Insights and tips for association & nonprofit professionals


I Don’t Know What an AMS is and at This Point I’m Too Afraid to Ask

As an association professional, you probably hear about AMSs all the time. And as an association service provider, Association TRENDS loves an acronym as much as the next guy, but let’s go ahead and break it down.

An AMS, or Association Management System, is a cloud-based technology solution for associations and nonprofits that allows them to manage all aspects of their organization in one place. As a member-based organization you probably need to manage membership, process payments, handle event registration, host a website, host resources, education, and member-only access on that website, and possibly even manage a member engagement community.

If you’re handling each of these tasks on a different platform, in a different place, and in a different way, stop right there. You need an AMS!

Hey! Leave my messy membership database alone!

Managing a membership database is an incredibly imperative and sometimes daunting undertaking. An organization’s data is robust and must be kept organized and clean. And not unlike an apple, one bad import can ruin the whole bunch. An AMS not only assists with making data management simple and easy to do, but it also integrates with other facets of your organization, like your website, email marketing, event registration, etc.

If event management isn’t painful, you’re not doing it right.

Events and conferences are a big value for your members and your organization probably hosts a lot of them. Through an AMS you can manage registration, communication, payment and all in real time leaving you free to focus on the big picture; the event.

Oh, Debbie’s going to pay me eventually… she promised.

An AMS makes the payment process for an organization seamless, instant, and removes the room for error. Payment doesn’t just mean from membership dues. An online payment process covers you for events, products, or education services. AMS’s can set up automatic invoicing, manage transactions, see what members have or haven’t paid in real time.

I input my email send list just like everyone else; one email at a time.

Your organization is constantly communicating with its members via email, right? An Association Management System makes the way you communicate simple and easy. Because an AMS already houses your member database, you can not only send your emails quickly, but you can segment groups, personalize your messaging, and analyze opens and clicks.

Aren’t websites supposed to be hard to manage?

Every organization needs a website. Every organization also needs a website that integrates with all other aspects of your organization. Most AMS’s will host your website and integrate online registration, payment, and content management. Don’t forget, all of this is connecting back to your membership database (HOW COOL IS THAT?).

In the end, an AMS will save you and your organization time and money, all while providing immense value to your members. Your organization exists for a reason and it’s not to spend time dealing with data entry, backed up invoicing, and playing the middleman. You have a mission and an AMS gives you the means to accomplish it.

Association TRENDS knows how important this is and that’s why we are hosting AMS Fest virtually November 17-19, 2020. This conference exists for association executives to discuss these systems with one another, AMS vendors, and AMS consultants. You’ll listen to sessions, join in discussions, preview twenty AMS demos, and meet with industry partners and consultants who can help you determine which AMS is best for you and your organization. You’re not alone in this!

Click here to see the full schedule and join us this November (registration is only $375!!). We promise you’ll leave an AMS expert.

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