So you run an association, and it's quite complex. But you know that.

You might be stuck using Excel. Or trapped in a proprietary solution that doesn't even let you download your own database or view the source code. We believe association management software should serve the membership, the board of directors and the executive director of the association equally.

Associations are complex. Just the opening paragraph from wikipedia makes your head spin with the implied complexity of any AMS system.

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_management

Association management is a field of management which focuses on the management of associations. There are more than 25,000 national associations and 65,000 local, state or regional associations in the United States. These organizations employ more than 500,000 professionals.

Association management is a distinct field of management because of the unique environment of associations. Associations are unique in that the "owners" are dues-paying members. Members also govern their association through an elected board or other governing body, along with association committees, commissions, task forces, councils and other units. Typically, the board selects, retains and evaluates a chief executive officer or an executive director who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the association and paid staff.

Membership Management systems (MMS) are so critical because associations themselves are critical to all of us. Sometimes we forget just how important they are. The BAR association in the US handles licensing of attorneys, CPAs have their own associations and the list goes on.

Let me rephrase that. We sometimes forget how important YOU ARE if you are involved in association management!

If you are reading this, it's because YOU care about YOUR association's mission and vision. And about the people who are members.

AMS, MMS, CRM for non-profits - we call them by different names. Sometimes it's membership management at a simpler level. Yet every association that sustains eventually hits a level of complexity that goes beyond basic membership management.

The requirements grow in complexity and the members themselves have to participate in their own data management. (hint: that's why Tendenci is Open Source and even hosted we do NOT charge based on named users. Just on the power of the server you need!)

Tendenci is the only top ranked open source AMS. It is in over 30 and the transifex translation is working on a total of 75 different languages! The client base is spread out internationally, which is the beauty of open source after all.

Here in the US Alexis du Tocqueville wrote about organizations in our society:

Americans of all ages, all stations of life, and all types of disposition are forever forming associations… In democratic countries knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; on its progress depends that of all the others.

You have lots of options in choosing an MMS or AMS. From Wild Apricot to Member Clicks or Your Membership - all viable options. But if you need to scale to hundreds of thousands of members, have recurring memberships, organizational memberships and need the full features of a seasoned large scale enterprise AMS, it's possible you might hit some limits with the new kids on the block. 

The proprietary vendors are companies first and communities second. Tendenci is a community first, and yes there is a small company behind it. It's just grown far bigger than we were expecting. And given it was started in 2001, when you switch from a proprietary solution it's an upgrade!

Feel free to take the demo site for a spin at https://demo.tendenci.com/ . Every site looks completely unique using Bootstrap themes. No long term contracts. Access to all of your data at any time. Full access to the source code. Everything under YOUR domain name.

If you are into the whole Freedom thing, then hey, Tendenci is The Open Source AMS and we'd love to see you around on github or contact us if you'd like our help setting your site up.

Consider your decision picking an AMS this way. With Tendenci, you can self host, host with us, leave whenever you want. If Tendenci isn't the right AMS to manage your memberships, you are free of constraints! Why lock into a 2 year contract first when you are stuck, whereas if you go with open source, you won't have to ever have a conversation with the board of directors saying

"ooops, the proprietary solution isn't scaling up and is limiting, but we're stuck with it for another two years."

We are people who build software and support the Association Management community out of a passion to serve you. Join us?

Lastly, yes, Tendenci is a very large project with robust functionality. But it's still a great free or low cost solution as an AMS for small associations too. You can easily disable the modules you don't need and keep it simple. The functionality will be there as your small association AMS needs expand in the future!   

Freedom is pretty cool, huh? Pay less (or self host!) and get greater functionality. Rock on!

 

 

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