An AMS Software Review of xCatalyst from ESX

In this AMS product report, SmartThoughts reviews ESX xCatalyst


In our “Search of a Membership Software Series”, we have prepared a quick look at the xCatalyst Membership system in this article.

Suffice it to say, we have curated, interviewed, and prepared more detailed information for executives employed in the not for profit association industry to set up a time to discuss at length. Our software reviews are designed for those who would like fair and objective insights into the capabilities of this AMS software for nonprofit program.

Our Sources: We have interviewed the xCatalyst ESX team, reviewed the solution in a brief overview, curated specific insights from the vendor, read through various website pages and read multiple reviews. This brief summary is a culmination of those insights.

Buyer Disclaimer: There are many unique things which this system can do that are not mentioned for sure here. And, some possible holes too.  So, be mindful of this fact. While we believe this is a good summary, this short review should not be your only source of the truth!

xCatalyst AMS Software Review

Brief Summary of xCatalyst AMS: 

xCatalyst is an enterprise Association Management System (AMS) built by ESX Inc.

Per ESX, Inc., xCatalyst is more than just Association Management Software. It is a single platform completely integrating the association database and member activities within an Associations website management.

Association Catalyst streamlines both front end and back-office operations. Members can easily enroll, renew, register and pay for events, update profiles and search the member directory. Association staff have access to an integrated web-based system for managing the member database and website operations.

Overall, the system is designed to manage your website, members, events, online application/renewals and communications.

After our review, there are many things to like about xCatalyst including the aspects described above, however, the system certainly seems very flexible and easy to use. The web-based aspect of the system is straightforward and intuitive.

And, the areas of functionality which it excels in seems to be Website Content Management, e-Commerce, Continuing Education, Membership, & Events Management. The communications capabilities and reporting (which is boosted by an add-on for more sophistication) rounds out the areas of expertise.

What Functional areas does xCatalyst AMS include? 

  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Membership Management – integrating membership profiles, enrollment and renewals, dues and payment processing, committee management, and membership directories with website and database functions
  • Event Management – all aspects of event creation, registration, marketing and reporting
  • Continuing Education – create and manage your continuing education course catalog
  • Contact Management – integrated communication throughout the database and admin users, as well as website members as a whole or in sub-groups
  • Web Content Management System (WCMS) – web content editing with intuitive software tools and automated publication workflow.
  • Community Management – proven interactive applications that enable member-to-member interaction and member content generation, as well as administering member management through the command center.
  • Communication – a powerful group of communication tools that will boost your organization’s capabilities to keep your constituents engaged, connected and informed.
  • E-Commerce – provides a full-featured product catalog and online shopping cart application; integrating E-Commerce with dynamic forms, allows you to easily charge the customer a fee as the form is submitted
  • Search Engine Optimization built-in features are designed to improve organic search engine ranking.

Where does xCatalyst Software Best Fit?

  • Mid-Size organizations
  • Fits well in Associations, Educational Institutions, & Nonprofit Organizations
  • Organizations which would benefit from a flexible customizable platform

Key Strengths of xCatalyst AMS?

  • All in one solution
  • Priced competitively
  • Customization and tailoring of the system is available
  • Proven implementation process and experienced team
  • Integration partners to extend solution if needed
  • Creative Design and full content management system integrated
  • Continuing Education capabilities of the system
  • Client retention at 95%

ESX, Inc. offers a total solution. Their core experience in web development, workflow automation and Windows application development ensures their clients have the foundational experience to meet unique needs and software requirements. While a Software as a Service, they still are able to deliver technology and proven methodology to construct systems that are tailored to your business objectives.

Is xCatalyst AMS the Best Membership Software for your Association?

xCatalyst may very well be your best fit.

However, to answer this question with certainty, we need to know more about what makes you unique. And, discuss other insights about this platform which we have curated, clients interviewed, and discuss more detailed information beyond just this summary.

Please know that our detailed analysis and expertise is available upon request. To be sure, our software analysis is not a “pretty brochure”, “marketing noise.” or a “sales pitch.”

Rather, we provide a free objective dialogue and insights designed to help nonprofit executives make a smarter software business decision.

If you are interested in some help with reviewing your options and comparisons, please check out our “vendor matching” services here.

Want More AMS Membership Software Reviews?

Please stay tuned to our ongoing “Searching for A Smart AMS Software” where we will continue to provide further insights into membership database software options designed for our 501(c) 6 organizations.

For the most recent published reviews, please click below:

And, to obtain a sample list of the database software reviews we have, you may follow the link here.

If you work for an AMS database software system and you would like us to include your firm in our software review process, please contact us.

Until next time, keep SmartThoughts in mind. Happy Software Buying!

Until then, keep SmartThoughts in mind.

A SmartThought review of xCatalyst from ESX Software



AMS Software Review: Naylor Timberlake Membership Software


Naylor Timberlake AMS Software Review

Isn’t it time to get rid of your database?

In our “Search of a Membership Software Series”, we have prepared a quick look at the Naylor Membership Software in this article. Please note that this summary is not intended to provide our full report but rather should serve as a quick overview of the Naylor (Formerly Timberlake) membership software system. For those interested in learning more, we have prepared a detailed “Smart Report” for Association Executives who would like the full view.

The full report available upon request from Association Executives provides detailed information about the product in a easy to read question and answer format.

Naylor AMS Membership Software

Brief Summary: 

Timberlake Membership Software is provided by Naylor. In early 2015, Timberlake Membership Software became a part of the Naylor Association Solutions family. As of 9/2017, Timberlake is being re-branded simply as Naylor Association Solutions — one company with multiple solutions

In 2016, the team at Timberlake reported to us that they have roughly 500 customers (+). And, with the backing of Naylor’s resources, they have a solid depth of development team and service resources stationed in Hunt Valley, MD. Timberlake is guided by a respected and technically astute team which has been working on maturation of the membership software since 1999.

Per Timberlake, the intent of the software is to provide an “All in One” simple to use website and Association Management Software designed for small staff associations. Timberlake is entirely web based for access anywhere and anytime. Timberlake includes everything you need to organize, automate and optimize your small staffed association from a single, cloud-based platform that’s accessible from anywhere.

In my opinion, what makes Timberlake such a valuable AMS solution is that it’s something most nonprofit association can afford. So, whether you are using spreadsheets or outdated association management software that is too cumbersome or expensive to upgrade, Timberlake will work with you to transform your membership process into an efficient and streamlined experience.

If you are a small staffed associations you may likely realize significant time savings and gain a great technology partner, all while creating more value for your members.

Key Features of Naylor Membership Software:

  • Membership & Customer Relationship Management
  • Email Communications Management
  • Committee Management
  • Chapter Management
  • Storefront e-Commerce (Online Directories, Self-Service, Customers, Dues Payments, Events, Orders etc.)
  • Finance Management
  • Meetings and Event Registration
  • Integrated Content Management System
  • Hosting with Access Anywhere & Anytime
  • Forum
  • Job Board
  • Survey Management
  • Advertising Management
  • Blog Capabilities
  • Email blast, Text and Voicemail Messaging Services
  • Subscription Management
  • Certification (CEU) Management
  • Exhibit Booth Management
  • Web Site Design

Naylor Membership Software Fit: 

  • Small Associations.
  • Their “Sweet Spot” tends to be in the 4 to 15 staff range. However, can scale up with the release of the enterprise version.
  • Associations who need deeper functionality and greater ability to configure than micro association software packages.
  • Association which desires flexibility of subscription pricing and straight cost implementation.
  • Membership focused organizations which desire concierge level implementation services.

Key Strengths of Naylor AMS?

  • Small staffs are their  focus.
  • One fully integrated website and database solution.
  • Incredible value & features.
  • Highly configurable and expands with enterprise edition.
  • In house website design expertise.
  • Mobile and tablet friendly.
  • Concierge Implementation.

Is Naylor (formerly Timberlake) AMS Software right for you?

Is Timberlake right for you? To answer that question, we have prepared a detailed “Smart Report” available for qualified executives interested in learning about our view of this database software.

To be sure, this comprehensive report is not a brochure or “marketing noise.” Rather, it’s a detailed report designed to help organizations gain a better understanding of the basic tenants of this software solution designed for associations. The report may be obtained as an access subscription and is available upon request.

Please note that you must be verified by our staff and entitles you to one free consultation to discuss the report. There is a one report limit per nonprofit.

Please stay tuned to our ongoing Searching for A Smart Membership Software software reviews where we will continue to provide further insights into other Membership Database Software and Donor database software options designed for 501(c) 3 organizations.

For our review of software product articles, please click here AMO, NOAH Membership Software, Nimble AMSESX Catalyst , Weblink Connect, Altai Membership Software, The Databank, NeonCRM , Bloomerang, MemberCentral, Blue TahitiLittle Green Light , Impexium Membership Software, ClubExpress, CRM MemberManager , Fonteva MemberNation, and StarChapter.

And, to obtain a sample list of the database software reviews we have, you may follow the link here.

If you work for a software vendor and have a software database system which you would like us to include in our software review process, please contact us.

Until next time, keep SmartThoughts in mind.


Timberlake AMS Software Review


NetSuite for NPO? An IT Solution at a Fraction of the Cost


A Review of NetSuite for Nonprofits

The IT needs of nonprofits are identical to that of any global business. One exception being that most often small nonprofits are lacking the funds to address those needs. This is why Netsuite is such a valuable tool to consider. In this article, I review NetSuite for Nonprofits.

Are you seeking a cloud based software-as-a-service business management tool for your Nonprofit? NetSuite! 

If not, here are some of its key benefits to help familiarize you:

      • Connected: Keep everyone connected through integrated software all connected through the cloud. While keeping IT costs to a bare minimum.
      • Unified: The ability to manage all funding by allowing you to associate staff with donors in logged real time; easily tracked from a central dashboard.
      • Professional: Quick and easy creation of a professional web presence that allows for rich interactions with others for a marginal overall cost.

Best of all, Netsuite will often make their software available for next to nothing (which includes their complete software suite and five user licenses, all coming in around 50 to 80% off, depending on your size).

Additionally, if IT management at next to nil doesn’t convince you that Netsuite is worth your time, they are also very active in promoting social good (for a sample, check out to see all of the product donations, charity events, and grants they actively participate in).

According to, David Geilhufe, program manager for, made it very clear as to the intentions of his organization, stating:

When we looked at what good we could do in the world, we found that there were a lot of organizations in the world that look like companies, but which exist to make the world a better place.

Pretty inspiring to say the least. For a complete rundown of what Netsuite can offer you, and to see why “300 large and small nonprofits rely on Netsuite to provide functionality that spans constituent engagement to financial management in a cloud-based, integrated solution,” visit their industry overview page for nonprofits.

For more information on ways to assess, select, implement, and develop cloud based software for your nonprofit, contact us anytime.