StarChapter Pricing, Features, Reviews & Comparison of Alternatives

StarChapter

Member-Friendly Association & Membership Management Software

4.33/5 (408 reviews)

StarChapter overview

What is StarChapter?

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.
www.starchapter.com

Pricing

Starting from
$44/month
Pricing options
Value for money
View Pricing Plans

Devices

Business size

S
M
L

Markets

United States, Canada

Supported languages

English
StarChapter screenshotStarChapter in 60 SecondsStarChapter screenshotStarChapter screenshotStarChapter screenshotStarChapter screenshotFeatures for Local ChaptersStarChapter Support and Services

StarChapter reviews

Value for money
Features
Ease of use
Customer support
  4.3
  4.0
  3.9
  4.5
Danna Schacter, CRA, IGP

Easy to use, great customer service

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 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
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Debbie Reece

Great value and easy to use for chapter associations

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 2020-01-30
Review Source: Capterra

I've used Star Chapter now for 10 years. Over this time things have gotten much better and easier to use. It is important to small chapter associations with multiple volunteers to make something simple they can use, and then actually do use it to get things done. I am the only paid staff person for my associations so its great to have the support and help with my committees.

Pros
Its simple and has the website/database/financials/surveys/emails all in one.

Cons
The email system is not pretty and has too many templates hidden/buried to update. Make it look more like constant contact and I have no more complaints. Love it

Response from Star Chapter


Thank you for your feedback, we are happy to announce that an update to the email functionality and templates will be available soon.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 10/10

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Celeste Shepherd

StarChapter as a Platform

Used daily for 2+ years
Reviewed 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
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 8/10

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Lillian Chrispyn

Best Update for Our Chapter

Used daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed 2020-01-30
Review Source: Capterra

My experience was great! From the first call that got my questions answered, getting everything set up, knowledgebase, and getting help when I can't find answers to my questions - it's been a very smooth process. I'm very happy with our selection and don't see us switching away from this platform.

Pros
Being able to have a Member Manager page, easier set up for events, invoicing system, and communication platform. These were all pieces missing previously. StarChapter has helped to make almost everything easier.

Cons
It can be difficult to update certain things. For example: getting the correct address to appear on invoices (or get it on invoices at all). It needs to be updated in three different places. It would be nice it you could change it in one spot (in settings for example) and have it feed to the others. Also, there seems to be a disconnect on the member login side. When a primary contact renews membership, it doesn't renew anyone else with them. Not sure how to fix that, but it hasn't been a major issue that needs to be addressed yet. Just a convenience thing.

Response from Star Chapter


Thank you for your feedback, we really appreciate it as it helps us improve our product. Please enter a support ticket, and our team will get in touch with you to provide any necessary help.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 9/10

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Alisha Praznik

Small Texas Association

Used daily for less than 6 months
Reviewed 2016-12-22
Review Source: Capterra

There are some features of the software that are excellent. I really like the email communication interface. Our biggest concern is that there is very little ability to customize to your association needs. Customization of the site is not an option and work around options are complicated, confusing & time consuming for the board. Communication between the front and admin end can be mismatched. If you are ok with small things like application field names not matching profile field names and back end names, but being similar it's fine. If you are ok with having drop down menus on your application, but not on your individual profile editors, which results in somewhat of a mismatch of information, you will be fine. For our Association, it's all small things that you will encounter with the software, scrolling down pages of data, the overall display of profile editors, etc... that will make things difficult for the board and for membership. It's very important to understand that these items can't be changed even with a work order and in our eyes this is a major limitation of Capterra. Overall, the system functions, but it isn't the easiest software to manage and it will take a MAJOR commitment on the part of the associations board to make this system work as best as it can for your association. If your Association is small and doesn't need much in the way of tracking and display, CME, spreadsheet export, and more, Capterra will be a good solution. I will say compared to a fully customized website development it is more economical for all involved, despite the commitment it requires.

Pros
The email communicating system.

Cons
The mismatch of options on the front end, individual profile end, and admin end of the site. The inability to set standard views for daily use (defaults for individual members) The complicated way the profile editor is displayed. The inability to have custom drop downs made (similar to the State drop-down) for large comprehensive lists - these need to be on both the front end - application and member profile editor as well as the admin member manager area.

Rating breakdown

Value for money
Ease of use
Features
Customer support

Likelihood to recommend: 4/10

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StarChapter pricing

Starting from
$44/month
Pricing options
Subscription
View Pricing Plans

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:

STARTER plan: Under 50 members, $44/month, $399 one-time setup fee.
ESSENTIAL plan: 51-150 members, $83/month (billed annually), $779 one-time setup fee.
GROWTH plan: 151-300 members, $105/month (billed annually), $1,079 one-time setup fee.
ADVANCED plan: 301-600 members, $133/month (billed annually), $1,319 one-time setup fee.
PRO plan: 601-1,200 members, $165/month (billed annually), $1,559 one-time setup fee.

Do you have more than 1,200 members? Talk to a StarChapter Account Executive to learn more.

Get a 90-day satisfaction guarantee (excludes Starter).

StarChapter features

API
Activity Tracking
Automatic Notifications
Calendar Management
Custom Fields
Customizable Branding
Customizable Templates
Data Import/Export
Electronic Payments

Activity Dashboard (233 other apps)
CRM Integration (139 other apps)
Customer Database (162 other apps)
Customizable Reporting (172 other apps)
Email Integration (200 other apps)
Real Time Data (137 other apps)
Reminders (191 other apps)
Reporting & Statistics (251 other apps)
Social Media Integration (177 other apps)
Surveys & Feedback (143 other apps)
Third Party Integration (232 other apps)

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.


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.


Who is StarChapter For?

  • Experience level: All experience levels
  • Industry: Non profit, member association, associations
  • Business size: Organizations with more than 30 members
  • Departments/roles: Volunteers, board members, administrators, association management companies
  • Budget/point: Pricing starts at $49 per month, with a one-off set up fee of $399
  • Example customers: Local chapters of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and Project Management Institute (PMI)

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.


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

Additional information for StarChapter

Key features of StarChapter

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

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.