As we’ve noted before, running an association requires a lot of hands. Tasks like event planning, financial management, member recruitment, fundraising and marketing can be overwhelming to balance internally. This is where association management companies (AMCs) come in.
AMCs help streamline operations and give association volunteers time back to focus on member engagement, mission fulfillment and expansion. In fact, according to recent reports, AMC-managed associations experience 31% more net revenue growth than those that aren’t.
So after you’ve found the best AMC for your association, how do you make sure you consistently get the value you expect?
In this blog, we’ll go over why you should regularly check in with your AMC, when you should evaluate its services and the best questions to ask to measure the effectiveness of your association management company.
[Related: What Is an AMC?]
Why Should You Regularly Measure the Effectiveness of Your Association Management Company?
You want to see your association grow and evolve to better serve your mission and represent your values. In turn, that means it’s important to regularly check in on your partnerships to make sure they’re serving you effectively — especially your AMC partnership.
It’s critical to measure the level at which your AMC meets your current needs and whether it has the capacity to evolve with you and appropriately anticipate your future needs. This is also an excellent time to make sure both parties’ communication styles and goals still mesh.
When Should You Evaluate Your AMC?
How often should you evaluate your AMC? While it’s important to constantly consider how you and your AMC get along, formal weekly evaluations are unnecessary. However, certain events may inspire you to begin measuring your relationship’s effectiveness.
These events might include the following:
- Change in staff leadership
- Shift in scope of service
- Contract being up for renewal
Regardless of special circumstances, a good standard rule is to sit down and officially measure your AMC’s effectiveness annually to ensure everything is still a good fit.
[Related: Big Data and Its Importance for Association Decision-Making]
Questions To Ask When Evaluating the Effectiveness of Your Association Management Company
When evaluating the effectiveness of your AMC, the board can focus on certain helpful questions.
Has Our Association Management Company Shown Up in a Time of Crisis or Issue?
Think about it. If your AMC was absent when a crisis hit — whether an unexpected leadership shift, a cybersecurity breach or a sudden event cancellation — it may be time to move on.
A quality AMC should always be there for your nonprofit, but it should especially show support when a crisis or issue arises.
Are There Any Issues With Communication?
This is an easy one. Communication issues can make or break a nonprofit board’s relationship with its AMC.
Think about how easy it is to set up a meeting, get answers to an important question or hear back from an email. Then, decide whether that dynamic still works for your association’s needs.
[Related: Smart Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations]
Has Our AMC Promised but Not Delivered Something?
Sometimes promises are just that — promises. Is there anything your AMC has reassured you about but hasn’t delivered?
It’s easy to promise big results before a relationship starts, but a quality AMC should consistently deliver — or at least promptly communicate when something doesn’t go as planned.
How Do Our Association’s Metrics Look After Hiring the AMC?
Sometimes the numbers speak for themselves. Your board should look at your association’s metrics annually..
Have matters improved? Do certain KPIs show the positive impact the AMC has had on your organization?
[Related: The Membership Recruitment Plan for Every Association]
On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend your AMC to a friend or colleague?
This is the question behind the Net Promoter Score (NPS) ratings for companies. This is a commonly used approach to determine overall customer satisfaction. Consider asking your Board members and Committee Chairs to rate your AMC using this question annually.
Partner With CM Services Today!
Measuring the effectiveness of your association management company is critical to your association’s success. After all, a growing association has evolving needs. Luckily, CM Services is a trusted, accredited AMC that’s ready to grow and evolve with you.
Our highly knowledgeable team of specialists is ready to lead your organization toward success, and we believe that communication is key every step of the way.
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