Trusted by over 23,000 organizations and voted the number one membership management software for six years in a row, Personify’s Wild Apricot software has been helping companies across the globe spend less time on administrative tasks and more on what really matters — boosting their membership base. But is it tailored to suit everyone’s needs? To check this, we analyzed multiple Wild Apricot reviews and tested the product’s capabilities against industry standards. Read on for our findings.
Whether you are running an alumni association, fitness club, or even a sorority, membership management software makes it possible to create online membership directories effortlessly. Wild Apricot was conceived as a one-stop solution for managing memberships, payments, and events and guarantees to help you attract, engage, and retain your membership. And according to Wild Apricot reviews, it is a robust, affordable, and easy-to-use platform. But is it reliable? Does it have all the features a member would expect to find on a website? Let’s find out.
Managing members starts with an effortless online registration process done through a well-built website. And given that customer relations management forms the base of this product, some reviews even refer to Wild Apricot as membership CRM software.
To get started with Wild Apricot, new users only need to import existing data from their Excel spreadsheets and the online member database will become instantly available. From there on, adding more members to your database is all you need to worry about. After all, Wild Apricot’s key focus is to make members’ registration a breeze.
With the membership application, associations, clubs, nonprofits, and small staff organizations can not only automate but also personalize the process making a great first impression on their members. Rather than tiring clients with endless paperwork and making them wait for approval, the Wild Apricot app (available for mobile as well) lets applicants submit any required information.
Wild Apricot administrators can further customize the application process either by enabling multiple membership levels or adding group memberships, an option praised in most of the Wild Apricot membership software reviews we analyzed. Offering discount codes or adding administrator approval is also an option.
As soon as new members complete the registration process, they will get a notification i.e. welcome email. Browsing through the directory to identify members based on membership status, event registration, or outstanding dues, is also available with some of the advanced Wild Apricot features.
The automated membership renewal is another notable feature. Since it’s offered as a self-service option (users just have to log in to their profile), administrators don’t have to “hunt down” members to remind them their subscription is about to expire.
Instead, they can focus on engaging members by giving them access to member-exclusive pages boosted with a directory, forums, newsletters, and other content designed specifically for them. That said, several Wild Apricot reviews indicate that for organizations using a WordPress website, integration is somewhat challenging.
Finally, the Wild Apricot membership software lets admins choose between creating public, members-only, or embed mobile-friendly directories on their website which they can customize accordingly so they control what information each directory shares.
Having a centralized website where one can manage members and acquire new ones, is a must for any organization. The Wild Apricot membership software enables clients to custom design their own website or choose one of the platform’s professionally designed responsive themes. Note, however, that the site domain is not included in the price.
Organizations that already have a website meanwhile can link their membership portal to the existing website and add the Wild Apricot widgets for more functionalities. Wild Apricot reviews observe that even though it is not a professional website building software, its customizable templates with protected data access are a good option for organizations with modest needs.
In addition to the website builder, there is also the website management tool so users can always keep their sites up to date. For organizations that wish to go a step further, Wild Apricot has developed mobile-friendly themes. Blogs and forums as a way to encourage interaction and discussions amongst members can also be added to the site, offering more possibilities for feedback and making improvements that cater to your members’ needs.
We, however, came across one Wild Apricot review stating that the site builder needed to be updated as many of the sites look the same and broken up into blocks. The review also claimed that the blogging functionality is somewhat basic and doesn’t allow for posts to be displayed on other pages but is locked to a single blog page.
Whether your members choose to pay their registration or membership fee or make a donation on desktop or mobile, the platform has them covered. Since members can set up recurring payments for their monthly fees or one-time payments for events, the process requires zero effort — just willingness to spend money with your organization.
On that note, more than one Wild Apricot review reveals that because of the secure payment processing, an organization can build their businesses around the software’s capabilities. Plus, the payment feature enables tax management and automatically applies the desired settings to any online transaction.
The Wild Apricot payment software is also a great tool for receiving and tracking donations made through the website. The option to put a donation progress bar on the site makes the fundraising process fun or even competitive, but mainly transparent.
The Wild Apricot API meanwhile lets organizations retrieve or update data stored in a single database, then use it to build a program for updating payments in the Wild Apricot and vice-versa.
PayPal, Stripe, BluePay, and Skrill are only a few of the many payment processing systems supported by the Wild Apricot software. Members can rest assured that their financial data will be securely stored as the vendor adheres to the highest payment security standards (PCI-DSS certifications).
One downside are the 20% Wild Apricot fees that the vendor charges for the recently implemented in-house credit card processing feature, for users who will not switch to their payment processing system. Users further comment that while the software supports recurring payments, there’s no option to track the number of installments and turn off the renewal date once the payment amount has been reached.
Reports generated through the Wild Apricot software are key to organizing your finances and monitoring important KPIs for your club or organization. This tool gives admins an overview of their income by source and payment status, and if a member has an outstanding debt they can choose to act accordingly.
These reports help analyze metrics such as registration, attendance, and payments, and although they are praised by some Wild Apricot membership software reviews, in essence, their customization is very limited. For fully customized reports, users will still have to do some work independently in Excel.
With Wild Apricot’s event scheduling tool admins can create, coordinate, and promote events by posting them on the main website. Whether it’s a recurring or a one-time event, the software will help you display events on the website in a list or calendar format along with descriptions, images, registration information, and details about fee payment.
Our Wild Apricot review can confirm that duplicating and editing events for specific dates is super easy, making it possible for staff to set up a year's worth of events in a matter of hours.
The custom registration forms are a great way to add a personal touch to the event and make your invitees feel appreciated. You can add as many options as your organization needs, including early bird pricing and coupons or members-only pricing.
Another great thing about the Wild Apricot features and tools is that organizations can set the events as public or private. For instance, public events tend to attract new members and thus grow the membership base. On the other hand, as we read in one Wild Apricot review, private events add a pinch of exclusivity which often lure prospective members to join.
The option to cap events to a certain number of registrants helps avoid the hassle of having an overbooked event and can also be convenient for sports clubs with limited space. Another positive thing is that the software is fully web-based so, in case of last-minute changes or additions to the event, users only need an internet connection to relay the information.
Based on Wild Apricot reviews and the overall impression we got from testing this feature, despite the many helpful options, a serious drawback of this software is that it lacks integration with other social media channels. For users, this is an additional task as they have to manually re-post the website’s events and announcements on social media as well.
As your membership base grows, so will your needs for extra features. Luckily, the vendor offers a variety of solutions for that scenario. One option is Integromat which is a tool for automating manual processes and can help you connect between apps and get tasks to run automatically. This tool serves as a bridge connecting Wild Apricot with over 230 other apps and services.
The Wild Apricot API meanwhile can be used to further customize integrations according to your organization’s needs. But even though the vendor has put a lot of effort into integrations, the impression we got from Wild Apricot reviews is that the WordPress and QuickBooks integrations in particular leave a lot of room for improvement.
Wild Apricot’s plans are all defined as monthly bundles and are available without any setup charges. The platform is free of charge for organizations with up to 50 contacts and one admin only. The vendor also provides a 30-day free trial with the same feature set, without reserving any capabilities for premium features which is not something many Wild Apricot competitors offer.
Depending on which bundle best suits your needs, the prices range from $50 per month to $600. The Group and Community bundles cost $50 and $90 per month for 250 contacts/five admins and 500 contacts/ten admins, respectively. If you opt for the Professional plan you will get 2,000 contacts and 25 admins at $130 per month.
Wild Apricot reviews suggest that the pricing should be a bit more flexible as some organizations exceed the number of contacts of a certain plan by a few, but that is as far as they would grow and this puts them in a position of paying significantly more without a real need to do so.
For larger enterprises or nonprofits, there is the Network plan with 5,000 contacts at $240 per month or the Enterprise with 15,000 contacts at $350 per month — both with an unlimited number of admins. The newest addition to the Wild Apricot bundle membership pricing is the Global plan with 50,000 contacts and an unlimited number of admins at $600.
All pricing plans come with a 10% or 20% discount if prepaid for one or two years, respectively. The majority of Wild Apricot reviews praise the fact that users get membership management, a website builder, a mobile app and a responsive mobile website, event and email management, as well as online payments with all the bundles.
The vendor is available on the designated phone number for tech support Mondays to Fridays 10 AM — 5 PM EST, and the same goes for the Wild Apricot billing department. Should you wish to contact the sales team, there is an option to send a request via email or book a call.
The Wild Apricot customer service also includes a Forum which is conceived as a place where users can discuss issues and ideas, as well as suggest new functionalities or improvements to the product.
Multiple reviews further mention that the materials available on the vendor’s website contain detailed and understandable information about the software. Unlike Wild Apricot alternatives, this vendor also hosts webinars to help organizations grow their membership and offers COVID-19 related resources.
Wild Apricot is packed with features like the membership directory, event management, payment, etc., which your organization is probably using separately. And in this regard, it does provide a fuller, more complete solution. On the flip side, there are many other software and website builders that can help you design a more unique website. Still, when we consider the pricing, we have to agree with Wild Apricot reviews that this is a highly affordable solution offering good value for money.