Imagine you’re going on a long journey and you need guidance, you can either hire someone who is professional, trained and able to help you on a extensive tour with detailed explanations, efficient routes and lots of help, or You could have a friend who can show you path for free, who knows good enough and help you get to your destiny where you want to be, but won’t be able to provide you extra assistance or show you the right path.
You can face same situation when looking for member management softwares online. Do you have a professional tool that contains everything you need for your organization? Or you just spend a little or no money for amateur membership management software that has same features, but with less detail?
To answer this question, there are different membership management softwares that provide focus on the lower end of the membership market. And, most of these membership management softwares have similar features, and they are varied in the types of organizations they serve. While it’s true that they have almost same features, but the way those features are implemented is simple.
Some offer various customization options and more robust layouts, focused on more professional companies in need of deeper details and support. While others have simple layouts and less support, but a simpler learning curve for a more small organization which is willing to “do it yourself”.
If your organization is small and does not pay dues, and if you don’t have money or time to educate your people on more complex software, you’re more likely to fall into the amateur group bucket. While, these amateur membership management softwares are great for small organization and for people who require an easy to use website which does not need a lot of maintenance. And, if you’re looking for a way to keep track of your organization events and to organize your members, these type of softwares could be very simple and low-cost way.
If you’re a small group, not looking forward to spend too much money, but still is a serious organization which requires professional, detailedand more supportive membership management software, you fall under this more serious and professional bucket of membership organization.
In this software, contacts and membership records are integrated with the event management software, website building tools and email news letters so that you won’t require to buy set of different softwares and try to integrate them yourself. Most of its customers have very low budget, therefore they are being focused on self-service and low prices.
Unlike amateur membership management softwares, they have various support options. They provide very strong tools for developing completely customized donation forms and membership payment processing forms.
Given these two options, how are you going to determine when to switch from an amateur level management software to a more professional one? I suggest using member size and level of involvement you require for determining when is the right time to switch. The most appropriate time would be when your organization grows and you require extra room to manage all of your records or when you need the next level tools and when more people are involved.