Top 5 out-of-the-box capabilities to look for in your next association management software

Your association management software (AMS) is critically important to the success of your organization. It’s the tool you use every day to manage your association.

As you consider options for your next AMS, keep in mind that not all AMS systems include the same capabilities. Some include robust functionality as part of the product. Others offer only basic capabilities and charge fees to add on other features and modules. So how do you know which capabilities are most important?

Here are five key out-of-the-box (no added fee) capabilities that will make your next AMS system a winner for your organization:

  • Member engagement scoring – If you aren’t keeping members engaged, you might lose them. In your next AMS, look for engagement scoring functionality that helps you determine how engaged members and prospective members are with your organization, and then take action to get them more involved.

    TIP: A-Score technology in NetForum Enterprise AMS measures the engagement of your members based on your organization’s needs. You can determine the interactions most meaningful to your organization, and then weight their value and analyze member history to see which individuals are most involved. This type of insight helps you make smarter, faster decisions when it comes to connecting with your members. Read how.

  • Credentialing – A recent Community Brands industry study shows that certification/credentials are among the most important benefits to members of professional membership associations. Of course, keeping track of continuing education credits, credentials, and certifications can be a handful if you try to tackle it manually. Look for an AMS system that can help you automate your certifications processes and manage your credentialing program throughout each stage of your members’ career journey – from graduation through retirement.

    TIP: NetForum Enterprise credentialing management software, powered by Agilutions, is an essential part of any certification program. It enables staff to streamline processes and empower learners with greater visibility and participation in the certification process. Check out NetForum's credentialing engine.

  • Accounting – Getting financial information into and out of your accounting system isn’t always easy. Imagine how much more efficient it would be to manage your accounting needs from within your AMS.

    Look for a system that allows you to easily manage your organization’s:

    – Invoicing
    – Cash receipts
    – Financial transactions, including deferrals, credits, and inventory

    Also, look for a system that allows you to easily compile and review financial data so you can understand the financial health of your association – from membership renewals to dues processing and profitability.

    NetForum Enterprise AMS can help you manage your association’s accounting needs from within the AMS so you know exactly where your organization stands at any given moment.

  • Fundraising – Generating non-dues revenue is an important aspect of an association’s financial health. It gives your association a revenue stream outside of membership dues. This allows you to smooth out fluctuations in the economic cycle, which helps you maintain budgets and continue to provide members with the level of service they expect.Many associations are turning to fundraising as part of their non-dues revenue-generating plan.
    If it’s part of your plan, be sure to look for an AMS system that helps you:

    – Manage donor data
    – Monitor donor health
    – Target donor communications
    – Host fundraising events
    – Process gifts efficiently

    TIP: NetForum Enterprise provides the fundraising functionality listed above (and more). It also allows your donor members to manage their own profiles, recurring gifts, and saved payment methods via an online donor portal, giving them the modern online experience they expect. Find out more.

  • Software developer toolkit – It’s important to be able to configure, integrate, and extend your AMS. Look for a system that includes a software developer toolkit that supports your ability to make changes without product support.

Making customizations with NetForum’s Toolkit is easy for most changes. When implemented properly, the Toolkit allows you to minimize the need for future code changes and maximizes the baseline footprint of the product that can be upgraded.

Choosing the right AMS can take your association to the next level and ensure your success for years to come. Be sure to look for key functionality built in to your AMS, and you’ll be on your way to making the most effective choice for your association.

Learn more

NetForum Enterprise is a highly configurable AMS system that includes 30+ modules and 300 built-in reports at no added cost. Find out more about what makes NetForum Enterprise AMS an ideal choice for mid-to-large associations.

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