Guest post by Sigmund VanDamme, Membership Software Evangelist, Community Brands

When you consider moving to a new association management software (AMS) system for the first time, or changing the one you have, one of the first questions you’re likely to ask is, “How much does it cost?”. The truth is, there isn’t just one answer because the answer depends on multiple factors. 

These factors include:

  • How you will select it – You might know exactly what you want, or you might need to employ a consultant to help with the selection process.
  • How you will pay for it – There are pricing models to choose from, and your choice depends on things like budgeting needs, cash flow constraints, and how your association depreciates capital outlays.
  • What you need it to do – Your organization’s specific requirements will play a role in how much your AMS system costs.
  • What (and how many) people will be using it – Unless you choose an unlimited user pricing option, the number of people using your AMS system will impact the cost of your system.
  • How you will install and configure it – Depending on the solution you choose, and how you choose to install and configure it, you might incur additional costs for implementing the system.
  • What it will take to manage it – Depending on the AMS system you select, operating costs might include license payments, upgrade costs, support fees, hardware and hosting fees, and costs for additional customizations.
  • What the value will be over time – It’s important to consider the total cost of owning the system, as well as what value the system will deliver to your organization over multiple years.

Cutting the cost of a new AMS system
While multiple factors go into the cost of a new AMS system, the good news is that there are ways to cut the cost. From being open to change and extending your contract, to working in phases and doubling down on training, your organization can keep your AMS price from growing beyond the budget.

Building a business case for a new AMS system
Not everyone at your organization will understand the value a new AMS system could bring to your organization. That’s why it’s important to help your board and your executive leaders understand the business case for a new AMS technology purchase. Such a business case should include a review of the goals and challenges of your organization as well as the potential benefits a new software solution can provide.  

Learn more 
In our webinar, How Much Does an AMS Really Cost?, we review what it takes to understand AMS pricing in 2020. Plus, we offer tips on how to keep the costs of your new AMS system down, and how to build the business case for your new AMS so you can get the approval you need to move forward. Watch the recorded webinar to learn more.