The multitude of responsibilities that come with running an association can wear one person thin. Financial planning, event management, member recruitment and marketing can be difficult to juggle internally all at once. To streamline operations and regain time to focus on things like member engagement, growth and mission fulfillment, many associations partner with an association management company, or AMC.
In addition to regaining time, according to studies, AMC-managed associations experience 31% more net revenue growth than those that aren’t AMC managed.
But out of the hundreds of AMCs out there, how can you tell which one best fits your association?
In this blog, we’ll go over the fundamentals:
- What AMCs do
- The benefits of partnering with an AMC
- How to find the right AMC for your association
[Related: What Is an AMC?]
What Do AMCs Do?
AMCs partner with associations to manage a variety of duties, which helps streamline daily and long-term operations and improve efficiency.
Handling an association’s finances is perhaps the most important responsibility of AMCs. After all, poorly managed finances hinder your association’s ability to achieve its goals and connect with members. An AMC can provide budget development as well as financial and accounting services with proper controls so you can rest easy that your association’s funds are managed professionally.
Events are a chance for your association to boost recognition, professional prestige and membership. They’re also a great opportunity for attendees to network. A professional AMC can handle all the event planning steps, from outlining a clear set of objectives to crafting the event itself to handling vendor management and marketing.
Membership Programs and Management
A key element of a thriving association is a growing membership. AMCs can provide effective membership management by creating membership recruitment campaigns and board recruitment plans, programs, regular communications, benefits and other opportunities. In turn, these efforts can attract new members and encourage current members to continue to contribute to your association.
[Related: Big Data and Its Importance for Association Decision-Making]
Benefits of Hiring an Association Management Company
In addition to the efficiency that comes with managing daily operations, membership programs, events and finances, an association sees numerous other benefits from hiring an AMC.
With scalable service selections, AMCs offer associations manageable costs. With an AMC, the price you pay includes all the services you receive. This can save your association a lot of money in the long run when compared to outsourcing these services individually or managing them with direct employees.
Technology is rapidly evolving across all industries. If your association wants to keep ahead, it needs to stay up to date, too.
An AMC can keep matters like website development, social media and the technological equipment your association needs within budget. You can also feel confident that they have the expertise to implement this technology to your association’s benefit.
[Related: Smart Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations]
Marketing and Creative Expertise
A strong marketing strategy is critical for an association of any size. Luckily, you should be able to find an AMC that can plan and execute successful marketing methods that help your association build awareness, engage members, boost revenue and stay relevant.
A serious benefit of working with an AMC is that you have various leaders who provide customized services all “under one roof,” so to speak.
Instead of leaning on just a few people who handle everything, your AMC knows the importance of having numerous people who specialize in different areas and can provide services tailored to your association’s needs. Having access to a wide array of specialized service providers helps you move smoothly through a multitude of situations that bring your association success.
Renewed Focus on Leadership
Most importantly, when you hire an AMC to help your association, you give back valuable time to yourself and your team. Now your board and stakeholders can focus on leadership and strategy while leaving the operational stuff to the experts.
[Related: The Membership Recruitment Plan for Every Association]
How To Find the Right Fit in an Association Management Company
If you’re wondering how to find the right association management company for your association, consider the following questions to narrow your search.
- Does this AMC have experience/expertise in our field/industry?
Check out your potential AMC’s resume. How long has its team been working with associations? Do they have particular experience with an organization like yours? Research their references to determine whether they have a positive reputation, and consider an AMC accredited with the AMC Institute.
- Does this AMC provide the services we’re looking for right now and in the future?
Keep your current needs as well as your association’s long-term goals in the forefront of your mind. While you may be looking for an AMC because of an immediate issue like planning an event, you should also ensure they offer what you need in the long term to continue your success.
- Does this AMC have a strong team backing them up?
Review the people on the AMC team and their specific areas of expertise. An AMC with a highly knowledgeable and diverse leadership team is more effective than one with only a few people providing vague or general services.
- Is this AMC team known for their communication skills?
Perhaps the most critical requirement for an AMC is good communication skills. Ineffective communication can lead to disaster down the road. Look for an AMC that actively listens to your pain points and successes, gives constructive feedback and offers plans of action. Additionally, you should look for an AMC that emphasizes transparency and remains honest about budgets, staffing and association-related projects.
[Related: Top 10 Reasons To Select CM Services As Your AMC]
Partner With an Association Management Company Like CM Services Today!
Finding the perfect association management company might sound overwhelming — but it doesn’t have to be.
CM Services is an accredited AMC with a highly knowledgeable team of specialists ready to lead your organization toward success.
At CM Services, we help associations overcome challenges and meet goals with professional services like these:
- Strategic and operational planning
- Project management
- Board management
- Committee management
Contact us today for further information and support!
Featured image via Unsplash