coins in a red clamp lying on a calculator for association learning management system cost concept

How much does it cost, on average to license and implement an association learning management system - i.e., and LMS for for a trade or professional association?

We averaged the costs provided through RFP responses from multiple LMS vendors who commonly serve the association space to determine:

  • common annual license fees,
  • total year-one costs (license, implementation, any common additional fees)
  • 3-year total (year one costs plus ongoing license fees and any other ongoing fees.

Here's what we got:

Keep in mind that these are averages. It is certainly possible to find much lower costs solutions - though be certain that these definitely provide key features that associations often need, like continuing education management, and that they conform to any e-learning standards that are important to your organization.

What Impacts Association Learning Management System Costs?

What will impact your costs aside from user levels? Some of the main items:

  • The number of integrations required with other systems - like your association management system - and the depth of these integrations. Single sign-on, or SSO, integration between systems doesn't tend to cost much, but as soon as you start passing data back and forth between systems, costs are likely to rise
  • Migration of data and content from an existing system. Moving all of your courses and learner records from your current system can get complex and time-consuming - which correlates directly to higher costs
  • Customizations or extensions of the system. These require programming and - once again - programming costs money.

While some of the above is unavoidable, it definitely pays to be very clear about what is really critical for a new association learning management system to achieve what you need it to achieve. That means, for example, getting very clear about your overall strategy and about your use cases. That way, even if you do end up taking on the costs, you will have a clear understanding of what those costs will enable you to achieve - and you will be able to tell if you actually achieve it!

For a variety of free resources related to LMS selection, see our Resources page.


Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay