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 How to find the right trade association management software

When it’s time for new software for your trade association, it’s important to find the right fit. Here’s how to know when to move to new software and what to look for.

As your trade association grows, you need software that can support your organization’s evolving needs. Maybe you’ve outgrown using spreadsheets to manage your association’s data. 

Or maybe your organization has some software to support various functions in your organization, but you need a single system that helps you consolidate your data and processes so that you can work more efficiently and effectively. 

Either way, it’s time to find association management software (AMS) that supports trade associations at your stage of growth. The right AMS can help your association recruit, engage, and retain members – whether they’re companies, individuals, or both. 

Let’s look at some key concepts to help you find the right trade association management software to support your organization’s goals, address challenges, and ultimately grow your membership. 

  • When is it time for new trade association management software? 
  • How can the right AMS help your trade association? 
  • What should your trade association look for in an AMS provider? 

When is it time for new trade association management software?

It’s not always easy to know exactly when to move to new trade association management software. But there are some signs that will help you know when it’s time to take the next step toward a new AMS system. Here are four clues: 

1. Your trade association is managing more member data.

You might have a small staff, but your membership is growing. You’re managing and processing more membership data than ever before. It’s becoming harder to pull together a complete view of your membership because your expanding data is in spreadsheets and systems spread across the organization.

2. Your membership processes are getting more complicated.

Over time, your membership processes have evolved. They’re more complex and have become more time-consuming. Your small staff is stretched even further.

3. It’s getting harder to deliver a great member experience.

You want to give members new, modern, and convenient benefits, such as an online member portal, community, learning opportunities, and career center. But you just don’t have the tools you need to provide these offerings in an efficient way.

4. It’s getting more difficult to generate reports.

You, your executive staff, and your board members need more detailed reports on initiatives like member recruitment and retention to keep your organization moving forward. But with growing data in multiple places, it’s becoming harder to pull timely, accurate reports that give you the insights you need. 

If any of these scenarios sounds familiar, then it’s an ideal time to move to an AMS system built for trade associations like yours. 

Learn how to help your board of directors see the value of investing in a new AMS solution. Read the article, Show Your Association’s Board How Technology Can Boost Your Membership Marketing. 

How can the right AMS help your trade association?

Moving to an all-in-one AMS system that’s built for associations at your stage of growth can help your team operate more efficiently, improve member acquisition, boost member retention, and drive more revenue.  

For example, YourMembership AMS by Community Brands is built for small-to-mid-size associations like yours. It offers a single platform with everything you need to easily manage your membership and take your organization to the next level.  

Let’s look at just some of the ways YourMembership can help your trade association: 

  • Get a handle on your data. When your data is scattered across your organization, it can be almost impossible to keep it updated and find the latest information when you need it. By consolidating your data in a single system like YourMembership AMS, it’s much easier to make sure you’re using the most accurate and current member data
  • Put your data to work. With the right tools, your association’s data can give you insights to help you make more informed decisions about your organization – faster. YourMembership AMS gives you dashboard and reporting capabilities so you can easily view key performance metrics and pull and modify reports. It also includes data analytics capabilities for data visualizations that give you added insights into various functions across your organization.  

Discover four powerful ways to use your member data to get ahead. Read the guide, Learn to Love Your Association’s Data.

  • Focus more on members and less on paperwork. YourMembership AMS includes functionality for automating manual processes to help you simplify and streamline your work. Your staff will have more time to attract and engage more deeply with members.
  • Deliver a great member experience. With YourMembership, you have the functionality you need to deliver the networking, learning, and career benefits and experiences that today’s members seek. For example, YourMembership helps you to:
  1. Manage the membership lifecycle – from recruitment to renewal – in one central location that supports multiple membership levels and is convenient for your staff and your members
  2. Create, manage, and optimize engaging association events that include personalized registration paths, various pricing levels, and automated communications
  3. Build a thriving online member community to help members easily connect and share with each other and your organization
  4. Offer a robust online career center (through integration with YM Careers by Community Brands) that gives members job opportunities and career development resources to help grow their careers
  5. Deliver great educational opportunities (through integration with Freestone learning management system by Community Brands) delivered live and on-demand 

Learn how to enhance member engagement at your association’s events using your online community. Read the guide, Easy Ways to Build Event Engagement Through your Online Community 

  • Drive non-dues revenue. Using YourMembership, you can easily generate revenue beyond membership dues by doing things like:
  1. Offering advertising opportunities to suppliers in your industry for your website and email communications, publications, member directory, and online community
  2. Selling merchandise, learning courses, sponsorship opportunities, and more through an online store
  3. Giving employers opportunities to promote their job openings through your online career center 

What should your trade association look for in an AMS provider?

In addition to using an AMS that helps you deliver a great member experience while easing workload on your staff, it’s important to look for an AMS provider that understands the challenges of associations at your stage of growth and has the team to support your association’s needs.   

For example, YourMembership offers: 

  • Affordability- YourMembership understands the need to keep your association’s costs in check. By providing an all-in-one AMS solution, YourMembership can help you lower your overall technology costs by reducing the need to pay for, and administer, multiple systems. There’s no need to pay for one system to manage membership, another to create and manage events, another to set up an online community, and so on.
  • Security- YourMembership values security and helps you keep your member data safe in multiple ways. For example, YourMembership AMS follows password best practices, including using password standards and prompting your administrators to reset their passwords every 90 days. It also has built-in multi-factor authentication functionality for a more secure login process that reduces the risk of data breaches.
  • Scalability- As your organization grows, YourMembership is ready to support you. YourMembership has a large and strong team that is ready to help as your association evolves. For example, YourMembership team offers live chats and Q&A sessions, a robust community of YourMembership administrators that share ideas and solutions, and a support team that’s ready to step in when you have specific needs.
  • A proven history- Having delivered software solutions for membership-based organizations for more than 25 years, YourMembership understands the needs of associations. That’s why thousands of associations and membership-based organizations choose YourMembership, and one in four professionals of associations with small staffs use YourMembership daily. 

Learn more 

As your trade association grows, it’s important to have the right association management software in place. An all-in-one AMS like YourMembership offers an affordable solution that can help you reach your association’s goals while easing the workload on your staff. 

Learn more about why thousands of associations choose YourMembership to manage their membership: Explore YourMembership AMS 

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