If you’re looking for a new AMS, that’s one of the most important questions you can ask. What makes your association different or unique, as compared to other associations, in terms of the kinds of data you manage?
For example, one association I’ve worked with received over 80% of their revenue from grants of one type or another. Sure they managed membership, events, committees, and other things that “typical” associations do. But what makes them unique (as compared to the vast majority of associations) is their grant management. So that’s what needed to be communicated to the AMS vendors most clearly.
The reality is, the vast majority of AMSes can manage membership, events, committees, and all those other typical association activities. Yes, they do them to different degrees and in different ways, but the vendors have seen it and understand it. What will trip you up most often is those things the vendor hasn’t dealt with frequently, if at all.
That’s why it’s important to identify what makes your association different.
“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”
“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”
Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan
“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”
Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance