We set out to review the membership engagement software that is currently available to cooperatives.  This is based on publicly available information, we'd love to hear from you if you are aware of any inaccuracies or if you want us to include another provider.

Hivebrite

https://hivebrite.com/

“A powerful online community platform, Hivebrite provides top organisations with all the tools they need to build, manage, and engage their community.”

Description

Hivebrite is a cloud-based online community management platform for incubators, businesses, schools, and nonprofits including institutions with limited resources. It helps organisations build brand engagements and opportunities for members to network with people around the world. It features a member directory, a dashboard, an events page, a media centre, groups, job boards, a member inbox, fundraising and online membership.

Features
Member management Website Content Management System
External CMS integration News
Document/file sharing Event management
Membership dues payments Ticketing
Groups Messaging

Cons:

  • No payments
  • No surveys
  • No web widget
  • No SMS support

Pricing:

Around $500 per month for the basic plan.

Our verdict:

Hivebrite has seen a lot of growth in a relatively short time with over 300 communities using its platform globally.  The platform is easy to customise and has good features for communication between members and different levels of admin.  However, it's pretty expensive when compared to some of its rivals and lacks membership dues.

Joinit

https://www.joinit.org/

"Joinit provides tools to run your organisation and automate repetitive tasks, so that you spend less time managing your members.”

Joinit is a cloud-based membership management solution built for small and midsize businesses. It allows users to build a centralised membership database, search contacts, create web pages and more.

Features
Member management
Embeddable website widget
Membership tiers and payments
Event management via Eventbrite
Member surveys (for feedback only)

Cons:

  • No mobile app
  • External event management
  • No custom survey capability
  • No messaging

Pricing:

Starting at $29/month for 1,000 members.

Our verdict:

A low-cost, no-frills solution with basic member management and payment collection. It lacks some of the customisation capabilities of some of its rivals and the lack of a good mobile experience for members could be quite limiting for some communities.

Higher Logic

https://www.higherlogic.com/

“Higher Logic have defined the online community space for more than 10 years by delivering innovative, purpose-built solutions for customers based on their industry, need, and stage.”
Features
Member management Learning/training
Event management Membership payments

Cons:

  • No surveys
  • No CMS integration
  • No mobile app

Our verdict:

If you're looking for something more bespoke and less "off-the-shelf", then Higher Logic could be worth a shot.  They take a more project-based approach as well as providing some expertise in the learning space which could be attractive for some communities.

Clowder

https://www.clowder.com/

“Our configured solution enhances your organisation’s ability to connect members, employees and stakeholders where they live - on their phones. Think of it as your own private social network.”
Features
Member management Forums
Ad revenue creation News
Document/file sharing Event management
Membership payments IOS/Android app
Groups Messaging
Polls

Cons:

  • No payments
  • No SMS integration
  • No web widget
  • No website/CMS integration

Pricing:

Starts at $1,495/month.

Our verdict:

Clowder has particular expertise with mobile apps, so could be a good choice if a mobile-centric solution is important for your community.  The feature list is also pretty good.  It's likely to be more of a project-based implementation given their expertise is in creating mobile applications.  However, their pricing is definitely at the higher end of the scale.

Advanced Solutions International (IMIS Cloud)

https://www.advsol.com/

“iMIS fuses database management and web publishing in a cloud-based member engagement management system (EMS)™ leading to operational efficiencies, revenue growth, and continuous performance improvement.”
Features
Member management Website Content Management System
External CMS integration News
Document/file sharing Event management (via Eventbrite)
Membership payments (via Openedge) Mobile app (via Clowder)
Task scheduling Fundraising management

Cons:

  • Potentially slow to start due to project based implementation via approved ISVs

Pricing:

Not available (probably custom)

Our verdict:

ASI has been around for many years and has a sizeable customer base.  Their product history even pre-dates the Internet.  They have recently partnered with Microsoft to help them take their solution into the cloud.  Their success appears to be built on key partnerships with Integrated Solution Vendors and vendors such as Clowder and Higher Logic.   They are likely to be at the higher end of the scale in terms of pricing and their implementation is likely to be more bespoke and tailored.   Their list of features is among the largest of the vendors discussed in this document.

SheepCRM

https://getsheep.co.uk/

"SheepCRM helps socially good organisations save time, increase income and make a bigger difference."
Features
Member management Lifecycle emails and reminders
Members mobile app Newsletters (via Mailchimp)
Membership payments (via Stripe and GoCardless) Event management
Ticketing

Cons:

  • No SMS integration
  • No CMS Integration
  • No integrated news (only via Mailchimp)
  • No real-time chat/groups
  • No forums
  • No Surveys

Pricing:

$124/month up to 1,000 members, $625/month for 10,000 members.

Our verdict:

SheepCRM is a relative newcomer and they are still playing catch-up when it comes to features and their pricing reflects that as well.  It looks likely they will live up to their promise of a providing a good user experience.  So if you're looking for basic features and easy to use software, give them a try.  

Anycoop

https://anycoop.zone/

"Anycoop is an all-in-one service designed specially for cooperatives and members.  A mobile first solution which is accessible both online and offline even on SMS.  Anycoop makes it easy for cooperatives of all sizes to share knowledge, automate admin tasks and engage with  members using the devices they already own."
Features
Member's directory Custom Surveys
Messaging Groups
Mobile app News
Fully functional via SMS Web widget
Forums Event management
FAQs Marketplace

Cons:

  • No CMS Integration
  • No payments
  • No membership tiers
  • No ticketing

Pricing:

Free for first 20 members, then $99/month up to 1,000 members.

Our verdict:

Anycoop provides a decent list of feature, although it lacks the membership dues and payments capabilities of some of the other providers.  Anycoop is built with a "mobile-first" mindset and even works via interactive SMS messaging.  So if it's important for you to stay connected with your members anytime and anywhere, then give Anycoop a try.

Help us to help you.  Take our survey so that we can learn more about the digital needs of cooperatives and improve Anycoop.