Wild Apricot and MemberPlanet are web-based platforms that belong to the same category of membership software solutions. They share many common features, so how do you go about choosing between the two platforms? They both include a membership site builder, email functionality, automation, payment processing, and so on.
So, let’s look at the similarities and differences between the two in this Wild Apricot vs. MemberPlanet comparison and help you make the right choice.
Often, things that look nearly identical at a glance turn out to be distinctly different upon close inspection, especially when you get into the practicalities of it.
We can’t help you with the hands-on experience part, but we will highlight some important differences. Regardless of how small, they have the potential to play a decisive role when considering the two membership solutions.
We hope to help you make an informed decision about which is better for your organization’s needs. With that in mind, let’s dive into an exploration of Wild Apricot and MemberPlanet and see how they compare to each other.
|8 pricing plans (including a free plan)||4 pricing plans (including a free plan)|
|Billing can be done monthly, bi-annual, or annual||Payments can be made monthly or annually.|
|30-day free trial||Has a free trial|
|All plans include the same features, each plan allows a different number of contacts||Higher-priced plans include more features that are not included in the free and basic plan|
|Includes third-party payment options||Must use native payment system, integrations with third-party payment systems difficult|
|Wide range of integrations possible||Integrations are not a straightforward process|
|Live chat is available at certain times Monday to Friday (except for the free plan), plus email support||General email and phone support for all plans|
|Additional fees are limited to transaction fees and payment system servicing fees||Fundraising management option|
Table of Contents
Wild Apricot offers a 30-day free trial and eight pricing plans, one of which is completely free. The following image shows all of the pricing plans along with the essential difference between them:
It’s clear that the main difference between the pricing plans is the number of contacts. This is how they tailor their packages to different groups with different membership sizes.
As the image shows, there are two more billing options besides monthly billing – annual and bi-annual. Discounts are applied to the longer payment plans and look like this:
- The Free plan: always free
- The Personal plan: $43.20/month (annual) or $40.80/month (bi-annual)
- The Group plan: $54/month (annual) or $51/month (bi-annual)
- The Community plan: $99/month (annual) or $93.50/month (bi-annual)
- The Professional plan: $171/month (annual) or $161.50/month (bi-annual)
- The Network plan: $315/month (annual) or $297.50/month (bi-annual)
- The Enterprise plan: $378/month (annual) or $357/month (bi-annual)
- The Global plan: $648/month (annual) or $612/month (bi-annual)
As you’ll see in a moment, feature-wise, the Wild Apricot pricing plans are structured differently compared to the MemberPlanet pricing plans. With the exception of the Free plan, which includes limitations, all of Wild Apricot’s plans share the same features.
These include 2 GB of storage space, an unlimited number of admins, a website builder, an online store, and an event management system – the only difference is the number of contacts.
With the Free plan, however, Wild Apricot offers only one admin account and a storage limit of 100 MB. Likewise, this plan excludes features like online payments, custom domains, an online store, scheduled emails, and more.
So, on the one hand, it’s fantastic that there is a Free plan, but on the other, it lacks a significant number of essential features. Consequently, it’s unlikely to be of practical benefit to many organizations.
Wild Apricot also offers multi-chapter pricing, which is intended for organizations that include multiple affiliated groups, offices, or branches.
Multi-chapter pricing doesn’t include anything outside of what you’ll find in the regular pricing. The only difference is that Wild Apricot offers some additional benefits, such as discounts, based on the number of chapters an organization comprises.
The only two additional fees on Wild Apricot are:
- Transaction fees
- Payment system servicing fee
The usual transaction fee on Wild Apricot is 2.9% + $0.30 for online payments carried out with Visa, MasterCard, and Discover cards and 3.5% + $0.30 for online payments made with American Express. The credit card vendors’ fees are calculated in these amounts.
The payments system servicing fee was introduced in 2019, and it’s a measure aimed at protecting the platform’s own payment system – Wild Apricot Payments. Let’s clarify this in more detail.
The payment system servicing fee is 20% per online transaction. Any client/organization that uses a third-party payment processor – such as Paypal, Stripe, or Authorize.Net – instead of Wild Apricot Payments (based on AffiniPay) is charged this percentage on their online transactions.
An important thing to note is that the fee applies only to clients based in Canada and the United States.
Wild Apricot says that the company decided to impose this additional cost on the part of its clients only to discourage them from using third-party online payment solutions. When clients use a gateway other than the platform’s own payment system, they inadvertently reduce the allocated funds for further development and improvement of Wild Apricot’s own payment-related tools.
MemberPlanet does not offer nearly as many pricing plans as Wild Apricot does. In that sense, the pricing systems differ a lot. Nevertheless, both platforms offer a free account in addition to the free trial.
Let’s look at the MemberPlanet pricing plans more closely:
The first thing that we notice is that there are two billing options available on MemberPlanet: monthly and annual. The prices that you can see in the image above show the monthly fees.
The annual fees are the following:
- The Basic plan: free of charge
- The Essentials plan: $42.50/month
- The most popular Pro plan: $85/month
- The highest-tier Premium plan: $148.75/month
The second thing we notice is the key features that make the four plans differ. The differences are in:
- Features that are found in higher-tier plans but not in lower-tier plans. Some examples are:
- The Premium plan includes VIP support, which is missing from the Pro plan.
- The Pro plan includes priority support, which is missing from the Essentials plan.
- Platform fee
- Email credits
- Group text credits
Out of all these features, the platform fee is probably the only one that requires additional explanation. It’s not the same as the payment processing fee. So, what is it?
The platform fee is an additional cost that MemberPlanet charges on top of your regular subscription fee (for the paid pricing plans) simply for using the platform and all its tools.
As the platform defines it, it’s a “percentage of the total transaction cost” subtracted from your online subscription sales. As you can see in the picture above, you pay less for a higher-tier plan subscription.
The way MemberPlanet puts it, the purpose of the platform fee is to provide sufficient financial resources that make up a fund used for the improvement of existing tools and further development of new and useful ones rather than to increase MemberPlanet’s profits.
Besides the standard pricing plans, MemberPlanet has special offers that cater to enterprise-level organizations. Due to these offers being highly customized in nature, there are no fixed fees.
Instead, if you’re interested in what MemberPlanet has to offer in this regard, you need to contact the platform’s sales team.
Upgrades and Add-Ons
The last thing related to pricing is that MemberPlanet offers plan upgrades and add-ons. As you could have guessed, these add-ons are at an additional cost.
The following list shows the upgrades and add-ons available on MemberPlanet, along with their prices:
- Site migration
- Allows you to migrate an existing membership site from another platform to MemberPlanet.
- Price: $1,500
- Custom theme
- Allows you to create a fully customized membership site theme.
- Price: $500
- Design kit
- Allows you to order a logo, banner image, and hero image tailored specifically for your organization and membership site from the MemberPlanet team of designers.
- Price: $100
- More training options
- On-site and webinar training sessions.
- Price: $100
- More text messages
- 5,000 more text message credits on top of those you already have.
- Price: $100
- More emails
- 10,000 extra email credits, added to those included in your plan subscription.
- Price: $25
- Apps and integrations
- Access different apps and integrations.
- Price: custom
Wild Apricot provides its clients with a wide range of tools that help them build and run their membership ventures smoothly. We wouldn’t have time to go in-depth into every important feature of the platform.
Instead, we’ll mention some of the crucial capabilities you get with Wild Apricot. The most important features and tools are:
- Customizable application form that allows you to collect users’ information, offer multiple membership tiers, and receive payments directly from it.
- Group membership offers for related applicants, meaning firms, work teams inside a company, family members, and similar.
- Automated membership renewal.
- Online access to your membership lists stored in one place in the cloud, which allows for faster and more effective handling of your day-to-day operations.
- Member-only pages.
Website and CMS
- Drag-and-drop site builder that allows you to create various types of pages, such as a membership site.
- Native blog to keep your members updated and informed.
- Customizable mobile-friendly website themes.
- Custom domain.
- Wild Apricot Payments – the platform’s own payment system based on the software developed by AffiniPay.
- PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.Net, and Square – third-party payment gateways that you can use instead of Wild Apricot Payments.
- PCI compliance.
- Automatic generation of invoices and receipts for all of your online transactions.
- Stats and analytics related to your payments.
- Registration program that allows you to create events in a quick and hassle-free way.
- Event calendar where users can see the details related to your events and register for one.
- Customizable registration forms that allow you to add discounts, early bird pricing, coupons, and more.
- Automated emails that promote your events, help you attract more users, and get more signups.
- Event payment and registration fee tracking.
Emails and Contacts
- Contact database that contains invaluable information on contacts, their donations, event attendance, and so on.
- Advanced contact search that allows you to find any information you need.
- Email blasts.
- Mobile-friendly email templates.
- Automated email responses that have customizable content.
- Android app for admins that allows administrators to manage members on the go.
- Android app for members that allows members to renew their membership, sign up for events, check out the profiles of other members, etc.
- iOS app for admins, which offers the same functions as the Android app for admins.
- iOS app for members that has the same role and purpose as its Android counterpart.
- Ability to accept mobile payments.
- Built-in online store that makes adding products and building a catalog a breeze.
- Ability to sell both digital and physical goods.
- Create multiple product variants.
- Customizable gadget that you can add to an existing site and start selling directly from there.
- Ability to set shipping costs and delivery options.
- Integromat – a giant integration platform that allows you to automate workflows and integrate with a host of other third-party apps.
- Wild Apricot’s API allows you to build apps and programs as well as update your data with information from other services.
- Custom HTML gadget that allows you to add a fully-featured content marketing and blog solution like DropInBlog or any other third-party app that integrates through the embed code method.
- Webhooks that enable you to connect to an outside app, such as Google and Outlook calendars.
- SSO (single sign-on) service that enables you to integrate your membership site with another site (built on any of the known site builder platforms) and let your members use the same Wild Apricot credentials to log in to whichever site they want.
Most of what we said about Wild Apricot features applies to MemberPlanet as well. The functionalities and the tools that we decided to single out include the following:
- Streamlined onboarding with simple online forms, the ability to offer different membership levels and payment options, automated confirmation emails, individual and group memberships, and more.
- Customizable database that includes the ability to use custom fields, filter and search information, segment member types, etc.
- Automated membership renewal.
- Admin accounts with different permission levels for more secure membership management.
- Interactive directory that allows inter-member communication.
- Customizable event pages.
- Online event registration information collection.
- Ability to include non-members in your events.
- Event stats tracking, such as opened and answered email invitations, clicks, bounce rate, etc.
- Ability to keep your audience in the loop by sharing event-related information through social media, emails, or text messages.
- Easy-to-create donation sites that work impeccably, both on desktop and mobile devices.
- Peer-to-peer fundraising.
- A ton of options when it comes to accepting donations, such as recurring payments, installments, mobile app payments, cash, etc.
- In-depth reports on your fundraising campaigns.
- Automated receipts with your brand on them, as well as thank-you messages for a better user experience for your donors and benefactors.
- Native payment system.
- Ability to receive payments made with credit and debit cards or executed straight from bank accounts.
- Customizable payment forms.
- Flexible payment option.
- PCI compliance.
- Visual drag-and-drop site builder/editor.
- Customizable responsive themes.
- Custom domain and subdomain.
- Widgets that you can add to your site and have them provide updated information on events, donation campaigns, and similar.
- Member dashboard where users can see all of their membership-related information.
Emails, Text Messages, and Communication
- Custom mobile number that allows you to send group text messages.
- Automated email with customizable content and your branding.
- Email templates.
- Contact list segmentation.
- Communication-related analytics reports.
- MemberPlanet app for Android devices.
- MemberPlanet app for iOS devices.
- Email and SMS broadcast.
- Ability to accept and make payments without additional hardware.
- Membership card.
Apart from Google Analytics, PayPal, and Plaid, it seems that the only way to add integrations to MemberPlanet is by making a custom request to the platform’s sales team and using the platform’s APIs.
However, don’t get too excited because MemberPlanet does not provide clear information on all the possible integrations. Instead, pieces of information are scattered around its website and help center.
In short, it can be very challenging to find the pertinent solution regarding your desired integration.
Wild Apricot provides support in multiple ways. As far as direct support is concerned, you can reach the Wild Apricot sales or customer support team via:
- Live chat (with all accounts apart from the Free plan):
- From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, from Monday to Thursday.
- From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST on Friday.
- Email support during the workweek.
- Phone for any questions intended for the sales team.
Besides this, you can find invaluable written resources on the Wild Apricot website:
So, what types of customer support does MemberPlanet offer? The situation is a little bit different, but the two most important channels available are email and phone support.
In terms of exclusive customer support, MemberPlanet offers:
- Priority support, meaning that the group of priority clients will receive faster support than the rest.
- VIP support, which means that you get a dedicated support specialist to guide you through the onboarding process as well as help you with any other issues that may emerge along the way.
- Board training sessions, which are essentially webinar training sessions for your staff or board that are led by MemberPlanet support specialists and include customized training material.
In addition to this, you can:
- Submit a demo request form (although this is not typical customer support).
- Browse for a host of educational topics and guides through the MemberPlanet help center.
- Check the platform’s blog for helpful articles and posts.
One thing we can note about the MemberPlanet help center is that it’s not as well organized and informative as its counterpart, Wild Apricot. With Wild Apricot, you can easily search and find whatever you’re looking for.
On the flip side, MemberPlanet ends up sending you in circles to find the exact information you need. Maybe that’s just our subjective experience, but nonetheless, we feel like it’s something we need to share with you.
Who Are These Platforms For?
From what we saw earlier, we know that Wild Apricot caters to larger, multi-chapter organizations, so it even has a special price offering for this client type.
Besides multi-chapter organizations, the platform is suitable for:
- Civic and social organizations
- Education-related institutions and associations
- Cultural and art institutions like museums
- Political organizations
- Healthcare institutions and organizations
- Training and coaching companies
- Various types of associations
For more details on the companies and nonprofits using Wild Apricot’s services, check out this Enlyft study.
MemberPlanet has a broad target audience that it caters to. The list includes:
- Fraternal organizations
- Educational foundations
- Booster clubs
- Faith-based organizations
- Homeowners association
- Political campaigns
- Fraternal undergraduates
- Fraternity alumni
- Sorority undergraduates
- Sorority alumnae
- Fraternal orders
- Music schools
If you’re interested in the specifics of how the platform can help these various membership-based ventures, MemberPlanet provides a separate explanation for each organization mentioned in the list above.
You‘ll find the links that lead to the articles in the footer of the home page of the official MemberPlanet website. Alternatively, you can click on any of the images located on the home page, as shown in the following picture:
Yes, it can, and it offers many benefits. Not only will you get to build and design a professional website, but you can also combine that with all the membership management benefits Wild Apricot brings.
You can connect your members and prospective members to your clubs’ blog, embed or link membership directories, and event calendars directly into your blog site. Integrating Wild Apricot into WordPress also gives you the unique ability to restrict certain content to members only or to different membership levels through a login widget.
You can find more details on integrating WordPress into Wild Apricot on their website.
Wild Apricot is a popular membership management platform used to update and inform members of events, training, and activities, as well as payment of fees.
It helps clubs, charities, not-for-profits, nonprofits, and associations, both large and small, to manage their member lists effectively.
It’s hard to provide a definitive answer, as both platforms have a free plan and a free trial period. So, it’s easy to begin and upgrade to a paid plan when you feel ready.
Generally speaking, Wild Apricot is a much more user-friendly platform. Information and support are easy to find, especially when you’re starting out and learning.
In contrast, MemberPlanet is a little more clunky, and the difficulties surrounding integrations are a potential headache.
Over and Out
We’ve come to the end of our Wild Apricot vs. MemberPlanet comparison. Hopefully, we’ve provided information that’ll be useful to you and your membership venture. Our overall impression is that both platforms do their job pretty well, and there’s very little difference in terms of price.
Generally speaking, Wild Apricot offers a much more straightforward, transparent, and systematic approach to documentation and information on its features and tools. On the other hand, MemberPlanet can tend to be a little convoluted to navigate, with information hard to find.
Both platforms offer a free trial period and a completely free plan, so you can choose to use the platform in its most basic form or try out the full suite of features.
Apart from these minor differences, it’s not easy to pick one platform over the other and declare it a stand-out winner. They both offer extremely similar functionalities, and each has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Do you agree?