How an AMS is more than just a CRM

A CRM is a "CUSTOMER Relationship Management" System and is designed to help organisations manage their "Customers". Whereas an AMS "ASSOCIATION Management System" is designed to help Associations manage all aspects of the Association.

How well does a CRM cover the broader needs of an Association that must handle not only Customers but also:

  • Membership Joining
  • Membership Renewals
  • Events Registration and Management
  • Payments and Invoicing
  • Committees and Boards
  • Education and CPD Tracking / Auditing
  • Member and Supplier Directories
  • An Integrated website

The short answer is that a CRM does not provide the necessary tools to manage these critical areas of a growing and progressive Association. This is where an AMS comes in.

To cover these significant gaps between what a CRM provides and the Association needs, some Associations attempt to integrate many dedicated systems together. The separate CRM approach may seem viable in the early days, but as the system grows, over time it creates a myriad of problems. Data and processes become disjointed, resulting in poor user experience, costly manual processing and a platform that the Association can't afford to keep up to date to meet the growing needs of the Association.

An AMS is a fully integrated system working from a single point of truth database. It has been designed specifically to meet the needs of all areas of the Association in an integrated and automated way. So data integrity is maintained, workflows can be Fully Automated, and the system will assist in the growth of the Association, not hinder it.

Area of Capability CRM AMS
Membership Management
Online Joining
Automated Renewals
Financials and Invoicing
Event Management
Board and Committee Portals
Member and Supplier Directories
Fully Integrated Website
Automated Membership Workflows
LMS Integration
Special Interest Group Portals and File Repository


An Association that needs to manage Members, Events, Learning and CPD, Communications, Joining and Renewals, etc., etc., etc., is going to get a lot more value from money from an Association Management System than they ever will from a Customer Relationship Management System.

If you are an Association in the process of or are about to replace or upgrade your Website and Member Database, an AMS is what you need to be reviewing!

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