SilkStart was not the least expensive of the alternatives we evaluated, but was also not the most expensive. On balance it delivered good value for money.
Some other association management platforms may appear to be inexpensive, but to get the same functionality as SilikStart would have required bolting on additional 3rd party modules and probably some IT skills to enable them. In the end, they were of no better value. SilkStart kept it simple
Starting with the website, we found the available templates yielded clean and contemporary page designs that helped communicate professionalism to members.
Integration of a dynamic member directory into the website gives small members an opportunity to showcase themselves and realize a mini website as part of the perks of joining the organization. With SilkStart, this was easy to do - even for people with limited experience on website publishing.
SilkStart also streamlined the membership acquisition process by making it faster and easier for new members to join and for the organization to receive payment. A process that used to take days was reduced to minutes.
Collecting member fees is usually a headache for organizations and can require significant resources to follow up with members to collect payment. With SilkStart, members receive reminders of their renewal and, if they do not pay on time, SilkStart can continue to send reminders and serve as a virtual collection agency.
Many organizations hold events - either as their primary raison d'etre or as fundraisers. With SilkStart, we were easily able to set up events, ticket pricing tiers and create and send messages to promote them.
For my client, integration with their QuickBooks system was important. SilkStart delivered.
It would have been nice to have a dashboard for administrators, to give them a quick overview of the organizations member status and activities.
A member acquisition funnel (like a sales funnel) would be helpful, but is not currently available.
I did a lot of research before choosing SilkStart and while the cost was a little more than the other comparable options, I felt that the customer service was extremely important and worth the extra cost. From the start, the people from SilkStart were very helpful and knowledgeable. Having never built a website and starting essentially from scratch, they helped guide me through the process and make important decisions on what to include in both the website content and database information captures, how to prioritize and tutorials on how to manage both the website and the database. We launched our site 5 months ago and we are so happy with the website. We are in the midst of registering for a big conference and the set up was easy for us to do. We were able to offer multi sessions within the conference as well as a variety of ticket options which has been extremely helpful. We had a few questions along the way, and after submitting a ticket, we had the questions answered within a couple of hours. SilkStart was a great choice for us!
Ease of use, many tutorials and FAQ to help problem solve, easy access to support with quick response time.
The cost was a little higher than that of others we compared.
Thanks Tricia. We're glad to hear that our commitment to ongoing customer support was one of the things that won you over. Its great to hear the conference setup was also easy for you.
One my major tasks in my first year of employment was to select a new platform for our ageing website and to find an AMS so that we could consolidate our various contacts. I researched a number of options and finally settled on SilkStart. Silkstart offers current technology (updates are frequently rolled out), fresh, modern looking templates and a robust contact/event management system.
The pricing is comparable to other more popular software solutions without the burden of a contract. The staff have been fantastic, and the transition was very smooth. It was also important that we find a Candian solution to our needs.
I would not hesitate to recommend SilkStart.
Cost effective, fresh templates. various design options with the use of the many widgets available.
Not really a con, but the SilkStart is targeting a segment of the not-for-profit market.
Thanks Martin. We pride ourselves on making the transition to SilkStart a painless experience and I'm glad to hear that you're finding SilkStart's features robust. Our modern website templates and technology help your organization stand out online and I'm glad to see this helped us stand out over the competition.
Our organization is thrilled with our new website backed by SilkStart’s robust platform. With this website, we get the best of both worlds: an award-winning website that projects a modern online image, without having to spend the effort to put it together. From the beginning, our site has been easy to use and we can make our own updates with no technical skills required. The features they develop are exactly what we need. SilkStart gets organizations. Truly. End of story.
If we do run into any snags, Silkstart’s topflight customer service is super responsive. Silkstart takes care of us by providing a highly customizable event calendar to suits our needs as event organizers, but also provides a seamless one-stop registration, payment, and feedback experience to out without changing pages.
Thank you SilkStart for making managing 700 members so easy.
That their software is proprietary. While we've never had a problem with this company, before we came to Silkstart we were left high-and-dry when our web builder went out of business. We were so impressed with Silkstart that we were willing to try again, but we are cognizant that we would have to start from scratch if the same thing happened to them.
We're happy to be customers!
SilkStart provides a super simple interface for quickly managing your website and users. Our organization is completely driven by volunteers, so the simplicity of SilkStart has been a huge help to our small society. We were in a tough situation with our old website a few years ago and the SilkStart team was able to transition our site quickly and successfully.
It's very difficult to find something negative to say about SilkStart. We have only had a couple of small issues over the past few years and all of those were addressed perfectly with unbelievable turnaround.
We have been working with SilkStart for over a year now. Through challenges and tribulations of launch and post-launch, training and expectations, SilkStart was very helpful and supportive of our needs. Though the answers were not always what I wanted to hear, they always conveyed with more than just a "yes" or "no" that helped me understand the bandwidth and capacity of the program and the developers.
Modules cover all the aspects of the business we need. The lay-out of the back-end is very clear and it is easy to understand how to navigation among the modules. When we had a problem with communications, they understood and developed a comprehensive group email program that is light years ahead of what it was when launched. They are good at explaining timelines, sprints and priorities.
Communications module still needs a lot of work. The templates are very glitchy, image library is difficult to use and cannot manage the images in any order. There's no easy way to send an event notice without creating it in group email module and building from scratch. The bandwidth of the developers, while improved, still seems limited and I'm not really sure where their priorities lie relative to our business functions and requirements.
Thanks Kim. We appreciate that you value the support you receive and the value for money SilkStart provides. We're delighted to have such a progressive multi-chapter association on our platform and look forward to continuing to develop our features to meet your unique needs.
We have seen an increase in membership renewals and retention.
We love being able to see and communicate with all members across all chapters and the ability to have paper and online purchase processes available. The members love the ease of renewals and management of their communication preferences.
We still use physical member cards and the printing of the cards is not easy. They are working with us to come up with a solution.
Website is much easier to update, members can self serve their changes, invoicing is MUCH easier, recording payments is MUCH easier, reports are easy to create and use. Overall very happy except for the speed of the site - which means even with all these great improvements, I'm not really spending any less time.
It's got pretty much all the features and functionality we could want, and the customer service is great - they have build new features or suggested work arounds when the software couldn't do what we needed. Great value.
The whole site is incredibly slow. Mostly the Admin site, but often the main pages as well. Sometimes the save logic is a bit weird - it asks me to confirm I want to leave a site without saving, when I haven't made any changes. I can live with this, but would really like the admin pages to be faster.
I'm very happy to hear that SilkStart is saving you time on many of the organizational processes that you previously spent more time and effort on. We are always measuring the speed of our sites and are focused on making the entire SilkStart experience faster for you. We are currently releasing a database update in Sept that we hope will significantly improve your site speed.
It's easy to use and gives our alumni the ability to search each other and communicate directly. I will be using the file sharing and message boards often.
Can't add chapters to our site on our own. Our organization will be changing rapidly so it will be best for us to add chapter pages ourselves.
Thanks for the great feedback PJ! Our entire team was very excited to launch the Seattle University Alumni Association on our multi-chapter platform. It's great to hear that it's already been making your job easier. Our goal is to give our clients more power to add additional chapter networks after their launch on their own. For now, we pride ourselves on a quick turnaround when a new chapter is requested to be added. If you have any other recommendations for speeding up this process for you, I'd be happy to hear them.
When we launched our site back in 2009 it had all the bells and whistles. But as time went by, best practices took a new shape and Drupal snuck out the back door. The Silkstart team listened to all of our concerns, paid attention to our wish lists and threw in extra tools to make the entire site seamless. VIATEC was the first to use SilkStart's job board platform, and boy did they deliver.
The Job Board was critical as it is one of our largest revenue generators, and helps attract new talent to Victoria. Job Posters can now purchase and manage their own listings, and job seekers can easily search the user-friendly platform. Transactional data is also easily captured in SilkStart.
The new VIATEC.ca is not only what we were in need of, but it actually represents who we are and allows us to show off our members more efficiently.
We now have an all-in-one system that is super simple and easy to maintain. As a bonus, their team quickly responds to our feedback and works with us to use their software to accomplish our association's goals. SilkStart for the win!
Thanks Tessa. It's great to have a progressive technology association like VIATEC on board with us. We feel it challenges us to continually work to improve the platform so that we can continue to meet your needs. Your organization is also a stellar example to our other customers, and we regularly showcase your job board and how effective it is at generating non dues revenue for your association.
As the newly elected President of the Italian American Studies Association, I knew that our website required a redesign. Only three years earlier, our organization updated our website, but it had issues. I had never looked for a company that specialized in redesigning websites, so I started with Google searches. I found several companies and began interviewing each one. With each online demonstration, SilkStart became the clear leader in the responsiveness from its members to my numerous emails and features that they offered small organizations like IASA (we have approximately 500 members). Once the Executive Council voted in favor of hiring SilkStart, the one-on-one personalization that we received reinforced the confidence in our decision.
The team works diligently with you and your members. In our case, the webmaster of our website and myself went through training and approved each stage of the redesign. In fact, SilkStart were willing to create certain widgets that they didn't offer as we were working together to finalize the site. The new platform works across all devices such as tablets, smart phones, and desktops. Our old website was unable to do this. Ultimately, I highly recommend Shaun and the team at SilkStart for any organization, small or big, that is looking to redesign their website.
Alan, thanks for this review and for choosing to come on board with us here at SilkStart. Your new mobile friendly website looks great!
Overall I highly recommend this software for organizations which want to promote their their members.
I was very satisfied with everything they did and with how quickly they were able to set everything up because I know other products can take up to a year to be fully functional
The editing capabilities of this software is brilliant, I loved that it was so intuitive to do things that even my most technologically challenged staff could figure it out
integration with our accounting software
social media features really helped boost our image
It's pretty much everything we needed in one easy place
The 30-day trial thing doesn't really do the software justice so we almost didn't choose it
Thanks Lynn. I recently reread your review and realize you make an excellent point. We offer a free 30 day trial of the software so you can see firsthand what it looks like and how it works. We do this because many of our competitors hide their product behind a sales team and you only get to use it once you sign on. That aside, I agree that a demo by a member of our team, plus taking a look at other customer sites we have built is the best way to really see what we are capable of. The trial doesn't totally do that justice as everything isn't yet configured to your specific needs.
We looked at a dozen platforms before decided on SilkStart. It was the clear leader in our investigation and we've never had a moment of regret in choosing it.
We use Silkstart to manage a local social club in Switzerland. It has been a revelation in helping us reduce costs, improve our support to members, and minimize admin time for event management. It's a powerful platform that has a keen eye for the details. And the quality of the support is off the charts. All-in-all it's just a pleasant, well designed platform/service that does what it does well and seems to keep improving with new features.
The website builder in the standard package is quite simple and might not be robust enough for all uses.
We needed a website that tied together online registration with our member database, job board, event calendar, and news articles. SilkStart delivered with a mobile-friendly platform that presents our organization to the public in a professional and modern manner. Their support team is always there to respond to our questions and assists us in improving our site.
Sometimes the software is less intuitive than desired for task at hand.
Ease of use - not only as an administrator but also as a member Easy to customize and promote individual events or annual events. Working with SilkStart team.
I don't find it intuitive. The help boards are great. If you ask the right question, SilkStart is quick to respond and provide the answer. However, if you don't ask the question, they don't always volunteer the information. Would like the customer relationship management (internal) side of the database to be more developed.
Hi Carol, it's been a pleasure working with you and your team. I'm ecstatic that SilkStart has been easy for you to use as a relatively new customer. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and going above and beyond for our customers. We continually release new in-app help tools, so please contact support if you have any suggestions for items we could add help for.
Very happy to have signed on!
Lots of functionality. Everything most small orgs would need. These guys really want to make it work for you. I am a very small client, but they still care a lot..
If you have a burning need, can be tough to get immediate help on the phone - so plan ahead. But they are also a small SaaS company with limited resources, so you need to realize that..
Staff and support team are top notch and are a real credit to the service. Developers are skilled and resourceful. Everyone deserves raises.
Features are restrictive with no improvements on the near horizon for my needs. Basic developments cost additional money but have no exclusivity to the user who funded them. Basic features did not work as intended and I spent personal time helping team troubleshoot their own system. Using Silkstart almost cost me my job when things did not work correctly, have lost customers due to the product not working as intended.
While this is certainly a critical review, I appreciate your candidness.
I'm very glad you are happy with our Customer Support. It's something we pride ourselves on. Everyone is paid market rate salaries, but I'll pass along that you feel raises are in order. :)
While our platform is designed to meet the needs of most member-based organizations, we realize that not every association is a perfect match to our feature set.
As new features are released, we announce them to our customers in our monthly newsletter and in release notes on our blog. I hope that future releases will benefit your organization and allow us to better support AAOMC long-term. Of course, we try to release features that will bring the most value to all of our varied customers.
Increased membership, excellent online marketing, stronger messaging.
This is the easiest and effective association management software on the market! From membership management, invoicing and communication, it all works very easy. Our events look better and are opened more frequently. Our membership is growing. And the website is terrific.
The Silkstart experience has been a mixed bag - but silkstart was the first cost-effective multi-chapter association software package that we found that really did do what we asked for. There are a lot of features that should be there but aren't and a lot of features that work strangely. But the package as a whole meets our needs and is continually evolving and improving. I don't think we could do better for the money - and since we are willing to go for the ride with the company - we are grateful to be part of the push and pull that makes good software great.
We appreciate the opportunity to get to work with SSPI as our first multi-chapter customer and to develop something new for you.
I'm glad you feel we're good value for the money, that SilkStart Multi-Chapter is doing what you asked for, and that you see we are quickly evolving.
In the past year, SilkStart Multi-Chapter has become a large part of our overall business and we greatly appreciate all of your input and help to take it from good to great.
For years, our professional association struggled with a website management company that was not responsive to our needs. Based on the recommendation of a sister association, we chose to move our website to the SilkStart platform. The staff at SilkStart helped us redesign our website and upgrade to a fresh, modern design. In addition, we now have the ability to manage our website on a day to day basis. As a volunteer-led organization, it is critical to have a website that is easy to use on both the front and back end. SilkStart made this possible. Most importantly, the customer support has been excellent. SilkStart listens to its customers and responds to those needs in a timely fashion. We have been very pleased with the services and support provided by SilkStart and highly recommend them to any organization looking for an effective member management software platform.
Hi Janice, Thanks for this review. We do our best to listen to our customers and respond to your needs in a timely fashion, so it great to hear this from you.
We recently migrated our old WP build with plugins duct taped together to give us the functionality we were after. There was no such thing as AMS when I built it.
After much research into AMS packages, SilkStart was the clear winner. Being based and hosted in BC, we get to keep our Canadian data on Canadian soil. Their packages are reasonably priced, and regardless of service tier, the UX is simple and intuitive. And while site templating is done by their build team, the custom CSS panel allows tweaks if you know your way around code.
A bit more control over the template framework apart from the custom CSS would be great for the end users that have the know-how.
Thank you George. One of the value propositions we describe to customers is the advantages of SilkStart¿s all-in-one platform compared to Wordpress + several plugins cobbled together. Great advice on giving additional controls to sophisticated users.
We use SilkStart on behalf of our communication system clients. It is a solid platform but do not fool yourself into thinking it is turnkey. You must have an ace pilot at the controls in order for SilkStart to do everything they tell you it will do. We relay heavily on support, which is good. The system could be more configurable and it ought to (but doesn't) include SMS.
The user interface and the support.
It is not as configurable as it should be. We think that for the price it should be doing more for us.
Stephen, Thanks so much for your review. You are absolutely right that AMS platforms are like a vehicle that requires someone at the controls. We're delighted you rate our support, features and functionality so highly and hope we can continue to make it deliver increasing value to you.
This software is fairly basic and makes life pretty easy for those in the office who need some simple things.
It's clunky and slow. Customizing pages is very difficult and a challenge. Google Page Speed gives the site very low marks, especially on mobile. The email tool is difficult. Overall, the package feels very late 90's.
Silkstart has been with us right from the start up process helping with initial design and importing membership at the time. Support staff are responsive and timely whenever an issue arises that cannot be resolved with the online support. They have taken suggestions and improved functionality in many areas. Other suggestions have been retained for future improvements and I am contacted when suggestions I have made are going live.
Newsletters are full of suggestions about how to use the program/functions. There is even an excellent referral program.
Thanks Holly! It's great to hear you're happy with our support. It's something we pride ourselves on and a big differentiator for us in the market.
SilkStart is one of the easiest pieces of software I have EVER used! I am confident that my chapter leaders can learn to use it with ease. I think that as it grows it's feature set will continue to round out. Custom development options would be nice. Also recurring meetings. I could see third-party plugins in the future. Great job overall though!
Thank you Amanda! In all honesty you have been one of the easiest customers to work with due to your technical skills and ability to implement things in our multi-chapter platform on your own. We were delighted to work with your organization and are happy you are satisfied with the end result.