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The Ultimate Read for Understanding Association Management Software

Say hello to the world of Association Management Software. An AMS helps your association manage its membership.

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Whether you’re a large, multi-chapter association, or a smaller staffed organization, managing your members, projects, revenue streams, and anything in between can leave you completely burnt out. For those looking to easily and effectively manage their association, there are tools out there that can mitigate any stress you may have about keeping things running smoothly. Say hello to the world of Association Management Software. Association Management Software - commonly known by the acronym AMS- is a helpful resource that allows you to take a step back from the day to day stress that can come with carrying a heap of association tasks on your back. In fact, it’s a great resource for any association out there who may need a bit of a helping hand steering the ship in the right direction- and it can in turn affect your membership satisfaction, too.

But with all of the AMS tools circulating the association world, how do you know which one is right for your association? What information are you missing that could make or break the decision you have in front of you? And what does the term Association Management Software even mean?

Understanding the in’s and out’s of AMS can be tough to tackle on your own. So, if you’d like to have a better picture of how an AMS can work for you, we’ve put together the ultimate read for understanding the subject. Sit back, dive in, and see what benefits you could be missing out on.

Association Management Software: What is it

There is a lot of complex jargon circling the association world, so you don’t want to add another term to the list of things to be confused about. Luckily, AMS is an easy term to tackle. Association Management Software is a platform that does exactly what you might think - it helps your association manage its membership. This relates to virtually any task that may relay back to members. From member dues, to email campaigns, to managing member data, and much more.

In fact, you may be hard pressed to find a member-centric task that an AMS can’t help you take on. AMS tools are great for associations of any size. For larger associations, they offer services that can meet high quantity masses of members and tackle the most complex needs you may have. And for those smaller associations, AMS allows you an affordable way to refine your member management tasks no matter how small and personal they may be. Many AMS also offer online portals for members to come together, network with one another, connect with your association, and grow their professional experience. That’s right, AMS can not only manage your membership, but shape and grow it into something positive.

With a bit of a rundown on AMS, your association can now move forward in the process of finding out if an AMS is right for you- as well as finding out which AMS you’d like to incorporate into your member management efforts.

Choosing an AMS

Now that we’ve decided that an AMS can be beneficial to associations large and small, why should your specific organization be looking into choosing an AMS? And what sort of characteristics should attract you to one AMS over another?

Finding a system to house your member data can save you the stress of trying to find a secure, organized method to your association’s madness. In the worst case scenario of a security breach, you can rest easy knowing your member data is tucked away into an AMS that will keep it out of harm’s way. Not to mention, it’s great for any association manager who struggles to keep data organized. Incorporating an AMS into your association can also save you an alarming amount of time. Think about all of the hours you dedicate to managing members. Couldn’t that time be spent in more productive places, like securing more streams of non-dues revenue or planning epic events and conferences? With member management out of the way, your association has time and room to strive in so many other areas.

The list goes on and on, so your association needs to find the reasons that work best for its staff and members. And once you find that reason, you can focus on what AMS features matter most to you. And to help you do that, let’s break down a few key features that you may find appealing in an AMS.

Built-in member profiles

Wouldn’t it be easy to search for a specific member in your database and pull up a profile with every piece of data you may ever need to know about them? With an AMS, that dream can be a reality.

Many AMS providers out there offer built-in member profiles as a feature associations can capitalize on. These profiles keep track of any member data you find fitting, from personal information like name and occupation, to what events they’ve attended in the past, to contributions they may have made, and more. They even allow you to take down any notes on members that you’d like. For example, you can write in when you last spoke to this member, when their renewal date is, any feedback you’ve received from them, and other pertinent information you’d like to keep track of.

AMS training and support

For associations that are strapped for time, learning all about how an AMS works on their own isn’t in their best interest. But with an AMS provider that provides training and support with their product, worrying about a steep learning curve is a thing of the past. If training is important to your association, be on the lookout for an AMS provider that can take the time to train your staff on using it. Learning all about your AMS from those who deal with it every day can help you tackle every single tool and resource and make the most out of your AMS experience.

Mobile options

With a large audience using mobile devices, you want your AMS to come equip with mobile optimized options. Being able to access your AMS on the go using your mobile device can be a huge make or break for associations looking for flexible options. If mobile optimization is a preference for your association, you should look for an option that allows you mobile features for managing members. For example, many AMS with mobile features allow you to view member profiles, access important notes, register and check in event attendees, and much more. All of these features can make your association staff’s lives much easier, and keep your members satisfied.

The ultimate read for understanding Association Management Software. Take this information when choosing an AMS that’s right for your association, and you’ll be in great shape going forward when managing members.