StarChapter

StarChapter

Member-Friendly Association & Membership Management Software

4.5/5 (301 reviews)

StarChapter Overview

StarChapter is a member-friendly association software company serving association chapters across the United States and Canada. StarChapter works directly with local chapter leaders, national trade and professional associations, association management companies (AMC), and other membership-based organizations to provide them with tools for growth.

StarChapter provides local association chapters, nationals and AMCs with tools to help them grow membership, attendance, and revenues whilst simultaneously making their chapter board more productive.

We facilitate efficiency within chapter organizations by helping users to manage everything from event planning, event registration, membership and communication with members; to content, website design and eCommerce.

Newsletter content management, mass email delivery and survey management tools enable valuable communication with members, whilst email delivery tracking reports on email delivery and engagement rates.

StarChapter combines event planning and event registration software capabilities with web design features for association chapter website development. StarChapter’s comprehensive membership management software provides customized chapter website designs, designated project managers for implementation, 24/7 online technical support, and training webinars. StarChapter continually enhances and develops applications and new features to continue meeting the needs of the many chapters they support.

Pricing

Starting from
US$49,00/month
Pricing options
Free Trial
Subscription
Value for money

Devices

Business size

S
M
L

Markets

Canada, United States

Supported Languages

English

StarChapter Reviews

Overall rating
4.5/5
91% positive reviews
173
Excellent
101
Very good
25
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
Dave K.

Room for improvement, but outstanding product & service

Used Weekly for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2019/05/01
Review Source: Capterra

The ACFE has 188 chapters world wide. I'm the Vice President of the San Diego Chapter and a member of our National Leadership Council of 12. I'm asked routinely throughout the US about StarChapter and sing your praises for the outstanding job you do. In hindsight, I'm hoping StarChapter does get the opportunity to begin showing signs of growth and maturity in their website platform and processes.

I'm saying this from a truly humble place myself as I've just taken our own local chapter from 26 members (7 of which were board members) to now over 100 by biting the bullet and making the changes necessary to move us forward.

Pros

Although there's much room for improvement in certain functionalities, StarChapter provides an outstanding product & service and their tech support staff has always been extremely professional and well versed in all things website maintenance.

Cons

1) Somehow your organization needs to find the budget for true novice to intermediate tech support to handle incoming calls, assisting with the rudimentary or emergency items. Currently, Customer Service Agents solely manning the phones to either set up Tech Support Tickets or redirect customers to go online followed by a 24 – 48 hour wait time for an initial response. By the time the client receives their email answer or online chat meeting, it could be 3-6 business days later in total.

Remember, your client’s bottom line is priority #1. If there’s a problem with either of the following (to name a few), you’ve just caused your client unnecessary setback and frustration:
• A problem with their payment gateway connection.
• A problem with their membership or event registration processing correctly
• A problem with email blasts going out correctly

2) Update your website portal to include proper “how to” instructions. I'm sure you feel you’ve already done so but 80-90% of the time, this is not the case for those clients that are self-doers.

3) For 3 years I’ve been working with StarChapter and must have suggested at least a dozen good suggestions for your website engineers to create/fix and still have not seen the changes produced. I’ve even offered to pay out of pocket for these changes and yet still no further action is available.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Celeste S.

StarChapter as a Platform

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2019/05/13
Review Source: Capterra

It’s 100 times better than the Wordpress platform we used previously, especially with regard to the membership piece. The four pieces of advice I would give are that:

1) it will make your life a lot easier if you have a central person who will be mostly responsible for knowing how to use the platform and doing most of the work on it.
2) If you are switching from an existing membership platform to StarChapter, anticipate that there will be bumps. Not horrible, but it will take a decent amount of time once it launches to get your membership acclimated to the new system and make sure the information is correct. Not everything will transfer over exactly the way you thought it would. Emails will need to be verified before anyone will be able to receive what you are sending. There is some hand holding of the membership during this stage.
3) Take time to get your members and non-members verified so that people are actually receiving your emails.
4) If you can, have a payment portal as part of your StarChapter system.

Pros

There is a learning curve to get familiar with the program, but once you do, it is pretty straightforward and relatively user friendly. It is nice to be able to use one platform for the website, events, and email communications.

Cons

Creating the events and communications can be frustrating from a formatting perspective if you aren’t used to it – but that is the same in most platforms. And also like most platforms, there are some quirks that you end up just working around to get it to do what you want.

It’s hard to keep the bookkeeping 100% accurate, so I wouldn’t utilize StarChapter’s reporting as your only source of financials.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

8.0/10
Judy T.

StarChapter Customer Support never makes me the fool

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2016/10/05
Review Source: Capterra

Having been with StarChapter for a couple years now, I really like the customer service experience. I've learned to check out the online videos (sometimes beyond my understanding), but I have learned that -- if things aren't clear -- submitting a Job Ticket gets a quick response. And unlike some other software companies I've used (but won't name), the people who talk to me or email back and forth with me until I understand NEVER make me feel like I'm the idiot who doesn't understand functionality. That's so refreshing! If you're a small one-person office like I am, with sometimes-help from college interns, I highly recommend StarChapter. They offer reasonable pricing with no long-term contract. They let you take your time in adopting the different feature capabilities. And once you're up and running, they're an awesome value for the monthly spend!

Pros

Ease of learning how to do stuff for someone who isn't a technology nerd. Sometimes that means my current intern has to look at the video and then show me, but once the lightbulb goes on, I can do 'most anything.

Cons

Some of their training videos have left me wondering what I just watched. That's when I reach out to a digital native / millennial to help me "get it." Or, I submit a job ticket.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Susan S.

A great value

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/10/23
Review Source: Capterra

The customer service/tech support department is great. They are responsive and problem solvers. One of the great features of this software.

Pros

I like the newsletter feature the most. I can create digital newsletters by template.

Cons

The cons for the software are that it doesn't fit with how our association works. The software is more designed for "chapters" of associations as opposed to a single association. We have COMPANIES as members (we are a 506(c)(6) trade association), and staff of those member companies are also considered members. So the billing/invoicing feature doesn't work for us, nor does the online registration for the most part. I also don't use the mass email feature because we leave it up to our members to create their own accounts, and there are thousands of individuals who might do this. It is easier for me to use Constant Contact for an email database and I have a link on our website's home page that allows people to add themselves quickly to Constant Contact. I also use CC for online registrations. I use QuickBooks for all invoicing and for our membership database. The software witih StarChapter simply doesn't work in the direction I need for our type of association.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Danna S.

Easy to use, great customer service

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2019/05/01
Review Source: Capterra

We have been using StarChapter for 3 years, and I have been the technology director for all of that time. StarChapter is a life-saver. It makes it fast and easy to upload/create content, post new meetings, email our community, manage members and non-members, etc. We used to have to use a combination of an HTML site, Eventbrite, PayPal, and Mailchimp to do what StarChapter can do all by itself. It definitely provides more value to the board and to our members and community.

Pros

The majority of the software makes it very easy to manage our chapter's website, from meetings and payments to board transitions and communication. StarChapter provides ample live and pre-recorded instructional videos, as well as an extensive "knowledge base" of articles. When I can't find what I need, or when there is a problem, I can submit a support ticket. I always get a response in under 24 hours, usually less than 12.

Cons

If you want to create complicated web pages (more complex than the template pages that are provided), you need to know a bit more about website design. It's not as user friendly for those who aren't tech savvy. Also, sometimes the editing/formatting features can be a bit frustrating, like using tables and things for page design.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10

StarChapter Pricing

Starting from
US$49,00/month
Pricing options
Free Trial
Subscription
Value for money

StarChapter plans have a monthly fee and a one-time setup fee.
To find your pricing, choose the plan with the number of members in your organization: LITE plan: Under 100 members, $49/month, $399 one-time setup fee.
STANDARD plan: 101-150 members, $85/month, $699 one-time setup fee.
PREMIER plan: 151-800 members, $100/month, $899 one-time setup fee.
ELITE plan: 801-5,000 members, $150/month, $1,499 one-time setup fee. Get a 90-day satisfaction guaranteed & yearly payment discount.

StarChapter Features

  • API
  • Activity Tracking
  • Automatic Notifications
  • Calendar Management
  • Contact Database
  • Custom Fields
  • Customizable Branding
  • Customizable Templates
  • Data Import/Export
  • Electronic Payments
  • Mobile Integration

  • Activity Dashboard
  • Automatic Reminders
  • CRM Integration
  • Customer Database
  • Customizable Reporting
  • Email Integration
  • Reporting & Statistics
  • Social Media Integration
  • Third Party Integration

Additional information for StarChapter

Key features of StarChapter

  • Contact Database
  • Design Layouts
  • Email Templates
  • Financial Management
  • Import Membership Data
  • Invoices
  • Manage Member and Non-member Data
  • Membership directory
  • Payment and eCommerce
  • Secure Login
  • Send newsletters and surveys
  • Sponsors & Ad Management
  • Track attendance
  • Website and Content Management

Benefits

Board members volunteer their time and often find themselves wasting it by doing monotonous and repetitive tasks. With StarChapter, they can spend time doing more productive tasks and helping their chapter grow by increasing meeting attendance, membership retention, and revenues.

StarChapter allows you to have member types, member groups and member categories as needed to effectively manage membership for setting meeting ticket pricing, access to areas of your website, and segmenting for emailing.

Getting membership and prospect records in and out of StarChapter is easy to do. Importing and exporting functionality is especially powerful for local chapters that need to sync their membership database with their national association.

StarChapter's reporting functionality allows you to run reports that can help keep track of your members activities.

GetApp Analysis

Most members of nonprofits and professional trade associations are volunteers, and often don’t have a lot of time available in their schedule to set up events, manage members, create content, increase member involvement and communicate with fellow volunteers. StarChapter was created to make the lives of board members and volunteers easier by offering a complete, cloud-based business app designed specifically for the industry.

With role-tailored access to all features, board members, volunteers and members can access and update areas relevant to their profile or position, reducing the dependency on a webmaster’s intervention, and increasing membership engagement. The user interface will be familiar with anyone with even limited technical knowledge, making it easy to access and get up-to-speed on quickly, as and when board transitions take place or roles within the organization change.

StarChapter is a one-stop-shop for non-profits and member associations, sample layout

What is StarChapter?

StarChapter was specifically designed for a volunteers, leaders or administrators of a member association or a nonprofit, with functionality tailored to their exact needs. It helps consolidate regular tasks that volunteers or leaders carry out, with features focused on membership management, email communications, website content management, event registration, board management and payment processing. StarChapter provides full training and support on the software- allowing all users to get up to speed quickly- as well as regular webinars, video tutorials, articles, and online courses that make sure all volunteers and board members can get the most out of the app. Beyond technical support, their team is experienced with the world of association management and offers industry insights as well as coaching on improving performance such as getting more revenues and member participation.

The StarChapter team automatically migrates all content from old system, while completely designing and implementing the new website, meaning membership organizations and chapters don’t get stuck in the onboarding process and training users.

In StarChapter, there is a central Admin Area, which contains sections for creating content, managing members, communicating with these members, organizing events, and processing payments.

StarChapter is tailored to the needs of member organizations, sample site

StarChapter Main Features

Content Management

With StarChapter, organizations can choose from ten different layouts that can be customized by StarChapter’s in-house graphic designer based on color scheme, logo, branding, or national organization specifications. Each layout is suitable for the kind of features membership associations typically need on their website. To provide a good user experience, each layout features responsive web design, meaning it is optimized for whatever size and type of device you view the website on.

Behind this, is a built-in content management system (CMS) that is specifically tailored for non profits where you can easily upload newsletters, create events, and add member spotlights. This area of the admin panel is not just for written content, there is also the ability to place logos, manage ads from sponsors, and work with design and layout of each piece of content. You can edit different webpages and create new ones easily without previous knowledge of coding and website design.

Members can create and customize webpages without coding knowledge

Membership management

Boards change, members move on, and new members join. An issue any professional trade association or local chapter faces is keeping this member list up to date, and ensuring that all contact details are correct. Hosting an up-to-date member directory on the website is a main benefit of joining the organization in the first place, thjat’s why for volunteers to work off spreadsheets creates more problems than it solves.

With specific member access, every member can edit their own details, saving the webmaster (if you have one) valuable time. You can also manage non members, as well as create groups for different types of members, and easily search within these groups. StarChapter’s system updates the information in real time, meaning that any other part of the system that uses this information (such as email newsletters), will always have the most up-to-date details. Each chapter can also create customized fields, which they would like members to have to fill out.

Membership information is updated in real time

Event registration and meeting management

Getting together in meetings is a huge source of revenues for any nonprofit organization. Some events are center around discussing issues, networking, welcoming new members, or interacting socially. It’s important that as many people show up to these meetings and events as possible. To create meetings, member organizations can choose from pre-built, industry-specific templates, or set up (or copy) templates of their own. Information about which groups of members to invite is pulled from the membership data, which is updated in real time. This way, event organizer can invite people based on their affiliated group, no need to copy and paste from excel or other systems.

Through the meeting feature, organizations can see the guest list, the fees collected, and group attendees according to members and guests. There are options to print badges, email attendees, create reports, process payments, manually add guest registrations, and track attendance at the entrance. Events and meetings are automatically removed from the site when they have already happened, ensuring your website is always up to date.

Meetings can be quickly and easily set up and managed

Email communications

To improve member engagement and grow your chapter, it’s important to regularly communicate with members between events or communicate announcements as they occur. This is an area where a lot of organizations struggle due to out-of-date information, poor branding, technical issues, and inability to manage their lists. StarChapter’s email manager lists all the different emails that have been sent in the past, with reports around how many have been opened or bounced. Each chapter can schedule emails and opt to send them on a recurring basis, for example your regular monthly email that keeps members informed on upcoming events. StarChapter also comes with industry-specific templates such as happy hour networking events, board get togethers, golf outing, and new member welcome days.

All emails are branded according to an organization’s logo and website, ensuring consistency and professionalism throughout all communication. Just as important as having the right email look and feel, is sending it to the right group of people. Integrated with the membership data, you can choose which group of people to send to, such as a people who have registered but are not members, or members who have registered but have yet paid for the event. There is also the ability to build a survey, for example one after an event in a timely manner, which you can filter only to send to attendees, as well as automate emails, such as welcoming new members when they join. The data for this comes from the central membership management portal and the meeting management area, making email creation very quick and easy.

Email communication functionality allows you to better engage members

StarChapter Integrations

As StarChapter is a one-stop-shop for professional trade associations and nonprofits, it does not integrate with any other software. They do offer an option to include RSS feeds for social media posts/tweets on the site.

StarChapter Pricing

There are four plans: Lite, Standard, Premier, and Elite depending on the size of the association and number of members. Plans start at $49 per month with a setup fee of $399 for up to 100 members and 400 non-members. Large organizations with 5,000 members and 30,000 non-members will pay a max of $150 per month.

StarChapter Bottom Line

  • Designed and tailored for member associations
  • Data is centrally available so no copy and paste needed
  • Real time updating of content across entire site
  • Self-managed, no special technical skills are needed
  • Full support, coaching and continuous training
  • Increases member engagement and revenues
  • Saves time and improves efficiency

StarChapter FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions for StarChapter.

Q. What type of pricing plans does StarChapter offer?

StarChapter offers the following pricing plans:

Starting from: US$49,00/month

Pricing model: Subscription

Free Trial: Not Available

StarChapter plans have a monthly fee and a one-time setup fee.
To find your pricing, choose the plan with the number of members in your organization: LITE plan: Under 100 members, $49/month, $399 one-time setup fee.
STANDARD plan: 101-150 members, $85/month, $699 one-time setup fee.
PREMIER plan: 151-800 members, $100/month, $899 one-time setup fee.
ELITE plan: 801-5,000 members, $150/month, $1,499 one-time setup fee. Get a 90-day satisfaction guaranteed & yearly payment discount.

Q. What are the main features of StarChapter?

StarChapter offers the following features:

  • Contact Database
  • Design Layouts
  • Email Templates
  • Financial Management
  • Import Membership Data
  • Invoices
  • Manage Member and Non-member Data
  • Membership directory
  • Payment and eCommerce
  • Secure Login
  • Send newsletters and surveys
  • Sponsors & Ad Management
  • Track attendance
  • Website and Content Management

Q. Who are the typical users of StarChapter?

StarChapter has the following typical customers:

Large Enterprises, Mid Size Business, Non Profit, Public Administrations, Small Business

Q. What languages does StarChapter support?

StarChapter supports the following languages:

English

Q. What type of pricing plans does StarChapter offer?

StarChapter has the following pricing plans:

Subscription

Q. Does StarChapter support mobile devices?

We do not have any information about what devices StarChapter supports

Q. What other apps does StarChapter integrate with?

StarChapter integrates with the following applications:

PayPal

Q. What level of support does StarChapter offer?

StarChapter offers the following support options:

FAQs, Forum, Knowledge Base, Online Support, Phone Support, Video Tutorials

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