One of the biggest challenges facing any nonprofit site is figuring out how to get donors to return to your site.
Indeed, the model can be seen as similar to ecommerce sites. You’re going to receive more money from repeat visitors than by attracting new ones. That’s a difficult prospect for any business, let alone a non-profit.
Similar to commerce sites, creating customer loyalty is integral to success. Indeed, one study from Fundera showed that 43 percent of loyal customers spend more on brands.
According to another study, only 10 percent of customers will ever revisit a brand, but repeat customers have a 60-70 percent chance of making another purchase on a future visit.
Statistics like these just demonstrate how important repeat customers or donors are. But how do we get these people to come back? A number of tools are commonly used like Email marketing or seasonal sales, and while these are effective at keeping your brand on people’s minds, they don’t necessarily develop customer loyalty.
Another effective tool for getting customers to revisit your site is a membership offering.
Loyalty programs are quickly becoming a popular tool in the ecommerce and nonprofit games. After all, they allow you to create a predictable revenue and build your company accordingly.
Customers sign up for either a paid or free membership to your site. In return, they receive exclusive access to new items, members-only discounts, or any other number of supplemental offerings you can think of.
Memberships are a fantastic tool for driving repeat visits, creating predictable income, and building a strong rapport with your users.
MemberPlanet is a management solution for individuals and groups, ranging from small community-based groups to large organizations with thousands of members.
MemberPlanet, meanwhile, opened its doors in 2011 in the Greater Los Angeles area. The company was started by Binu Thekkinedath and now has around 50 employees, according to Crunchbase.
Some of their popular customers include Pi Beta Phi, AMCM, U.S Air Force, Zeta Beta Phi, NCGA, Marietta Business Association, etc.
A MemberPlanet package includes a website builder and a custom mobile app, but if you already have an existing website and database, you can sync it with Memberplanet.
MemberPlanet gives you the benefit of performing all your tasks and activities on a single platform; you can organize payments, membership ecards, pay for goods and services, make donations, sell tickets, manage RSVPs, send bulk emails and SMS, share data, etc.
Additionally, you can create and customize templates for payment forms, email newsletters, surveys, or other forms with as many fields as desired.
WildApricot is a cloud-based software that performs a similar automation function with MemberPlanet: helping individuals and groups manage membership and websites.
WildApricot was launched in 2006. However, it was acquired by Personify in 2017.
The company now has over 32,000 premium customers with thousands more using its free ad-supported version.
Some of their notable customers include Los Angeles Chapter, Public Health Physicians of Canada, Clinical Social Work, Young Women in Law Association, etc.
This platform facilitates membership management, website builder, event planning and registration, online payment, donations, and communications.
With WildApricot, members can perform including membership updates, renewal, payments, and more. Additionally, admins can store and import contacts, create and customize forms, and other functionalities.
Starting on WildApricot is easy; you will be provided with templates for website, contact, membership registration, etc. that you can customize to suit your group or organization’s needs. If you have an existing website, you can import features from WildApricot to it.
MemberPlanet has an easy onboarding process for new members. This includes a welcome email customized with your content and branding and a concise membership form.
MemberPlanet offers clients a secured database with integration and customization features that make data import and syncing a smooth process.
MemberPlanet allows you to register members into different tiered membership strata. It also features automated membership upgrading for members desiring to move up the strata or membership renewal.
Member accounts and dashboards give members control over their space and privacy. Members can view their payment and subscription details from the membership dashboard, make payments, renew their membership subscription, and keep up to date with happenings within the organization.
Automated bulk email and SMS scheduling is a lifesaver for MemberPlanet subscribers. Users can send automated newsletters, reminders, payment notifications, and acknowledgments.
MemberPlanet provides you with auto-generated reporting of member payments, donations, events, surveys, and detailed information on membership tiers.
MemberPlanet recognizes that managing groups or organizations solely without assistance can be quite tedious. Hence, MemberPlanet’s Admin Role Management feature lets you appoint an unlimited number of admins to help you in day-to-day group administration.
As the chief admin, you can protect your member data by restricting data access to essential tools with permission protocols to prevent unauthorized data access.
MemberPlanet’s smart distribution list lets you target members on your platform based on data available on your website. This feature sends automated messages to a select group of people based on their activities and available information.
Take. for instance, sending scheduled, automated emails to program participants or thank you messages to financial donors on your platform.
MemberPlanet provides a social network platform where members in your organization can interact via text and a couple of other avenues. The platform also features a robust search engine that makes MemberPlanet’s social networking a truly satisfactory experience.
Generate membership cards for your members. MemberPlanet’s professional cards for members are customizable and printable. Members can also access their cards from MemberPlanet’s mobile app or log in to their accounts via MemberPlanet’s web interface.
Membership data on Wild Apricot are stored in the cloud for easy retrieval, auto-update, and seamless sharing with teammates.
Wild Apricot’s website builder includes a drag-and-drop tool that enables you to create a unique website to suit your organization’s needs.
Wild Apricot auto-generates invoices and receipts for payments made. Also, you enjoy varieties of payment solutions, and easy tracking features available on Wild Apricot to help you track taxes, donations, registration fees, and other payment types.
With the Wild Apricots events creation tool, you can create and run events faster than you think. You can add pictures and descriptions, registration forms, and other desired forms or additions.
With Wild Apricot, you can keep in touch with your members via automated emails and reminders. This feature also gives you access to the records of every member on your platform.
WildApricot provides mobile apps which enable your members to interact and engage with each other and the organization.
Wild Apricot incorporates an eCommerce website builder that lets you start an online store. That way, you can add products and services to your platform, manage sales, payments, taxes, etc.
Wild Apricot supports third-party integration via API, webhooks, widgets, and SSO services. Not to mention, it provides a WordPress plugin and also integrates with Integromat to facilitate integration with over 900 apps and services.
Therefore, you can add Wild Apricot functionalities such as forms, member directories, calendars, or activities to your existing website.
Both companies rely heavily on simplicity for their membership management solutions. Each builds its many features on top of its contact database, which allows you to keep track of your members, prospective members, donors, and others.
Wild Apricot allows you to use tags, offers a searchable database with custom queries, and more. You can send customized emails to different groups, inviting them to an event or sale, and avoid bothering your already loyal customers.
Wild Apricot also offers the ability to create public-facing pages and internal pages. This means that paying members can sign in to sites specifically for them, which can include newsletters, membership renewal options, a directory, and whatever other content you wish to show them.
MemberPlanet also relies on simplicity. Indeed, the MemberPlanet setup process is incredibly simple.
The service will coach you as you make your way through setting everything up, and if you still need help, you can request a strategy session with a MemberPlanet employee.
On top of the ever-important membership management tools, each company offers a handful of additional features to help you drum up business.
MemberPlanet, for example, comes with both iOS and Android apps to allow you to manage your databases remotely. They’re available to both users and administrators.
The administration app, for example, allows you to send group texts or emails, view social activity, collect payments, and manage your memberships. The membership app allows users to make payments or donations, view events and RSVP to them, and other features.
Additional features that Wild Apricot brings to the table include template editing and email campaigns.
Wild Apricot doesn’t put a limit on how many emails you can send to any membership level. These emails can be sent to all of your members or to a specific group. This can be useful if you’d like to contact anyone whose membership is about to run out, for example.
Indeed, there are numerous email templates to play with. The beautiful part about the site is that it allows you to pick these pre-made templates and then customize it to your specifications. The system will also let you know if the email has been opened, read, or created a response.
These are just a small selection of the additional features that each service offers. MemberPlanet also offers the ability to create email campaigns and create surveys, while WIld Apricot has a strong financial reporting tool built in.
Both companies offer a free trial version and an ad-supported, basic, free account.
WildApricot offers two pricing plans i.e. regular pricing and Multi-Chapter pricing.
In essence, the Multi-Chapter plan is ideal for multichapter organizations and its pricing is based on custom requirements.
- Free – 50 contacts
- Personal – $48 per month for up to 100 contacts
- Group – $60 per month for up to 250 contacts
- Community – $110 per month for up to 500 contacts
- Professional – $190 per month for up to 2,000 contacts
- Network – $350 per month for up to 5,000 contacts
- Enterprise – $420 per month for up to 15,000 contacts
- Global – $720 per month for up to 50,000 contacts
Pre-pay 1 Year
- Free – 50 contacts
- Personal – $43.20 per month when billed annually for up to 100 contacts
- Group – $54 per month when billed annually for up to 250 contacts
- Community – $99 per month when billed annually for up to 500 contacts
- Professional – $171 per month when billed annually for up to 2,000 contacts
- Network – $315 per month when billed annually for up to 5,000 contacts
- Enterprise – $378 per month when billed annually for up to 15,000 contacts
- Global – $648 per month when billed annually for up to 50,000 contacts
Pre-pay 2 Year
- Free – 50 contacts
- Personal – $40.80 per month when billed for 24 months for up to 100 contacts
- Group – $51 per month when billed for 24 months for up to 250 contacts
- Community – $93.50 per month when billed for 24 months for up to 500 contacts
- Professional – $161.50 per month when billed for 24 months for up to 2,000 contacts
- Network – $297.50 per month when billed for 24 months for up to 5,000 contacts
- Enterprise – $357 per month when billed for 24 months for up to 15,000 contacts
- Global – $612 per month when billed for 24 months for up to 50,000 contacts
Just like WildApricot, MemberPlanet offers two pricing plans: Standard and Enterprise P.
On the other hand, Enterprise is flexible and based on custom requirements; hence, enterprises, and NGOs have to contact them to request for a custom pricing.
- Basic Plan – Free
- Essentials Plan – $50 per month when billed every month, or $510 when billed annually
- Pro Plan – $100 per month when billed every month, or $1020 when billed annually
- Premium Plan – $175 per month when billed every month, or $1785 when billed annually
- Small groups can use MemberPlanet for free to create a website. However, such a group will have to pay transaction fees for every payment made on the MemberPlanet platform.
- MemberPlanet has an easy-to-use website builder, surveys, and email templates.
- It is very affordable
- Different mobile apps for members and admins
- You cannot use MemberPlanet to create a code-based website
- Email turnaround can be slow, taking 2-3 days.
- It is a flexible membership system for small groups and organizations, including community-based groups.
- Its website builder incorporates customizable templates, including events planning, email, and donation templates.
- WildApricot has several online learning resources to help its clients understand how to use it effectively.
- WildApricot User Interface has a steeper learning curve
- Membership ID cannot be determined within the system, which makes WildApricot a bit challenging to use for organizations with a number-based membership identification system
- MemberPlanet and WildApricot are ideal membership platforms for small groups and large organizations
- They both have features that can be integrated into existing websites
- Both MemberPlanet and WildApricot have mobile apps for admins and members
- They both integrate with several payment gateways
- They both provide users with mobile apps.
- Both WildApricot and MemberPlanet are affordable
- They both have freemium pricing plans.
- WildApricot was founded in 1998 making it one of the oldest membership management platforms, while MemberPlanet was launched in 2011.
- MemberPlanet pricing starts at $50, while WildApricot pricing starts from $48, although a steep learning curve for WildApricot might drive the price higher considering the time, energy, and resources spent in learning to use it.
- Unlike WildApricot, MemberPlanet allows admins to send group text messages.
- MemberPlanet is owned by Rob Hammond, founder of GreekBill, while WildApricot is owned by Personify.
- Unlike MemberPlanet, Wild Apricot supports custom integration via its API.
Ultimately, this is a tough call.
Both services offer a wide range of additional tools to help you manage your members and attract new donors. They both do a great job at helping you maintain customers and engage with them. And they both offer competitive pricing options.
Fortunately, they both also offer a free version of their product and a free trial version of the premium services.
Although both MemberPlanet and WildApricot are ideal for nonprofit organizations, MemberPlanet is a preferable option for nonprofits because it allows unlimited admins and members irrespective of the pricing plan.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.