Guest post by Dan Ehrmann, President, ClubExpress
When clubs and associations decide to install a new Association Management System, it’s hard to know where to even begin, which vendors to talk to. AMSs are designed for many different kinds of associations, with varying time commitments, budgets, and internal resources. Some products are designed for the largest associations with hundreds of thousands of members, huge budgets, internal IT resources, and the time to build a fully custom solution. Some products are suitable for associations with tens of thousands of members, medium-sized budgets, etc., etc.,… you get the drift.
But if you’re an association with just a few hundred or a couple of thousand members, one that’s run by volunteers or with one or two paid staff people, these products are vastly inappropriate for your needs. You don’t have the budget, or the time, or the people to build a fully custom solution. You need an AMS that integrates everything into one platform, combining the organization’s website (with areas for the public, for members, and for admins); with the member database and non-member mailing list; with built in modules to handle member signups, renewals, and expirations, an event calendar with online registration, credit card processing, discussion forums, surveys, document and photo libraries, member interest groups, job boards, blast emails, and all the other things that associations need to run their operations.
You need a product that’s entirely driven by interactive menus and screens, with no custom programming required. It should be easy to setup and configure, with excellent documentation, tutorials, and help system. It should allow you to make changes at any time, without having to go back to the vendor or a consultant. It should provide unlimited support if you have questions. And it should be something that automates as much of the day-to-day running of the association (the “tactical” stuff) so you can focus your limited resources on strengthening and growing the association (the “strategic” stuff.)
Wanna learn more? Check out this free webinar, co-hosted by Teri Carden, Founder of ReviewMyAMS and Dan Ehrmann, President of ClubExpress, that describes the kind of AMS that volunteer-run or small-staff associations.