The Large Association's Guide to Understanding Enterprise AMS Pricing

7 factors for determining the true cost of purchasing, owning and maintaining Association Management Software

How to Determine the True Cost of Association Management Software (AMS)

You know it’s time for a new Association Management Software (AMS) system. Your association is ready to begin your search for the AMS that will help position your organization for long-term success.

If you’re like many association professionals, your first question is: “How much does it really cost?” It’s a fair question. You need to know what you’re getting into before you decide on the AMS that’s right for your association’s needs. 

The answer is different for each organization because it’s based on several factors. It comes down to total cost of ownership (TCO). Similar to buying a car – in which TCO includes the cost of repairs, insurance, and fuel – the AMS purchase process must consider all expenses of owning the asset. 

Download this guide to better understand the process’s steps and the true cost of association management software. Here are some key considerations.

1. Understand the Selection Process

First, it’s critical to know where you want to take your organization and the budget you’re willing to put aside for association management software. Associations typically have one of three approaches to choosing the best membership management software for them. They either:

  • Start confidently, knowing exactly what they want.
  • Begin not entirely sure what they want but still ready to immediately send out an RFP.
  • Seek help from an AMS selection consultant to avoid risk and get expertise.

However your organization is beginning the process, Nimble AMS offers services to address your requirements. Whether you know precisely what your organization needs or you want guidance to explore your options, we’re here to provide trusted solutions.

2. Choose a Pricing Option

The next stage is to decide on the pricing option that works best with your requirements. You can choose between a perpetual license and software as a service (SaaS) to fit your association’s needs. With a perpetual license, you purchase it and have full ownership of the software permanently. With the SaaS option, you pay a set amount per user to use the software each month.

To determine which choice is most operable with your organization, you can decide if you want to pay the total price upfront for long-term use or budget out costs over time.

3. Define Your Requirements

To comprehensively understand your requirements, you’ll want to assess your current operational processes. Examine how your current systems work, step-by-step, and determine how a new system might be able to do those processes more efficiently. Deciding what you need to accomplish is vital as you move forward, as is knowing how you want to optimize your operations.

4. Consider Staff Buy-In and Users

Having your software users on board with the product is key to helping you achieve your organizational goals. If your staff isn’t engaged with the software, you won’t get the best use out of the program. However, when you do have an engaged team, you have critical support as they make the most of training and get others involved in the system.

As you begin the process, it’s critical to get the information you need to benefit your staff. Take the time to get feedback from your team on their needs and factor their requirements into your decision.

5. Understand the Implementation Process

Before you move into implementation, make sure you know what features are available out of the box from your AMS provider and what features you will need to add later. It’s essential to have a holistic view of the product’s pricing, so factor in the costs of any additional features you may need. Be careful to work with a vendor that is upfront about all the involved costs, not just the basic ones.

6. Evaluate Your Operating Costs

Consider all costs related to maintenance, day-to-day operations and upgrades as part of your operating expenses. You’ll want to evaluate whether hosting the software yourself is an option and whether you’ll have to pay any annual fees if not. The best choice for you depends on your current capabilities, IT team size and operational goals.

7. Review Your Long-Term Costs and Lifetime Value

The key in choosing your organization’s AMS is to make an investment that will deliver long-term value for your operations. Evaluate your total cost of ownership and consider how the system you’re considering can serve you years in the future.

See a Detailed Explanation of AMS Pricing Guide

It’s time to drop the veil and give you real insight into what goes into AMS pricing. Get insights about:

  • How key factors, such as number of users and license pricing types, affect overall pricing of the AMS
  • Average cost of solutions based on license type
  • Considerations to help control costs
  • How the Nimble AMS team guides you through the purchase process so there are no surprise expenses

Would you rather watch the webinar? View the on-demand webinar now. 


Download the guide

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