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Relationships are so important to my association. Can the AMS track all the relationships that we need to see?

While most association management systems (AMS) do a good job of tracking members, most associations have a variety of other relationships that are important to the organization and require attention.  Whether member prospects, volunteers, speakers, current and past board members, past staff members, or affiliate organizations, to name just a few, it is often helpful to have profiles on all the various constituents, in addition to members, for planning and communications purposes.

Furthermore, associations are all about connecting people with people and fostering relationships.  These relationships are all different, requiring different communications.  If an association management system (AMS) is limited to one kind of relationship and does not have the flexibility to handle a variety of constituents, it results in separate spreadsheets or lists collected and maintained outside of the system without the fields, demographics and history that are so important to the contacts.

When selecting an AMS for your association, prepare a list of the categories of constituents you’d like to have access to and ensure that the system is flexible enough to identify and track these relationships.

The AMS should be sophisticated enough to handle a person or organization that has multiple roles.  For example, an organization might be a sponsor or an individual might be a member and a speaker.  Can the system track key data for the various ways they participate in the association?

Beyond the multi-facets of a particular person or organization and their relationships with the association, it’s important to be able to track relationships on constituents with one another in order to facilitate mentoring, new member orientation, committees, event planning and the like.

Ensuring that your AMS can handle and provide you with the information based on these relationships will lead to greater efficiency in organization and planning as well as a richer constituent experience.

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