As we meet with members of the association community to share our vision for MemberJunction, one common misconception we hear is that MemberJunction replaces an association management system (AMS). This is not the case.
MemberJunction is designed to be the data platform for an association. MemberJunction performs no line of business application functionality of its own. MemberJunction deals only in data and provides a unified data layer that in turn can power a truly seamless member experience on the web. MemberJunction synchronizes data across all connected systems and provides a unified experience to members with its modular and reusable web components.
MemberJunction is an integration and data strategy that frees associations to use best-of-breed applications that provide the features and functionality that members and staff demand. An AMS can be one of those applications and is frequently a key hub within an association. With MemberJunction, the AMS can remain in place as a key application while providing the flexibility to add other solutions into the technology ecosystem to perform specific tasks. MemberJunction organizes and stores your data in a unified model that spans applications. This in turn allows for the creation of a streamlined and easy to use experience where members can engage with the association across all business areas.
For example, let’s say your Fundraising team is asking for new management functionality that is not natively part of your AMS but is available from leading donor management solutions. The standard approach would be to either customize your AMS to add the functionality the Fundraising department is looking for, or to integrate your AMS directly with an off-the-shelf solution that the Fundraising staff has already selected.
Ultimately both approaches can address the need, but does your organization’s IT staff have the time and resources to make it happen quickly? In addition, does either approach position you for the best outcome long term?
With MemberJunction in place, no changes are required on your AMS – just add the new fundraising management application as an integration to MemberJunction, and MemberJunction will handle synchronizing data between your existing AMS and the new solution. And, with MemberJunction as an open-source solution powered by the greater association community, there is no need to reinvent the integration approach for each association – once that product is added to the MemberJunction project, you can be up and running quickly with only minimal updates required based on your organization’s specific use cases. And, you may find that you can use the integration as is – your organization’s requirements may be more similar to the needs of other associations than you might initially imagine.
We are currently working with Sidecar on the first MemberJunction implementation, but we’re eager to start collaborating with thought leaders and early adopters to make MemberJunction an integration, unified data solution, and engaging web experience for all associations.