication with members. Build stronger relationships with your members by starting email campaigns and sending renewal reminders. Build an online member community. Cultivate connections between your organization’s members by creating forums, job boards, polls and more. The American Society for Nutrition is just one of many organizations that leverage MC Professional’s automation features, such as sending renewal reminders and welcome emails, to reach members in 120 countries around the world. Dante Preciado, Vice President, Engagement and International Affairs, sums up his experience with MC Professional with three words: reliable, trustworthy and flexible. 2. MC Trade MC Trade is membership management software tailor-made for trade associations and chambers of commerce. This solution, in particular, offers advanced financial and reporting capabilities, so your organization can manage all the complexities of your member program with ease. Like MC Professional, MC Trade can integrate with a wide range of other software systems, from Intuit QuickBooks for managing your finances to PayPal for adding this payment option to your website. Some key features to note with this membership software include: Membership history tracking. This feature allows you to keep an eye on engagement from your members and prospects, so you can determine how to cultivate stronger, longer-lasting relationships with each of them. Automatic dues collection. With MC Trade, you can collect dues automatically and keep members effortlessly involved with your organization. Built-in reports. This membership management software solution allows you to make data-informed decisions by generating clear-cut graphs and highlighting key data points. Personalized communications. Segment your members and prospects to tailor your messaging in ways that best appeal to each individual recipient. eCommerce store tool. Generate additional revenue by setting up an eCommerce store and provide your members with opportunities to sell their merchandise online. (AGC) Oregon-Columbia Chapter is a trade association that, after switching to MC Trade in the last few years, has been able to streamline event planning and registration significantly. Kari Schoonover, a long-time employee of the chapter, especially highlighted the quality of MemberClicks customer support and the onboarding experience. Get a demo of MC Trade! 3. WildApricot WildApricot is a purpose-built membership management software solution designed to meet the unique needs of clubs, nonprofits and other similar organizations. Used by over 50,300 organizations, WildApricot is a noteworthy choice for smaller organizations looking to start and cultivate more member relationships. With this solution, you can: Produce convenient online member applications Build high-quality membership websites Add useful widgets to your websites Build member-only website pages Offer searchable member directories Plan and manage events online WildApricot is an inexpensive yet top-quality option for organizations looking to gain access to an extensive array of useful membership management features without putting too much strain on their budgets. Furthermore, multichapter organizations can take advantage of discounts that can be applied to any paid subscription level. Learn more about WildApricot 4. ThreeSixty ThreeSixty by Personify is a leading association management software solution for large associations, nonprofit organizations, YMCAs and JCCs. This solution can simplify processes related to subscriptions, meetings, products and more. Some of ThreeSixty’s most notable benefits include: Member management across all engagement channels, from communications to transactions Revenue generation through dues, subscriptions, product sales and more High-quality user experience for staff Customer support and strategic consulting Reporting and analytics with executive dashboards By leveraging ThreeSixty, the YMCA of Greater Nashua has been able to provide more self-service options to its over 35,000 members and enhance their overall experience. This membership software option is worth looking into if you’re interested in strengthening the relationships that are key to your organization. Learn more about ThreeSixty 5. iMIS iMIS is a membership management solution for associations, unions and other membership-based organizations powered by Microsoft Azure. This membership software allows you to: Facilitate member applications and renewal Use a drag-and-drop tool to create well-designed web pages Oversee your organization’s finances by integrating with accounting software Craft and send targeted emails to supporters Use and create dashboards to track performance 6. Raklet Raklet is another membership management software option for organizations looking to build and strengthen their member communities. Some of the key features of this solution include: Tiered membership plan creation and organization A CRM with individual member profiles Digital membership cards to enhance the member experience Automated membership renewal reminders A job board that you can create for members to post on 7. Doubleknot Doubleknot is a preferred membership software solution among museums, nature centers and zoos, with customers such as Save the Bay and the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Golden Crescent. With Doubleknot, organizations can: Rely on a professional support team for onboarding Manage visitor, member and donor relationships easily Track and enhance multichannel fundraising strategies Leverage reporting and analytics to inform communication efforts Incentivize and recognize members with benefits, such as discounts 8. Fonteva Fonteva is a powerful association management software option powered by Salesforce. On this platform, you can: Keep tabs on memberships and engagement Offer self-service tools to members Create events and event websites to engage members Build an eStore for generating non-dues revenue Use a drag-and-drop tool to set up reports 9. StarChapter StarChapter is membership management software that makes it easy for local chapters of associations to expand their member base and earn more revenue. Some of its most essential features allow you to: Manage and allow members to self-manage their profile details Segment your members by characteristics such as membership types Import data from your existing spreadsheets or databases Generate reports to gather detailed insights into membership and engagement Charge fees for event registrations and branded merchandise 10. YourMembership YourMembership is an excellent membership software choice for small-staff associations interested in reducing their everyday workloads. Several of its key features include: Membership management and tracking Event creation and registration Website design that is user-friendly and mobile-responsive Workflow automation, such as automatic email reminders Blog, poll, survey and learning opportunity creation 11. Almabase Almabase is membership management software designed specifically for alumni association management. With this solution, schools and universities can strengthen their alumni relationships by: Creating and hosting private alumni events Building an alumni directory to foster connections Organizing yearbooks, newsletters and other content in content libraries Designing and scheduling personalized emails to alumni Offering internship and job boards online 12. in1touch in1touch is a comprehensive membership software solution for associations, regulatory bodies and licensing organizations. If you’re responsible for licensing your members and supporting their professional development goals, in1touch’s features allow you to: Create customized labels and license cards Build searchable online member directories Maintain and organize a library of documents and other materials Craft tests and assessments Make it easy for members to view and update their professional development credits Next Steps: Choosing the Right Membership Management Software These solutions may all be promising options for your organization, but how do you determine which is the right fit? Take some time upfront to understand how your organization plans to use a membership platform. By knowing what you and your staff members are looking for, you can prioritize the features that will best support you in achieving your goals. Compare the membership management software options you’re considering to get an idea of which ones might provide the most value to your organization. Then, request a few demos to see the software solution in action. This way, you can get a better idea of how implementing it may improve your day-to-day processes. Once you’ve pinpointed one or two options that you’re most interested in, reach out to people in your network or read through case studies to learn more about other organizations’ experiences with the membership software. Making the Most of Your Membership Software When it comes to membership management software, choosing the right one with all the tools you need is key to driving more value for your organization. With the ability to automate sending out renewals and features that make event management a breeze, your organization will be able to achieve more in the long run. To explore more ways to build your member base and generate more revenue, take a look at these additional resources: 14 Non-Dues Revenue Tips for Associations Big and Small. Get inspired with these helpful tips to engage members and boost your association’s non-dues revenue. The Buyer’s Guide to Chamber Management Software. Set your chamber of commerce up for success by referencing this free step-by-step guide to selecting chamber management software. 5 Creative Ways to Use Your Learning Management System. Learn how your organization can leverage a learning management system in this guide.