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 Save Money For Your Not-For-Profit Association

Running an association economically is the key for succeeding as a not-for-profit. Here are 6 simple steps, that will help you reach your financial goals:

1. Utilize your board of directors to their fullest extent
Make sure to keep all directors involved in helping to raise money for the organization. Ask them to spread the word amongst their own contacts to bring new sponsors on board, find businesses to partner up with and recruit new members for your not-for-profit.

2. Keep your administration cost low
Choose an AMC (association management company) over an individual to run your organization on a fee-for-service basis. AMC’s offer a variety of services, and are able to customize their services to meet each of their clients’ needs.
ACM’s provide staff, software programs and tools to run not-for-profit organizations. They keep your administration cost low by using the same resources for multiple clients.

3. Use low-cost marketing and public-relations techniques
Promote your association’s events in free local newspapers providing relevant business information. Add your event to their online event calendar. Find local ad agencies to see if they will create public service announcements for not-for-profits, at low or no cost.

4. Save on meeting expenses
Hold your board meetings at the directors’ or your AMC’s offices. Each director who has a boardroom could take turns hosting and providing light refreshments. Schedule the meeting mid morning or mid afternoon to avoid extra expenses for lunches.
Hold committee meetings via conference calls – not only does it save you on rental, catering or travel coast, it also saves time for the the participant.

5. Save on event costs                                                                                                                       Choose the same venue for regularly reoccurring events of your association. You should be able to negotiate more reasonable rates by booking your events at the same location. It is a win-win situation: your association saves money and the venue is guaranteed regular business.

6. Stay informed about local corporations
Read newspapers for information about local corporations and businesses who might be a good fit for corporate donations or in-kind sponsorships and contributions.

By Patricia Tait, Account Manager at Spets Association Management

What is an Association Management Company or AMC?

By Aila Karpio, President & Founder of Spets

Association management companies have been around for a long time. However, they may not all be AMCs, but for instance administrative support or service providers. Or they may use a generic name like “Joe Smith & Associates” or “the Smith Group”. Many meeting and conference management companies also offer association management services to their clients. And there are many freelance administrators who started by working part-time for one not-for-profit, gradually added more clients and grew to an association management company.

An association management company (AMC) is not a B2B firm but a professional service company that specializes in providing management services to associations and other not-for-profits on a fee-for-service basis. An AMC can be a full-service organization supporting a board of directors in running their not-for-profit and implementing their strategic plan. It can also be an organization that offers various support services in a customized program, depending on the society’s needs.

Why choose an association management company over an in-house administrator?

Both take care of the day-to-day activities of a not-for-profit organization while allowing the directors and committee members the ability to focus on strategic goals and core issues. Typically though, an AMC manages several associations from one company location, providing a wide range of benefits, including shared technology systems and purchasing power. An in-house administrator is seldom so knowledgeable that he or she excels in member recruitment, event management, financial planning, marketing etc. An AMC, on the other hand, has staff and contractors with all these specific skills. It is able to leverage resources and its customers reap the benefits.

The goal of an association management company is to take the burden off the volunteer board and committee members and free more time for them to concentrate on the reasons why the society exists in the first place.