May 2020 Update: If your association had planned events for this season and are hitting the end of the line, don’t panic. Click here to learn more about how Pathable can help you take your event from in-person to virtual.

Professional associations have unique needs that traditional for-profit tools just can’t address. Your association has probably experienced frustration in the past, trying to adjust to software that simply wasn’t made for it. If you’re in need of new association management software to help streamline your team’s operations and boost engagement, you can’t start until you know where to look.

Understanding your association’s exact needs is essential for guiding your research. What are your must-haves? What are your priorities? Do you need a more general solution or something more niche-oriented? Understanding these parameters can go a long way to refine your search.

501(c)(3) organizations go through a similar process to identify the best fundraising tools, so try exploring nonprofit resources for more guidance on establishing parameters and goals.

We’ve selected our top picks for the best association management software on the market. They represent a cross-section of the wide variety of tools your association can choose from, from lean to heavy-duty, general to niche solutions. Consider your needs and priorities, then keep them in mind as you read through our reviews:

  1. Fonteva
  2. Novi AMS
  3. ePly
  4. Salsa
  5. Morweb
  6. Doubleknot
  7. MIP Fund Accounting
  8. DonorPerfect
  9. Higher Logic
  10. Oroola
  11. Sumac
  12. Tendenci
  13. Broadpoint
  14. Pathable

New association management software is an important investment that requires careful thought. Dominant players in the space can be good choices, but remember that they simply don’t have to offer the same level of flexibility and utility that others do. Digging a little deeper will pay off in the long run.

Our survey of some top picks of all the different types of tools out there is a great store is the perfect way to start your research! Let’s go:

Fonteva is a top of the line association management software and platform.

Association Management Software #1: Fonteva

 Software Overview

As a leading association management solution for large to mid-sized groups, Fonteva offers a full toolkit on a lean and easy-to-use platform. Fonteva regularly tops association management software rankings and for good reason.

Database functions, member profiles, analytics dashboards, accounting tools, and intuitive data reporting round out Fonteva’s comprehensive features. Plus, its lean, cloud-based framework means that Fonteva grows with you — no need for expensive hardware updates.

Top Features of this Association Management Software

Fonteva can’t be matched for utility and ease-of-use for both your internal team and membership at large. A few of its top features illustrate why:

  • Cloud-based, scalable, and easy-to-use. Built on the Salesforce platform, the world’s leading CRM for businesses and organizations, Fonteva fully integrates with your underlying database system. This structure allows it to offer your team a completely intuitive, flexible, and mobile solution for association management.
  • Online communities and event planning. Combining Fonteva’s online community management tools with its full suite of event planning features is a winning formula. Plus, Fonteva gives your members the freedom to manage their own committees, subgroups, and engagement with eLearning programming.
  • Intuitive financial and reporting tools. Full integration with Salesforce means your team can completely customize and automate how you report and analyze your association’s data, including financial and operational metrics. At the same time, Fonteva’s payment processing and eCommerce tools make it easier than ever to boost revenue.

Fonteva's wide range of comprehensive and flexible features make it a top association management software.

Why This Association Software Made the List

Simply put, Fonteva is intuitively designed from top to bottom. It can quickly become an invaluable tool for your association’s operations and an essential partner for its long-term growth.

As the most flexible solution for large to mid-sized organizations, Fonteva can offer you a serious structural boost, streamline your internal operations, and create new outlets for member engagement. Most importantly, and uniquely among AMS solutions, Fonteva truly grows with you.

Visit Fonteva!

Novi AMS is an excellent association management software solution particularly well-suited to trade associations.

Association Management Software #2: Novi AMS

 Software Overview

Made by and for trade association professionals, Novi AMS is a comprehensive yet easy-to-use association management software solution that can positively impact every aspect of your association management process.

As the only association management software solution approved by Intuit for the QuickBooks App Store, Novi AMS makes it easy for associations to keep their financial information updated and accessible.

In addition to integrating with QuickBooks, Novi AMS helps your organization create and update your mobile-responsive website, manage events, and keep in touch with all of your members through its communication features.

Top Features of this Association Management Software

The Novi AMS platform was designed by trade association professionals who understand that association management should be a straightforward process that facilitates—instead of getting in the way of—your members’ professional development. Some of its top features include:

  • 2-way, 24/7 sync with QuickBooks. For associations already using QuickBooks as their accounting software, Novi AMS makes it easy to keep track of essential financial information. Whether you’re creating invoices, processing payments, or updating member data, the information you enter or update on one platform automatically appears in the other.
  • Mobile-responsive website creation. Trade association professionals at every level of technological experience will find it easy to create an engaging and highly accessible website for their members using the Novi CMS. Websites made using Novi are fully customizable to your organization and responsive on all devices. You can even edit your site on the go via your smartphone.
  • A membership database built for trade associations. Because members of trade associations typically join through their employers rather than as individuals, the Novi AMS membership database is structured to illustrate and track these parent/child relationships as well as additional relationships among members and affiliated people and institutions (staff and parent organizations).

Novi AMS is a great association management software solution for trade associations using QuickBooks.

Why This Association Software Made the List

Novi AMS works to address trade associations’ most common logistical needs so that leaders can focus on providing the best possible experience for their members.

With unparalleled accounting features that ensure your association won’t lose track of valuable data and a CMS that makes updating your website a smooth process, Novi AMS is an ideal association management system for trade associations.

Visit Novi AMS!

Check out ePly as your next association management software.

Association Management Software #3: ePly

 Software Overview

ePly is one of the top association management software platforms because of its incredible event management capabilities. Hosting an effective event for your association is important, not only for fundraising possibilities but for outreach, networking, and educational reasons. With ePly’s comprehensive set of software tools, your association will be able to host an excellent event without any added stress.

Regardless of your mission or type of association, ePly, a completely configurable software platform, offers solutions that will aid you as you plan any type of event. This platform’s specialized tools are sure to make your association’s event stand out and run smoothly.

Top Features of this Association Management Software

ePly is best known for its comprehensive event management tools that are specifically designed to help associations plan, execute, and manage an event with ease. This platform is equipped with numerous tools for your association to use, including:

  • Custom form building. Too often, registration forms limit an association’s ability to collect data on their event attendees. With the ability to build your own custom forms, ePly allows your association to collect any information it deems important.
  • Data reporting tools. All of your association’s events need to be planned with the most accurate data possible to ensure their success. ePly will enable your association to generate attendee data reports so you can always make well-informed decisions about your events.
  • Custom development. ePly is unique in that they genuinely care about the success of your association’s events and are willing to work with your team to develop any custom tools you may need to succeed.
  • Mobile application. One of ePly’s most valuable tools, their mobile app is a tailor-made app designed to appear as a seamless extension of your association’s online presence. This app will enable e-ticketing, mobile check-in, event calendar management, and secure payment processing.

With ePly, your association can sidestep the stressful, often time-consuming tasks that accompany hosting an event and focus on doing your good work.

ePly is a top association management software.

Why This Association Software Made the List

ePly’s dedication to one-on-one customer service and support means your association can rest assured that, should anything go wrong on the day of your event, your software provider will be there to help you through it.

This software platform has specific, unique solutions for associations, businesses, and universities so you can be sure that your platform was designed with your specific needs in mind. Take a look at ePly’s solutions to get an idea of how it can change the way you think about event planning!

Visit ePly!

Salsa offers effective heavy duty association management tools.

Association Management Software #4: Salsa

 Software Overview

Salsa CRM is a top choice for associations focused on fundraising as a major source of revenue. With a whole suite of powerful fundraising tools, this platform packs a punch when it comes to fostering outreach, boosting member engagement, and increasing support.

Plus, Salsa’s underlying database tools serve as a self-contained, central location for all your member, donor, and internal data. Robust reporting features and customizable analytics tools then guide your team to make the most of all this data and craft ever-improving strategies for engagement and growth.

Top Features of this Association Management Software

As a more heavy-duty solution focused equally on fundraising and data management, Salsa offers a unique balance of features:

  • Relationship tracking. Rich member and donor profiles let you keep detailed notes and track engagement history, helping you maintain important relationships and identify areas for growth.
  • Targeted messaging tools. Keep your members notified and fully engaged. Automate messages triggered by specific engagement actions, or simply segment and schedule your messaging in advance.
  • Digital marketing and fundraising. Salsa CRM comes with access to a whole suite of extra tools. Marketing, fundraising, and advocacy tools are the perfect way to boost engagement with your members while reaching new audiences.

Salsa's robust fundraising tools and management features rank it among the top association management software solutions.

Why This Association Software Made the List

Salsa provides a unique mix of features that might be perfect for the association focused on raising funds for its projects. Combining its powerful fundraising tools with effective advocacy and CRM features, for instance, might be an incredibly smart move for some groups.

If your association enjoys a strong culture of engagement, Salsa might be the perfect platform for boosting all the other aspects of your operations, too! Your revenue, data management practices, and marketing will thank you for it.

Visit Salsa!

Morweb's nonprofit web development tools double as a lightweight association management software.

Association Management Software #5: Morweb

 Software Overview

As a website building tool for nonprofits and other organizations and a lightweight but effective member management system, Morweb is a strong choice for smaller groups. If your association’s management and development needs revolve primarily around digital engagement, this is your best bet.

Focused on offering their clients the tools they need to sustainable grow their online operations, Morweb can help take your association’s website, member management strategies, and more to the next level. It’s a particularly good choice for younger associations looking to gain a digital foothold.

Top Features of this Association Management Software

Perfect for digital beginners, Morweb can help your association build its first website and effectively manage your growing membership with these top features:

  • Intranet and private page tools. Manage the internal structure of your site, creating password-protected pages for your members to engage with your content, share discussions, and register for events.
  • Member directory and event features. Plan your events directly within your content manager system with Morweb’s full registration and pricing options, then use your intuitive, searchable member directory to refine your plans.
  • Powerful website building platform. Your website says a lot about your association, and Morweb’s design and management platform is the perfect way to make sure it looks its best and operates at full steam.

Morweb offers a powerful combination of web design and association management tools.

Why This Association Software Made the List

For smaller or younger nonprofits, finding a properly scaled solution that addresses multiple needs is a major challenge. Morweb fills this void with its effective, high-quality web design services and tools.

A great website is a crucial part of getting started as any type of organization, particularly an association that depends on keeping its members engaged. Effective built-in management tools are what make this top website builder a great association management software, too!

Visit Morweb!

Doubleknot's niche association management software offers solutions to a specific sector.

Association Management Software #6: Doubleknot

 Software Overview

As a robust but niche-oriented solution, Doubleknot is a great example of the wide variety of options in the world of association management software. A leading management platform for zoos, museums, and other cultural institutions, Doubleknot offers an effective set of management tools for associations related to these fields. For instance, the Association of Children’s Museums uses the platform to manage its relationships with all of its member museums around the country.

Offering a full range of features and tools, Doubleknot is a strong contender for best management tool in its space.

Top Features of this Association Management Software

A mix of both general management and field-specific features should characterize an effective niche solution. Doubleknot’s top features include:

  • Membership management tools. A full suite of tools include directories, renewals and permissions features, on-boarding automation, and engagement tracking.
  • Donation and fundraising features. Doubleknot allows your association to create its own donation pages, accept mobile payments, and generate mailing lists.
  • Comprehensive program management. Customizable registration forms, event planning, scheduling, attendee communications, and revenue reporting makes Doubleknot a perfect tool to streamline your association’s operations.

Doubleknot's niche-oriented association management software includes comprehensive programming tools.

Why This Association Software Made the List

Niche-oriented association management software solutions that provide the same level of functionality as more general platforms are surprisingly difficult to find. Doubleknot leads the pack in this regard.

As an association that works with cultural institutions, effective tools and program management capabilities are essential to wrangle all the moving parts. Explore Doubleknot’s features for an idea of how it can help!

Visit Doubleknot!

MIP Fund Accounting is a top association software solution for accounting needs.

Association Management Software #7: MIP Fund Accounting

Software Overview

MIP Fund Accounting is a leading bookkeeping solution designed to adhere to the specific needs of associations. The financial management needs of associations are slightly different than those of for-profit companies. 

From member fees to fundraising opportunities, all of the revenue your association brings in is tied to the advancement of your services rather than generating more money. For this reason, associations thrive with a fund accounting specific solution.

Top Features of this Association Management Software

MIP Fund Accounting helps associations track every dollar from it’s acquisition to its purpose of enhancing programming. Some of the many features offered through this comprehensive solution include:

  • Choice to host servers on-premise or on the cloud. This gives your association the freedom to choose how you want to organize and store your data in a way that you’re most comfortable with. You can read more about how to make this choice here
  • Unlimited budget creation. Create as many budgets as your organization needs to succeed and stay on track. This also allows you to compare your annual budget from year to year to see areas for tightening up estimates and getting better on track. 
  • Dashboards and reports. Track your association’s financial progress no matter where the money is in the system. You can pull custom FASB-compliant reports any time or just check in on your in-real-time dashboards. 

Visit MIP to learn more about their association management software solution.

Why This Association Software Made the List

MIP Fund Accounting is a great way to organize your association’s finances, but it takes things a step further! The financial management solution integrates with the other association software solutions offered by Community Brands and their many partners to help you design a complete tech ecosystem.

You can integrate this solution with Aptify, NetForum, Crowd Wisdom, YM Careers, Expo Logic, GiveSmart, BluePay, and more! 

When your accounting solution integrates with effective association management, learning management, career center, event management, and payment software solutions, you can feel confident that all of your financial data will be accounted for and reported on for future decision-making.

Visit MIP Fund Accounting!

DonorPerfect is a reliable choice for nonprofit and association management software.

Association Management Software #8: DonorPerfect

 Software Overview

DonorPerfect has been a popular choice of management software for nonprofit organizations for several years now, but their tools are extremely useful for associations, too!

Mid-sized associations in need of effective data and member management tools should explore DonorPerfect’s features. As a relatively lightweight CRM solution for nonprofits, the platform is flexible and can easily be adjusted to suit your association’s needs perfectly.

Top Features of this Association Management Software

DonorPerfect offers all the essential features for your association to better manage its relationships and streamline operations:

  • Robust data management. DonorPerfect offers a scalable database service that grows along with you. Unify all your data in a way that maximizes its usefulness.
  • Comprehensive analytics tools. Reporting and analytics capabilities can guide your evolving engagement and growth strategies. Dashboards and automatic reporting make it even easier.
  • Membership and volunteer tracking. Manage your relationships with constituents to ensure no one falls through the cracks. DonorPerfect can help you keep engagement high.

DonorPerfect is a generally strong choice for top association management software solutions.

Why This Association Software Made the List

DonorPerfect made the list because it’s a flexible option for both organizations and associations looking for effective, relatively lightweight solutions. Its general features can provide a sturdy framework for your association’s growth.

Plus, its API means that tech-savvy associations can design their own fully customized platform to really make the most of DonorPerfect’s tools!

Visit DonorPerfect!

Higher Logic's association management tools are another great choice.

Association Management Software #9: Higher Logic

 Software Overview

As a management software suite that focuses heavily on providing engagement-boosting tools, Higher Logic offers a number of effective solutions for associations.

Although Higher Logic’s tools aren’t totally comprehensive, its broad range of engagement platform solutions mean that you can find a useful tool to address any of your association’s goals, from managing online communities to planning events to creating custom advocacy programs.

Top Features of this Association Management Software

A focus on community-building is a sound strategy for uniting and managing your association. Higher Logic’s top features include:

  • Online community management tools. Automation tools, directories, calendars, and collaborative features round of Higher Logic’s online communities toolkit.
  • Marketing automation services. Higher Logic offers smart marketing automation tools, too. Target your message and reach wider audiences than ever before!
  • Event community setup and management. Create and manage standalone sites and discussion communities for your association’s major events.

Higher Logic's useful suite of tools ranks them among our favorite association management software.

Why This Association Software Made the List

As a provider of extremely useful tools to aid your association management projects, especially those involving online engagement with members, Higher Logic is a great choice.

It can’t replace a more comprehensive association management software platform like some of the top entries on this list. However, its tools can definitely help associations that only need specific engagement solutions.

Visit Higher Logic!

Oroola offers association management software to education and school groups.

Association Management Software #10: Oroola

 Software Overview

As a management solution custom-built to meet the needs of educational associations and school groups, Oroola is an easy way to organize your community and direct engagement with projects.

If you work in K12 education, you know that PTAs, PTOs, and and other community-wide associations are the real powerhouses of a school. Oroola is designed to provide these associations with the tools they need to strengthen their bonds and streamline expenses.

Top Features of this Association Management Software

PTA management software shouldn’t overwhelm its users with unnecessary complications. Top features of Oroola’s parent-teacher association management tools include:

  • Online community capabilities. Engage with parents, sign up volunteers, organize communication, and schedule events in one single platform.
  • Community growth tools. Expand your association’s community by reaching out to incoming families from lower grade-level schools to start your relationship.
  • Increased student engagement. Oroola even makes it easier to get older students directly involved in helping to manage their school communities and PTSAs.

Oroola's school association management software makes it easier to build community.

Why This Association Software Made the List

As with other niche solutions on this list, Oroola’s school association software provides essential tools to groups that would otherwise need to adapt themselves to more general tools.

It’s not a particularly heavy-duty or comprehensive management solution, but it offers extremely effective, lightweight management tools for smaller groups. Plus, it’s free for schools to start using!

Visit Oroola!

Sumac's association management software is an affordable option for any group.

Association Management Software #11: Sumac

 Software Overview

Sumac is a popular management software solution for small nonprofit organizations with relatively tight budgets.

Its features are nonetheless comprehensive, customizable, and scalable to your needs. This makes Sumac an excellent choice for small or young associations that need easy-to-use management tools and digital engagement features.

Top Features of this Association Management Software

A customizable and lightweight software solution should still over the same level of utility as other tools. Some of the many effective features of Sumac include:

  • Lightweight management and database. Sumac’s member and volunteer management tools allow your association to easily track key metrics and record essential points.
  • Event and eLearning planning. Ticketing, event planning, and course registration features help you engage your members without a more expensive or heavy-duty solution.
  • Full customization options. Sumac is happy to create custom integrations and solutions for their customers, so your association can easily fine-tune your new management platform.

Sumac's association management solution is a great choice for smaller budgets.

Why This Association Software Made the List

Sumac is an excellent association management software solution because it strikes perfect balance between affordability and utility.

As a lightweight but comprehensive and (more importantly) customizable option, Sumac is a great choice for all kinds of organizations.

Visit Sumac!

Tendenci offers open source association management software.

Association Management Software #12: Tendenci

 Software Overview

As one of the only fully open source association management software solutions, Tendenci can be a smart move for groups looking for customizable and comprehensive solutions.

As an open source platform, Tendenci offers a wide range of pre-built features and tools in their app marketplace, allowing your association to customize your software solution by mixing and matching tools based on necessity.

Top Features of this Association Management Software

On top of the underlying management and database system, Tendenci apps provide top features like:

  • Report writer tools. Customize your reports by drawing from data, automating analytics, invoices, and donation data all in one place.
  • Community forums. Like other association management software, Tendenci offers effective online community tools to get your members engaged.
  • Job bank features. Let your members post job listings in a designated space online. Provide access as a major member benefit!

Tendenci's app platform makes it a great association management software solution.

Why This Association Software Made the List

Open source software plays an increasingly important role for all kinds of organizations. For associations, they mean complete customization.

Tendenci’s exhaustive features make it a great choice. However, it’s best for associations that already understand all their needs and have the time and resources to fully customize their software.

Visit Tendenci!

Broadpoint provides heavy duty, enterprise association management software.

Association Management Software #13: Broadpoint

 Software Overview

Focused on more heavy-duty CRM and AMS solutions full of custom integrations, Broadpoint offers great association management software for larger groups.

By partnering with Microsoft and number of other key players, Broadpoint can provide a high level of technical quality and customization, although its pricepoint sits higher as a result.

Top Features of this Association Management Software

Broadpoint’s most central features include:

  • Core CRM capabilities. Broadpoint builds all of its additional features on a powerful database foundation, empowering your whole system to contribute to smarter data protocols.
  • Membership management. A classic suite of management tools rounds out Broadpoint’s AMS platform, with membership analytics and custom reporting features included.
  • Grant management tools. Manage your association’s grant applications and track their progress in one easy-to-use, collaborative space.

Broadpoint's heavy duty association management software is a great choice for large organizations.

Why This Association Software Made the List

For larger associations with the time and resources to develop heavy-duty, customized solutions for the long-term, Broadpoint is a great choice.

Their partnerships will give your association access to powerful, integrated management solutions, but the level of investment required for their services might be out of reach for many groups.

Visit Broadpoint!

Read more to learn about why Pathable is one of the top association event software.

Association Software #14: Pathable

 Software Overview

May 2020 Update: If your association had planned events for this season and are hitting the end of the line, don’t panic. Click here to learn more about how Pathable can help you take your event from in-person to virtual.

Pathable is not an association management software, but it is so important for the success of association event management that we’d be remiss to not mention it here.

Pathable is a software provider that builds custom apps for association events so that your event planners, members, and vendors are able to spend less time organizing and planning and more time building face-to-face relationships.

Top Features of this Association Software

Pathable’s most useful features include:

  • AMS Integrations. Pathable’s easy integrations with your AMS mean that you can use your existing member database even as you offer them new and dynamic ways to get involved at your event.
  • Non-dues revenue tools. In addition to membership and registration fees, Pathable offers different ways to offer more value to vendors while generating funds for your association
  • Discussion forums and meeting scheduling. Pathable’s focus on community-building means that their apps offer your members more ways to engage not only with the association but with other members and attendees in real time.

Pathable is one of the top association software.

Why This Association Software Made the List

For associations who put on large, multi-day events with different speakers, sessions, and networking opportunities, Pathable offers an invaluable service.

Pathable’s apps improve your process at every step, from registration and preparing for the event to keeping track of leads and CEUs and encouraging members to stay engaged even after the event is over.

Visit Pathable!

When researching new management tools for your professional or trade association or other group, it’s essential that you extend your search beyond the handful of dominant players out there. Not only do they simply not have to offer the same level of flexibility as their smaller competitors, they often provide only very general tools.

Instead, weigh all your options. This list offers a sample of the more flexible and adaptable offerings on the market. Solutions built on lean frameworks are a surefire way to streamline operations, and niche-oriented solutions are more likely to provide you with the exact tools you need that would only be available from a dominant provider through expensive customizations.

Continue your research on association management software and tools with a few additional resources: