This blog was originally published on September 18, 2013.
Are you ready for a new Association Management System (AMS)? If you just answered ‘YES’ or ‘MAYBE’ then read on…
Finding the right AMS for your organization can be like Prince Charming finding Cinderella. Sure, you have a glass slipper – you know what you want. Now, how do you go about finding it?
Listed below are fifty questions to ask AMS vendors. These questions will help you eliminate the product(s) that are not for you, like Prince Charming placing the glass slipper on. Then you can narrow down your best options to find the perfect fit…your very own Cinderella!
- What version of the product have you provided the quote for?
- Do you have other versions available?
- If yes, why do you believe this version is the best fit for our organization?
- What technology is the product built with?
- What software if any will we need to have installed on our network to access the product?
- Can the system be customized per our organization’s business rules?
- Are there any storage/capacity limitations?
- Do we have access to all the data in the system? Please explain what these options are.
- How many other associations use this version of the product that is similar to our organization? For eg. We are a trade association with 8 staff members, Information Technology outsourced, and 1.5 million in annual revenue.
- Does this version include the following modules Accounting, Chapters, Committees, CRM, Events, Fundraising, Marketing, etc?
CONFIGURATION AND FUNCTIONALITY
- Does your AMS allow for dashboards? Can they be customized?
- Is there a limit to the number of dues revenue models your product supports?
- Does the AMS allow for the membership dependency model? If yes, can you build in rules for this? For eg. Full Members of the organization must select exactly one chapter membership and one specialty group membership in addition to their primary membership.
- Can you add custom fields to capture additional (demographic) information? Are there any limitations?
- We provided you with a list of must-have functionality with our RFP. Are there any times on the list that you see as a challenge for your system?
- Ask specific questions on critical functionality and even request for this feature to be demonstrated.
- Does the AMS integrate with my accounting software?
- What payment processor(s) can I use with the AMS?
- Are basic accounting functions – cancel, credit, refund etc done within the AMS or via the accounting software?
- Is batching capability available in the AMS?
- Can accounting features and functionality be restricted by security groups or user roles?
- Does the AMS support all different types of accounting?
- Do you have reports that correctly indicate deferred dues revenue?