Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 55 seconds

wild apricotLaunched in 2006, Wild Apricot is a membership management tool that is used by over 20+ thousand organizations around the world. With Wild Apricot, nonprofits are able to operate their company’s website, email donors and volunteers, supervising finances, and manage events within one user interface. Instead of the hassle of logging into several different accounts, a charity only has to log into Wild Apricot to manage multiple activities.

The founder and current CEO Dmitry Buterin saw the value that Wild Apricot had to offer, especially for nonprofits.  This software essentially simplified the process of running an organization. And with limited staff and capital, nonprofit organizations and charities can spend less time managing their members and more time fundraising and helping their constituents. Wild Apricot is free to use for small organizations that have one administrator and under 50 contacts. For larger nonprofits there are five other tiers that they can choose from to fit their needs.

It’s also worth noting that Wild Apricot has a “Wishlist Forum” for users. Users can write down ideas and vote on how the software can improve. Each month, Wild Apricot programmers, designers and staff get together to see if they can come up with solutions to these problems.


In Use:
With Wild Apricot, organizations can run their nonprofit using this platform. They can email donors, organize an event, post on social media and even create a website with Wild Apricot’s numerous templates. The idea behind this tool is that it’s an all-in-one solution. This especially comes in handy when the nonprofit is volunteer lead or there are minimal staff who wear many hats.

Delving deeper into the software; if a user wants to create a website, they have numerous templates to choose from. These templates range from different colors to different backgrounds, each offering a clean look no matter what the organization is. Another plus is that donors can pay online with no transaction fees. Organizations can also record payments made by cash or check.

Technology Used:
Wild Apricot is internet-based and users do not have to download any actual software. While this means that users can access their finances or plan an event from virtually anywhere- there is a certain amount of security risk that comes with this.

Ease of Use:
It’s important for nonprofit software to be easy to use. Unlike their business counterparts they don’t have money to hire programmers or other tech-savvy individuals to create websites and fix tech related bugs. According to Wild Apricot’s Content Manager Terry Ibele, “We built our system to be used by non-‘techies’ because we realized quite early on that membership managers don't have a lot of time to try to figure things out.” While many users don’t have any issues navigating Wild Apricot’s website, other users do have problems leading them to believe that the software isn’t as easy to use as they had expected. That being said, Wild Apricot offers customer service for users who are having difficulties navigating the website. 

Recap:
The membership management platform, Wild Apricot lets nonprofits utilize their time by logging into one website for most of their needs. Wild Apricot allows members to plan events, email volunteers, and create a website using multiple website templates. For nonprofits always on the go, Wild Apricot offers a mobile app that is compatible with both the iPhone and Androids.

Advantages:

  • Free for smaller nonprofits that have under 50 contacts and one administrator.

  • There are numerous webinars that ensures that users are receiving the latest information about Wild Apricot

  • “Wishlist Forum” shows that the company is constantly trying to improve their software for the sake of the customer

  • Disadvantages

  • Being a web-based tool there are always security risks that can arise

  • The company boasts that their user face is easy to use yet some users have difficulty navigating the website as well as some of the solutions.

  • My Opinion:
    If you are a smaller nonprofit that is looking for a membership management tool, I would suggest you give Wild Apricot a try. What do you have to lose? It’s free. And for larger nonprofit organizations- they can utilize a free thirty-day trial. After the thirty days they can decide if Wild Apricot is right for them.

    I really appreciate the “Wishlist Forum.” Each month staff gets together along with $250K to see if they can improve their software. This constant evolution of the software ensures that the platform is getting better every month. What may have been an issue four months ago has already been solved. For me, the idea that “customers come first” and actually backing up that claim is a breath of fresh air.


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    Danielle Loughnane

    Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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