5 Popular Free and Open Source Membership Management Software Products

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Getting software can be costly, so we’ve put together a list of some of the most popular free and open source membership management software products out there so you don’t have to search.


If you’re selecting membership management software, you’ve likely run into the problem of having too many choices during the search. Which software is right for my organization? Do I really need to spend all this money on a product that might not actually help me grow?

Don’t worry though—starting with a free or open source version of membership management software can help you get started on optimizing your workflow and making your organization more efficient.

We’ve put together a list of the most popular free membership management software out there for you to compare and contrast. Software options are listed in alphabetical order. For more information about how we chose these products, click here.

By the end of this article, you’ll know whether a free or open source platform is best for your small organization and how to make your final selection.

Free membership management software

Free membership software has pros and cons, so what your business needs will determine whether or not you should consider going with a free system or spending a little more to get more features.

Pros Cons
  • It’s free
  • No contracts mean that you can leave anytime
  • Trying out a variety of features is risk-free
  • You’ll benefit from updates to the software as it grows and becomes more feature-rich
  • With free membership software, you won’t get support without jumping on the paid options.
  • Free membership software limits the amount of features or users up to a point.
  • Switching to different systems in the future might be more difficult.

The target customer: Solo, small, and midsize practices.

Once you’ve weighed your choices and decided to go for a free system, it’s just a matter of choosing the right free membership management software for your organization. To help you do this, we’ve profiled some of the most popular free membership software out there.

Raklet

Screenshot of Raklet’s member database page

Raklet’s member database page

Raklet offers membership management for any organization looking to more efficiently manage member records. A dashboard provides a timeline of recent community activity and an at-a-glance view of organization performance. Track engagement from your website or social media as well.

Data stored with Raklet is secure and kept private, and support is available at any time by email or phone. Membership fees, donations, or ticket sales can be collected through the platform, and communications can be improved through email messages.

Raklet operates on a tiered pricing model, offering a free plan for any organization with fewer than 1000 contacts and additional price points designed for small to midsize businesses.

Raklet made our Top 20 Report for best membership management software.

Membership management software features:

  • Application management
  • Committee management
  • Dues management
  • Email marketing
  • Event management
  • Member directory
  • Member portal
  • Member types
  • Member management
  • Membership database
  • Membership renewals
  • Payment processing
  • Website management

Sumac

Screenshot of Sumac’s email management system lets you email your members information

Sumac’s email management system lets you email information to your members

Sumac is a free membership management software platform built specifically for nonprofits of all sizes including human services, arts and culture, health organizations, education, environment, and animal services. You can manage your website through their service as well.

Sumac’s free plan offers unlimited records for up to two users. Additionally, you get one annual training session and three gigabytes of cloud storage for your organization. Every plan, free or paid, includes free phone and email support, training, and benefits from updates to the software.

If you need to upgrade, they offer add-on options including memberships, case management, grant management, and more. Sumac also offers donation webpages, built-in email marketing tools, and it integrates with your accounting software.

Membership management software features:

  • Application management
  • Committee management
  • Dues management
  • Email marketing
  • Event management
  • Member directory
  • Member portal
  • Member types
  • Member management
  • Membership database
  • Membership renewals
  • Payment processing
  • Website management

Wild Apricot

Screenshot of Wild Apricot’s web-based website builder

Wild Apricot’s web-based website builder

Wild Apricot is web-based software for small associations and nonprofits to help manage membership, website, events, and other activities. It runs through a web browser without needing to install anything on your local computer. Their focus is small organizations, and they have a mix of free and paid options. The free option is free for one admin user and up to 50 members. They charge $25/month when you get to 250 members.

Wild Apricot is a complete membership management system designed to fit your organization. Manage your contacts, process payments, send out emails, register event attendees, create a website, and more. With a self-serve design and a user-friendly interface, you can customize every aspect of your membership management system. They offer support and community experts as support.

Wild Apricot offers custom domains and integrates with QuickBooks as well. It has good support (and has some great resources and user reviews), even with the free option, and is very customizable. However, if your organization grows rapidly you will quickly outgrow the free version and have to pay monthly fees.

Membership management software features:

  • Application management
  • Committee management
  • Dues management
  • Email marketing
  • Event management
  • Member directory
  • Member portal
  • Member types
  • Member management
  • Membership database
  • Membership renewals
  • Payment processing
  • Website management

Open source membership management software

Open source membership management software platforms are like blueprints that let you build your own, custom-tailored software for your organization. You can download the software source code and customize a solution to your exact specifications.

Depending on the membership management software platform, you may have to get a licensing agreement from the original creator of the software. While the source code is often free or low-cost, you may end up having to hire software developers or consultants to help with your design, implementation, and training.

Pros Cons
  • The open source community is widely known to be a collaborative group that constantly works on improving the software and sharing their results so that you can benefit from their additions.
  • The technical know-how required to set up and maintain these systems can be intimidating for the average practice.

The target customer: Businesses or nonprofits with access to tech-savvy staff, contractors, or consultants.

If you’re certain you want to implement an open source membership management software platform, below are some systems worth considering.

Admidio

Screenshot of Admidio’s event management page

Admidio’s event management page

Admidio is a basic open source management software that focuses on general management, and that can be applied to membership and event management. Although basic on the surface, the features of Admidio range from membership list creation and management to integration with online postings and advertising.

Admidio covers many of the key features of membership management software. It can keep your lists updated, integrates with Excel and can export in .pdf format, and it allows posting online and advertising to your member lists.

However, it does not come packaged with many of the bells and whistles included with other software options, such as Wild Apricot. It does not include payment processing, automatic renewals, or accounting. You may want to consider additional software to supplement these functions.

Features:

  • Event management
  • Member directory
  • Member portal
  • Member types
  • Member database

Tendenci

Screenshot of Tendenci’s customizable dashboard

Tendenci’s customizable dashboard

Tendenci is a membership management software platform that offers events management, online fundraising, content management, and job board modules. It is suitable for associations, educational institutions, healthcare organizations, community foundations, and nonprofits of all sizes.

Tendenci’s administrators help in managing data and communicating with constituents, as well as allowing them to set membership levels to control pricing, track communications, and customize benefits for members.

The open source membership management software platform can also capture donor contact information and website engagement data, which is recorded and used to personalize donor communications. Support is offered via webinars and community forums.

Tendenci is feature- and option-rich, to be sure. However, as with all open source software, it does require some technical expertise to get it up and running. That said, if you don’t want to handle implementation yourself, hosting and support are available as packages purchased on the Tendenci website.

Features:

  • Application management
  • Committee management
  • Dues management
  • Email marketing
  • Event management
  • Member directory
  • Member portal
  • Member types
  • Member management
  • Membership database
  • Membership renewals
  • Payment processing
  • Website management

Other things to consider when searching for membership management software

When selecting membership management software, price isn’t the only thing you need to keep in mind. You’ll want to evaluate the ease of use and ease of learning, available support options, specialized features you may need, integrations with other pieces of software or social media, or security.

Not every free or open source membership management software platform will check all of these boxes, so if you’re not finding what you need from these options, it might be a good idea to seriously consider a more robust paid option.

If you’re still on the fence about whether you should go with free, open source, or paid membership management software, take a look at our Top 20 Report where we collect the 20 best membership management software solutions. Look through comparisons and read real user reviews to help determine whether or not the platform is right for you.


How we chose featured membership management software products

In order to select the free and open source membership management software products listed here, we searched for systems that did two things:

  1. Offered a free, stand-alone version of the software that was not a trial version that required purchase after a limited amount of time.
  2. Met our membership management software market definition:

Membership management software enables communities, associations, clubs, nonprofits, and other membership-based businesses to store and manage member records and track information in an organized member database. The software also allows membership groups to communicate with constituents, facilitate renewals, manage and promote events, share resources, and collect fees.

We selected the most popular products by choosing the highest-ranked in Google search results during the week of November 2, 2020.

Looking for Membership Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Membership Management software solutions.

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About the Author

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Rupal Bhandari

Rupal Bhandari is a specialist analyst covering Sales and Account Management markets. She received her Masters degree from the University of Delhi, India, and has created content for some of the world's leading technology products and companies.

Comments

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Guys
Can anyone please suggest me which is the best software for non profit social Community members data base. I just want the basic information name, email and address. DOB of member, date of membership, volunteer record, membership dues for the year. etc.

Thank you

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Hi Emanuel,

I’ve tried to narrow down a list of freemium options for you that have the features you’ve outlined. Take a look: https://www.capterra.com/membership-management-software/?utf8=%E2%9C%93&pricing_model%5B2%5D=true&feature%5B3%5D=38422&feature%5B7%5D=19471&feature%5B10%5D=19472&commit=Apply+Filters&sort_options=

If you find software that you think best fits your needs, feel free to reach out to them to get more information! Let me know if we can help with anything else!

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Can you please give more insight on the sites and recommend which will be the best to use for a chapter event of 100 plus?
If possible let me know by 6 July.

What we need:
* A way to automate the roster so each member can change keep up their information.

* A way to export info into excel 

* A way to accept dues and it show how has paid and not paid

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Hi Melanie,

While I can’t endorse any single one of these products, a good way to find out if a software solution is a great fit for your nonprofit is to contact the software companies with your individual use case. They will be able to tell you if they can meet your individual needs. Please let me know if you need help finding contact information for any of the vendors on this list, or with anything else during your software search!

Very best,
Tirena

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We are a small non profit community and social club and I am looking for free membership software that is easy to use (some of our Board members are not tech savvy people) …. best ones to use?

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Hey there,

I am wondering if you might have a software suggestion for me. I operate a pottery studio, and I need a very simple way to have members check in when they drop in at the studio. There is no booking process, they can come whenever they want. What I’m looking for is either an iPad with software or a tag they can scan to just check in, and their membership can be set to either ‘active’ or ‘inactive’. I’ve been searching and haven’t found anything like this!! I don’t need to be able to sell memberships on the software, just handle check-ins.

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Hi,

Is there any opensource subscription management software which can be installed on Windows?

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Very good your article. I’m looking for alternatives to Ning. I’ll test some suggestions. Thank you

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I am looking for a system (hosted, Saas) where I can run several
email lists on a
subscription base (list members have to pay per year for being on the list)
aka subscription (paid) based email list membership
for 10000 subscribers.
I do not find here the information which software supports these (basic) features.
any suggestions?

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Thanks very much for the list… test some of them and Admidio so far appears to be easy to get around with and modify.

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Try PoolPass … free for up to 50 members. Simple, no website required.

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I will be starting a nonprofit organization to provide academic services and resources to homeless K-12 students. I am NOT tech savvy and need to find, preferably a free membership software option, to manage approximately 250 student members. Students will create profiles and have to log in to access services/resources. Among the resources available to students will be an online school supply store where students “shop” free of charge, so no payments will be processed. What would be our best option? Please advise. Thanks.

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I like others on the thread, need a solution that is COMPANY based, not individual based. Is there ANY solution out that was first built on the company model? There are many who say they are, but it was an afterthought. If there is not, here is an opportunity. Instead of having each person start with their own email addresses, have them start with the company’s domain name, then go from there, ie swta.org

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Many optins here like Wild Apricot are not open source. They chatge you monthly fees and they host it in a cloud

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Hi,

I am from India. I am part of a non-profit magazine which has subscriptions, to whom we mail the hard copy of magazine. At present, we manage the list of subscriptions on paper. To save a lot of energy, we want to switch to software. Is there an open source software, on which we can manually enter all the details of subscription for example, name, address, contact details , subscription date and subscription duration and then, on the eve of new issue of magazine, we can filter out the subscriptions which are about to expire?

Regards,
Akhil

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Excellent blog article just recently discovered as a result of having only within the past year become web tolerant. The comments are just as beneficial given they provide insight into what people have experienced and the answers offer more options.

My sole criticism of the article is there is no explanation at the very start as to what all of these options have in common: all provide access to their system that puts THEM — not you, the customer and club owner, as it ought to be — in control over the membership! This is a major, major potential problem. I’ve taught myself how to code and am in the process of creating my own platform to meet only my needs from the start, which is scalable — as our membership club grows, so does our system.

All of these limited software platforms are a disservice and cleverly marketing free services to get a club to trust them, then become hooked to them, then when the club is dependent on their system and established, the free option is removed like a rug under your feet and there is a word for this: deception/ horrendous business service.

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You can check out our booking management software.

https://www.goplayr.com/Manager/signup

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GymMaster’s trial is free and unlimited in members – and build specifically membership management in the health & fitness industry. Take a look at https://www.gymmastersoftware.com

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We are looking for a software tool to be used by several high school booster programs under the umbrella PA. Is there a tool that will allow that type of customization? Would it be better for each booster to have their own subscription?

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Anyone have a membership management solution with easy integration to Zapier?
Or, integration to a learning management system like Thinkific?

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Hello,
I am looking for a suitable software for a social movement of about 100 persons that will grow to up a million within the next two years.
Which of these will be the best bet?

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Hi, I work for a nonprofit company in Thailand- we train underprivileged youth in socially contributing topics (family, environment, and social issues). We have already trained almost 1,000 youth during the past 3 years and we want to manage the list of members we have so we can reach out to them quickly and easier than with what we have been doing. We don’t have membership fees, I wonder if we need any software to help on his or are there any tools on any websites we can use? I would really appreciate if there are any comments or suggestions on this. Thanks so much!

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Great list!
I am considering creating a separate site which I will make it be of membership type and remain with my content site. I will then send people to the membership site (in the same niche) until this one start moving on its own.
Would you advise creating it on a subdomain of the content site or to create a totally separated domain for the membership site?

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Looking to set up an alumni database with job title, graduating year, contact info, job sector. We want to allow younger alumni to connect with older alumni for mentoring, the database should be easily sorted by field, job and graduating year etc.

What site would be best for this?

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One potential pitfall for all the above software, is the software used by the hosting company that will host your membership software.

Our Family History Society used Fasthosts to host our website, and Account Manager Lite to manage our membership, and give our members access to the members’ only part of the website where we keep all our data files and back copies of our hjournal.

Fasthosts ‘upgraded’ their Apache server software, which stopped support of several dependencies, and our Account manage Lite stopped working, members couldn’t log in, and the Administrator was locked out. This was all due to paths to PERL being changed, and other issues concerning versions of PHP. Fasthosts was not interested in helping with 3rd party software residing on their servers, and the people at Account Manager Lite did not even respond to a request for help for the free version of their software, and have an expensive technical support service.

What is really need is a hosting company that also provides membership management facilities, so there is no passing the buck when problems happen, or when they decide to upgrade or change their hosting software.

Can anyone recommend such a company?

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Sorry to butt in again, but we just published a full guide on how to use Wild Apricot’s free account that might help: http://www.wildapricot.com/blogs/newsblog/2017/01/31/free-membership-management-software-wild-apricot 🙂

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Hi,
I’m looking for software to manage a not for profit charity membership who provide support services for children with Down Syndrome up to the age of 16. We are looking for a free service as we are completely self funding and any additional cost would take funds away from critical services.
I need to be able to manage basic member info, joining date, personal details, dietary requirements and be able to send donation reminders for annual subscriptions and event ticket fees plus share fundraising event details. We already have a facebook page and a website that if possible we could link to.
Do you have any suggestions on the best option for software? We have around 90 members currently and are expanding continually.
Thanks
Jo

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So great to see Wild Apricot at the top of the list! Thanks 😀

For anyone interested, here’s a full list of Wild Apricot’s free/paid features: http://www.wildapricot.com/pricing

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Can you give me to low cost membership software list ?

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I need to scan barcoded key tags with basic member information behind them. Have a welcome screen where members can scan in and out, and we capture their visits with a time/date stamp. Is there a free program that does this? HELP!

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I just want to update that SilkStart is not free now. I am always looking for software like this, Thanks for sharing.

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Hi everyone,

I’m the co-founder of Raklet and we’re building the world’s leading online community management platform. You can manage your members, donors and any sort of contacts on our platform. It’s free up to 1000 contacts as we’d like to support small organizations. It’s still affordable if you have less than 2,500 contacts which is only $79/month.

Please checkout our reviews on Capterra as well.

https://www.raklet.com

Thanks,

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Hi.

I represent a white label solution provider for the sports industry. We would be interested to explore the possibility of creating a professional white label management platform, do you think there would be a market for something like this?

Thanks!

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Hey Leah,

I’ve got one more:
GumRoad.com
it may not be the best platform in this world, but I like it and find it very useful (at least for now).

Best regards,
Milan

[…] But before choosing any membership management software you should be aware of the features of a great membership management software. […]

[…] to management membership software is easy. After purchasing you can either employ a non-technical staff manage the system. A good person […]

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Hiya, can you comment at all on the security on any of these? We are a small non-profit and have a membership that needs to be kept very private and could have safety implications for members if it were hacked. Does this mean that we would need to go with the costly databases?

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Re GroupSpaces, mentioned in above article. Take my advice and stay away from it! When we first used it (before the originators sold it a year or so ago), it was fine and customer support was ok. Now, there is NO customer support; no phone number; no help desk and all emails go unanswered! To top it off, it is now bouncing all emails sent to particular addresses, e.g. ‘hotmail’, so we have no way of communicating with all our members.

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Hey …….

thanks everyone for your splendid work and with all the information about some different software that brings a difference in our society.
We really appreciate your effort and this platform.

well I’m a Secretary of a very small non profit organisation that has just started from the early February this year.
And I’m looking for a free app or software that can help us to create our logo as an organisation and some paperwork to keep the working process smooth ( i.e for events, campaign or other sort of perm flat ).

it must be able to run even in Southern Africa in terms of net work

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Hello I’m looking open source members management software or paid that can be place in our own server that has chat feature
Thanks

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