Monthly Archives: January 2015

The Benefits of an Association Managment Company (AMC)

The Association Management business has been around for more than 120 years in North America and it is still growing rapidly. Particularly in Canada, Association Management Companies (AMC) have become more and more popular over the last few years. Why?

1 – Affordability: Staff, office space, current technology and a variety of professional services are shared amongst all clients of an AMC: the AMC is able to customize a service plan for each client’s individual need and is therefore able to charge the client on a fee-for-service basis. All resources are available (for instance a membership specialist, graphic designer or an accountant), but if the client does not need and use a particular service, they will not have to pay for it. Especially smaller organizations benefit from hiring an AMC over an in-house-administrator, as they often do not have the funds to afford an office and full time staff.

2 – Payment Plans: Dependent on how involved the AMC is in the client’s daily affairs, they usually offer their clients different ways to pay for their services: Monthly retainers (often used if the AMC acts as the client’s Executive Director or Administrator and takes care of all aspects of their business), hourly fee plans (often used when the AMC only looks after certain areas of the client’s administration) or flat fee plans (usually used when the AMC is hired for a short term project). The client decides what payment plan works best for them.

3 – Availability: During the week, an AMC offers regular full time office hours to its clients. It does not matter if the client is paying for full time or part time services: there is always someone available to answer to the clients’ membership, directors and volunteers.

4 – Professionalism: Through an AMC, the clients gains access to expert specialized staff in all areas of association management. An in-house administrator is seldom a professional in member recruitment, event management, financial planning, marketing etc. all at the same time. An AMC, on the other hand, has full or part time staff and contractors with all these specific skills. It is able to leverage resources and its customers reap the benefits.

5 – Staying Current: AMC’s are committed to staying up to date on current technology and digital media trends. They adapt their soft – and hardware systems and programs as trends change.  Their clients will benefit from new products, procedures and approaches without breaking their organization’s bank.

6 – Piece Of Mind: Hiring an AMC allows the directors and committee members of an organization to focus on its strategic goals, rather than spending their valuable time on day-to-day administrative matters. Employees of an AMC are fully trained association industry experts with years of experience in association governance, which allows them to provide excellent leadership to their clients.
With the help of an AMC, the Board of Directors can focus on the organization’s core issues: its purpose, goals and mission.

By Patricia Tait, Account ManagerIMG_0740

How To Engage Your Association Members

The success of an association is based on the strength and satisfaction of its membership. What does your organization have to offer to its members and supporters? Educational and social networking events? A monthly newsletter? Great – but that’s likely not enough to keep your followers engaged. Time to think outside of the box and get creative. Here are a few tips on how to engage your association members better:

1 – Create a Blog: Every successful business has a blog to promote their industry events and discuss the latest industry news. So should your association: a regularly updated blog allows your members and followers to give their opinions and start a discussion with their industry colleagues. Whereas a newsletter only reaches the people in your database, a blog allows you to reach a broader audience. Another benefit: If people find your blog valuable, they can share it to their social media network. And by doing that, they help you increase your followers.

Can’t keep up with the posts? Invite your association’s members, sponsors or other industry partners to write guest blog posts. They will be happy to help if that gives them the chance to showcase themselves or the company they work for. Who does not like some free advertising?

2 – Showcase your members: Feature a “member of the month” on either your website or blog. Allow your members to submit nominations by highlighting outstanding achievements or exceptional contributions within your industry.

3 – Use Webinars & Videos: Engage your members by offering free weekly or monthly webinars. Ask your sponsors and other volunteers to come up with content that is relevant to the membership. Again, it gives industry experts the chance to showcase themselves through your channel.
Do your members need to collect CE credits? Participating in those webinars can be an alternative to visiting your annual conference or continuing education events.
Did you have a great guest speaker providing expert insight at your last event? Video or audio tape his presentation and make it available exclusively to your members in your members-only online portal.

4 – Start discussions on your Social media channels: Use your Twitter and Facebook accounts to spread valuable industry news, but also to get people talking: Ask a simple question, or post an article to trigger a discussion within your audience. Show them that their input and opinion is important to you.

5 – Get personal: This is probably the hardest, but yet the most effective way of engaging your members: pick up the phone and connect with people!
There are a number of reasons to connect on a personal level with your membership or partners: a personal invite to an upcoming event, to congratulate on a member’s work or membership anniversary, to express gratitude and to thank a supporter for their recent sponsorship or donation, a reminder about an upcoming membership renewal, a personal call to someone who has not been to an event in a while or who has not renewed their membership. Making a personal connection is a great way of expressing that you care about your members and partners. And that can make all the difference.

By Patricia Tait, Account Manager

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