What to Look for in an Association LMS

What to Look for in an Association LMS

Experts predict that the size of the global LMS market will increase by over 50% by 2025. What accounts for this?

Increased demand. Our lives become more digitized by the day. Now more than ever, organizations need a learning management system to engage, educate, and inspire their communities—no matter how far apart they might be.

But the perfect LMS for you may not be perfect for another.  Different organizations have different needs. The needs of associations are especially unique.

The ideal LMS for associations contains a wealth of features that enable professional development and foster meaningful membership experiences. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the defining features of a stellar association association LMS.



The ultimate goal of any corporation is profit. But associations are different. What matters most to you is your membership.

Still, associations don’t run for free. Membership dues on their own won’t keep them afloat. ASAE estimates that they account for only 45% of an average association’s annual revenue.

A great association LMS is also a great source of non-dues revenue. Look for one with full e-commerce capabilities, so you can monetize events, courseware, and other materials however you see fit.

Event Integration

Speaking of non-dues revenue, events are crucial to that, too. Merging virtual and hybrid events with your educational opens the doors to revenue opportunities you’ve never even considered.

Running events through your LMS transforms them from a point in time into a perpetual revenue opportunity. You can monetize the recording long after the event has ended, and it will serve as an invaluable educational experience for your members.

The time has come to view your events and educational initiatives in the same light. Technology has evolved to treat them as two sides of the same coin. You should, too.

Single Sign-On

Associations rely on a wide variety of software to deliver an outstanding experience to their members. As a result, you may be juggling more passwords than you can remember. This is as frustrating for your members as it is for you.

Single sign-on (SSO) bridges the gap between your LMS and your existing software ecosystem. Your members can seamlessly access your online learning platform, leading to greater continuity in their user experience.

SSO is nice to have no matter your organization type. But for associations, it’s a necessity.

AMS Integration

Before we get too far from seamless integrations, let’s not forget about the importance of integrating with association management systems more generally.

You rely on your AMS to manage countless membership functions—from payments, to contact information, to areas of interest. All this data matters for your e-learning initiatives. With AMS-LMS integration, it’s all shared.

If an LMS doesn’t integrate with your association management system, it’s not the right one for you.

Online Communities

People learn best when they learn together. COVID-19 renewed our appreciation for learning as a social act. But is social learning possible in an increasingly virtual world?

A great LMS for associations will do more than host traditional, self-guided courseware for your learners. It will serve as a hub of engagement and interaction throughout the year.

Look for a learning management system that has forums and other ways for your community to interact and engage with one another. A primary goal of associations is to connect members with one another, and the right LMS can do exactly that.


For associations, an LMS serves many purposes. Chief among them is delivering continuing education to your member base.

This is just one of the distinctions between an LMS for associations and one designed for a corporate setting. In the corporate world, learning and development is crucial. But every dollar your put toward L&D is ultimately an investment in your organization.

Things look different in the association space. Sure, you do benefit from the distribution of CEUs. But ultimately, it’s not about you. It’s about your members.

For your membership, learning is a reward in and of itself. But it’s even more rewarding when it contributes directly to their professional development. That’s why an LMS that can distribute certifications is so crucial for associations.

Elevate: The Ultimate Association LMS

Elevate could be the perfect LMS for your association. Our learning management system was built from the ground up with an association audience in mind.

All of Elevate’s best features emerged from a real-life need of one of our clients. It was purpose-built by associations, for associations.

We understand the unique needs of associations. That’s why we built the definitive online learning platform that will maximize your membership experience.

Want to learn more about Elevate? Get in touch with lms@gocadmium.com