Which Free Membership Software is Best For
Your Nonprofit?

free membership software campaign
As a member-based nonprofit, you are probably already dealing with a lot of coordination. You have your volunteers and board members to keep track of, as well as the most important part: your cause.

On top of all of this, you might have a membership structure within your organization that needs tracking and monitoring. That just adds to the pile of hats you already have to rotate through as a nonprofit manager.

But the good news is you can make membership management easier - and cheaper - with membership software. This type of software allows you to track recurring members and lapsed members, so you can get a better sense of how to make your supporters happy. It can also help you manage event registrations and deal with refunds or cancellations.

The problem is that there are so many options out there, and some of them are just not worth the cost. So how do you know which one will give you everything you need at a price that will not break the bank? How do you know which one will give you everything you need, perhaps, for free? We have done the research, and we are here to share it with you. This is what we have found:

What is a Membership Software? 

First things first: Membership software helps nonprofits keep track of their members. It provides the means for your organization to manage its members, as well as any events or fundraisers they are involved in and any donations they have made.

This is one of the most important tools a nonprofit can use to stay organized. As such, it is worth the time and effort to carefully and purposefully go over each feature a company offers to suss out which ones will be most applicable to your charity.

How to Choose a Free Membership Software

While many of the elements we list in the rest of the article will apply to the needs of all nonprofits, some are less universal. Here is what to take note of in a charity membership management software:

You should consider selecting a solution that will:


Your members need to be able to rely on their software as much as you do. Look at the company's reputation and ask around among other organizations that use it to see if they have any complaints. Read reviews online and get a feel for what the company stands for. If the company mentions that they really focus on providing the best customer service possible, it might be worth looking into their product more.

Simplicity of Use

You do not want your members to get frustrated with their registration process. Make sure that the software has an intuitive interface and is easy to navigate on mobile devices as well as desktop computers.


You will want someone there when you have questions or run into problems with your membership software. Check out how responsive they are and if they have phone support available 24/7 so that you can get help when you need it most (like during tax season).

Features of a Good Nonprofit Membership Management Software

If a feature is not important to your organization, then do not bother paying extra for it! But if there is something specific that would really help out with your organization's needs, like automated emailing or receipt generation, check into whether or not it is included in the company’s free software package. If it is not, consider paying a little more for it.

Potential Solutions

Here is a short list of some of our top membership software picks, with more details below.

#1 Springly 

Springly membership software is the single best tool for managing your membership-based business. This software allows you to manage your customers, memberships, and products all in one place.

Here are some of the pros of using Springly membership software:
  • It is easy to use.
  • It has a beautiful interface that looks great on any device.
  • You can customize the software to suit your needs and make it as simple or comprehensive as you want it to be.
  • You can track all of your memberships in one place so you can see at a glance how well each one is doing and what needs work.

#2 MembersGear 

MembersGear is a free membership software that is easy to use and provides a variety of features. MembersGear is open source, which means you can download the code and customize it to your needs, if you have developer experience.

If you are looking for something with more flexibility but do not want to pay for it, MembersGear may be a good option for your organization.

MembersGear is actually designed to help you run your gym or fitness club, but it can be used by just about any nonprofit. With MembersGear, you can easily manage member information, automate payments, schedule classes and events, and more.

MembersGear membership software pros include the ability to:
  • Manage memberships and payment plans.
  • Automate payments.
  • Schedule classes and events.
  • Sell merchandise in your gym or fitness club.

#3 MemberPlanet 

MemberPlanet is another powerful membership software. It can be used to manage your members, donations, and store. MemberPlanet also has many other features that make it a great choice for nonprofits, including:
  • A blog with full editing capabilities.
  • An online store where you can sell things like T-shirts or stickers.
  • A forum for members to interact with each other and your nonprofit organization.
MemberPlanet’s forum functionality can be used as an extension of your email newsletters in addition to being its own platform. The forum comes with built-in search capabilities so people can find answers without having to ask them on social media channels like Twitter or Facebook, which are more public than private forums would be.

MemberPlanet also offers several other tools including an event calendar, a wiki tool (like Wikipedia), and even analytics so you know what is working best for your nonprofit!

#4 WildApricot Free Edition 

WildApricot Free Edition is one of the most popular free membership management solutions. WildApricot is known for its ability to:
  • Manage members and subscriptions with no limits on the number of members, subscriptions, or customers.
  • Easily create members and customer groups.
  • Send customized email marketing campaigns to your members or customers with one click.
  • Create online surveys to find out what your members want from their experience with your organization and how they feel about the programs/services offered by your nonprofit organization. The survey results will show up in real-time as they are submitted so that you can track the results as they come in (no need for you to wait until the scheduled date).

Final Thoughts  

With any luck, one of those options will be perfect for your membership management needs. Remember to check reviews to give yourself a better idea of what each software is like to utilize on a daily basis!
Super Scalable
Automated Emailing
Seamless Integration
Beautiful Interface
Great Support

Try it, test it, love it, don’t live without it