What makes you weird?

What makes you weird?

When I work with clients on selecting a new association management system, one thing I'm digging for is what makes the association weird. What I mean by that is, what is the association doing that most other associations don't typically do?

This is important for a couple of reasons:

  1. The weird stuff is usually pretty important to the association and its members.
  2. The weird stuff is often not managed by "out of the box" functionality (but maybe can be managed with configuration).

So what are some examples of "weird" association practices? Here are just a few I've run into over the years:

  1. An association that takes dues only by payroll withholding. No online joins or renewals.
  2. An association that has to keep track of individuals, organizations, and aircraft owned by those individuals and/or organizations (and the aircraft serves as the member!).
  3. An association that has organizational membership but individuals associated with those organizational members can choose their own chapters.

To the associations themselves, this is business as usual, so it may not seem weird to them (like a fish doesn't know they are in water). But these are relatively unique practices that they are unlikely to find in baseline, out-of-the-box functionality for most AMSes. And knowing what makes you weird can help you focus on what a new AMS can and cannot do for you.

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