Robert O. Patterson, JD
The Center for Association Resources, Inc.
Are you looking for specific expertise and critical skill sets to help manage your organization? Do you want to lower your costs and operate with greater efficiency? Should your Board spend less time on day-to-day activities and more time setting direction?
Hiring an Association Management Company (AMC) is the solution. As you evaluate proposals, conduct interviews and evaluate your options, use this information to help you select the AMC that is best for your organization.
What are factors to consider when selecting an AMC?
- Expertise in your area of focus: Health Care, Scientific, Legal, Professional Services…
- Experience working with associations
- Staff Biographies
- Services Offered: Membership, Surveys, Finance, Events, Marketing…
- Geographic Location: Near your office, Washington DC for Government Affairs
- Technology: Membership Database, Financial Software, Event Registration…
- Client Mix: No conflict of interest, Size, Number, Type
- Client Loyalty: Average length of time serving clients
- Stability: Years in business
- Office Facilities: Attractive, Meeting Facilities, Storage Space…
- Memberships: Professional Associations, Your Industry Associations
- Certification: AMC Institute Accredited
- Price: Compare what is included and what is not; How fees are calculated
What size budget should my Association have to retain an AMC?
For a full service management relationship (including management, accounting services, meeting planning, membership solicitation, newsletter publishing), an association should have a minimum annual budget of $50,000- $75,000. Membership size, government or public relations services, convention planning, member services, and insurance programs can impact price. Smaller associations can lower their fees by selecting the services they need.
Does an AMC devote less time than a full time staff?
The AMC may designate more people and time to your association’s activities than you had previously. If an association signs a full service management agreement, they receive full-time representation and commitment from the AMC. The association membership will view the AMC staff as their own employees, which is exactly what they are.
Will using volunteers save money on management fees?
It depends on the level of involvement by the volunteers, and the level of control over the project or event that is left with the AMC. Ideally, the volunteer’s role should be to set policy or goals, offer direction and share expertise specific to their industry or profession, and then permit the AMC to plan and manage the event or project. If a volunteer or committee is completely in charge of newsletter production or managing a conference, for example, that should help lower you management fees.
Will we lose control if we hire an AMC?
Experience has shown that your leadership will increase control by retaining an AMC. An AMC is your hired management team. Ownership of the association rests with the membership and policy is established by the Board of Directors. An AMC is responsible for effectively and professionally implementing those policies to benefit your membership.
How does an AMC calculate its fees?
Some AMCs establish an hourly fee, compute actual hours and invoice each month. Other AMCs assess a base fee and apply a surcharge for special projects.
The Center for Association Resources, an AMC Institute accredited association management company, provides clients comprehensive management services including: Association Management, Project Management, Membership Development and Management, Survey Research / Member Needs Assessment, Financial Management, Grant Development and Management, Leadership Development, Certification Program Development and Management, Government Affairs and Legislative Monitoring, Meeting Planning and Management, Marketing Strategy, Policies and Procedures Development, and other customized services. Our experienced teams, proven processes, and technology are designed to effectively manage and grow organizations. For more information, visit www.association-resources.com or call (888) 705-1434.