Let’s say you’ve decided it’s time for an association management system. You’re overwhelmed with work and tired of doing everything manually. If that’s the case, you’re not alone. Several association professionals have been and are in those same shoes.
But before you can purchase a solution, you need to talk to your board. You need to make sure they’re in favor of a software solution as well. How do you do that? We recommend following these five steps:
Step 1: Highlight the flaws in your current system
When approaching your board about an AMS solution, you’ll want to start off by highlighting the pain points you feel with your current membership management system. Whether you’re utilizing a file cabinet, a spreadsheet, or even an AMS that doesn’t quite cut it anymore, take some time to talk about the various hang-ups that your staff members deal with on a regular basis. More importantly, talk about what you could be doing if you weren’t having to deal with those hangups. For example, if you weren’t having to spend so much time manually sending out dues reminder emails, you could be spending more time recruiting new members for your organization.
Step 2: Explain what an AMS actually is (in simple terms)
The concept of an AMS can sometimes be hard to grasp. Now you don’t want to get into too much detail here (at least not initially), but it is important to lay out some of the primary functions typically available in AMS systems. If you need help having that conversation with your board, check out our guide, What Is An AMS?
Step 3: Explain how an AMS can solve your current problems
Ok, time to connect the dots. Bring up the pain points you mentioned in step one and the features you highlighted in step two and tie them all together. More importantly, talk about how an AMS can free up a lot of your time, giving you extra hours in the day to focus on more important matters, such as recruiting new members and increasing retention rates. To really drive your point home, mention other associations that are successfully using AMS solutions. After all, that could be you.
Step 4: Talk numbers
This is where your board members’ ears will really perk up. Now prior to approaching your board, you’ll want to do a little background research so you can talk numbers and price ranges with ease. That said, the ultimate goal here is to nail down a price limit so you know exactly where to focus the remainder of your shopping.
Step 5: Get approval on the shopping process
Fingers crossed! Now you just need board approval. Based on the numbers you just talked about, see if it’s ok to move forward with the AMS shopping process.
Even if your board approves, that’s just the beginning of the AMS shopping process - one that your board will need to be involved in. For more tips and best practices on how to work with your board when selecting an AMS, check out our free guide, How to Get Your Board on Board When Shopping for an AMS, below!