Six pitfalls of free membership management software

Running a member-based organization takes time and effort, especially if you find yourself having to coordinate large groups or schedule multiple events. Membership management software is a great way to get organized, and free software can help you do just that. Unfortunately, some options can end up costing you the time and money you’re looking to save.

1. Security

When you hold information on members, you’re legally responsible for keeping this information safe. You can confirm how secure a paid system is. It’s harder with a free system, meaning your members’ details may be at risk.

2. Capacity

The size of your member base determines the membership software you choose to some degree. Free software often limits the number of members you can add to the system or charges you above a certain amount. They might also limit the amount of information you can hold on members or overall data storage, which could be a problem.

3. Design

Free membership software can sometimes be used by programmers to test new systems or promote a new business, meaning you could find yourself with high-quality software at no cost. More often than not, however, free software doesn’t reach the design standards that paid software reaches, nor does it offer the same level of functionality.

4. Support

Not everything goes to plan when it comes to using the software. If your system crashes or you lose data, you need to be sure you can access the support you need to fix the problem. You can guarantee this help will be there with paid software; you can’t be sure when that software was free.

5. Updates

Software developers are always looking to improve the quality and functionality of their products. When they do, they roll out updates, all of which are normally included within the purchase price. This isn’t always true for free software. Some are updated regularly but many aren’t, meaning your data could be at risk.

6. Advertising

One of the ways free software developers cover their costs is to run adverts that pop up while you’re working, slowing you and your systems down. By paying for your membership management software, you don’t need to deal with unnecessary ads, saving yourself time and – despite the cost of the system itself – money in the long run.