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What is membership management software?
Membership management software enables communities, associations, clubs, nonprofits, and other membership-based businesses to store and manage member records and track information in an organized member database. The software also allows membership groups to communicate with constituents, facilitate renewals, manage and promote events, share resources, and collect fees.
The benefits of membership management software
- Enhance the member experience: Membership management software gives members increased visibility into the organization—it allows members to access and update their information via a member portal, see real-time updates on events or programs, and communicate with administrators and other members.
- Automate workflows and reduce data errors: As organizations grow and their membership base expands, daily operations and processes become more complicated and time-consuming. Daily data entry can be cumbersome and lead to errors. Workflow automation and automated data entry in membership management software saves time by streamlining processes and cutting down on errors.
- Simplify administration: By compiling all member data in one database, administrators can easily track and manage their membership in one system, rather than having data spread across different platforms. Automatic membership renewals also save time over manual methods.
Typical features of membership management software
- Application management: Manage and track applications for potential members, and give new members access to set up an account.
- Automatic renewals: Automatically renew memberships at the end of a subscription cycle.
- Member database: Compile, store, and edit all membership information.
- Payment processing: Accept, record, and reconcile financial transactions. Automate payment reminders and invoice generation.
- Member portal: Allow members to access a self-service portal where they can update their personal information, communicate with the organization and other members, make payments, and more.
- Member directory: Compile an online or printable list of members for external use.
- Event management: Schedule and manage the logistics of activities and events.
Considerations when purchasing membership management software
- Mobile access: Consumers spend more time on their mobile phones than ever before and having a mobile-accessible member portal can provide an edge over other organizations and help with member acquisition and retention. A mobile application allows members to communicate and see updates on the go. If this is a priority for your members, be sure that the product you select offers mobile access.
- Scalability and growth: Understand your membership organization's plans for growth when considering software. The software you choose should be able to grow with your organization and support increased membership numbers.
- Suitability and cost-effectiveness: There are many software options in the membership management market, and all of them have different pricing models and features offered. Choosing software that suits your budget and business requirements is important. Know your organization’s size, the complexity of your software needs, and your integration needs well in advance to help you make an informed decision. According to Capterra's research , users that switch software do so because their software costs too much or lacks the features they need. Finding software that fulfills your requirements in a cost-effective manner will prevent you from having to start your search over again.
Relevant membership management software trends
- Artificial intelligence is improving membership retention: Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to identify patterns and trends that can help an organization identify issues with customer retention. For instance, Silverbear collaborated with Microsoft to work on a framework that uses AI to facilitate membership renewal predictions and provide insights into membership retention trends.