• What is an AMC (association management company)?

    • AMCs are for-profit businesses that do just what the name says – manage associations to help them grow and prosper. They offer the expertise, staffing and resources that allow professional societies, trade groups, not-for-profits and philanthropic organizations to effectively manage day-to-day operations and advance their long-term goals. AMCs deliver high levels of expertise and accountability so that associations can continue to increase their value and relevance to members. They also provide their clients with unparalleled flexibility, agility and financial advantages, making the AMC model a good alternative for managing many nonprofit organizations.

  • What services do AMCs offer?

    • Full-service AMCS deliver turnkey management for all operating disciplines (such as membership, marketing, meetings, financial administration, policy development, legal, risk management, etc.) and all daily operations (including staffing, office space, equipment, contracts, technologies, member services, etc.). You can also contract with AMCs on an outsourced basis to provide specific expertise and services, such as membership; strategic planning; meetings, conventions, expositions and trade shows; financial management and administration; legal counsel; education and certification; public relations and marketing; web communications and social media; policy and lobbying; publications; research; and international services.

  • When does an AMC makes sense as a management alternative for an association?

    • AMCs are an effective association management solution for all types of organizations. Whether you operate as a professional society, trade group, philanthropic organization or other not-for-profit, whether your organization is big (with a sizable budget) or small (with a limited budget), whether you’ve existed for a long time or are just starting up, an AMC can help you improve your management and operations. Transitioning to an AMC often makes sense during times of change, too, such as when your industry is growing or contracting, emerging technologies are changing the face of your profession or a long-time Executive Director is retiring.

  • Can an AMC adapt to our organization’s culture? Will we lose the “personal touch” that members appreciate?

    • Your AMC staff functions very much like a staff that is directly employed. Staff specialists learn about your organization and issues. They care about your mission and members. And they come to work every day hoping to contribute and make a difference. AMCs are in the business of building your organization.

  • Will my association be able to maintain its identity after partnering with an AMC? Will members of my organization notice a difference?

    • Associations that partner with AMCs maintain complete control over their identity. All association materials needed to conduct the organization’s business – letterhead, websites, business cards, other marketing materials – carry the association’s brand. Personnel assigned by an AMC to serve an association typically carry titles and credentials specific to the association. As a result, association members, leadership and other stakeholders consistently appreciate these professionals as reliable and trustworthy staff.

  • How can the AMC model fit into our existing business model? Is it one size fits all?

    • To capitalize on time and energy, AMCs provide associations and nonprofits with the expertise they need, when they need it. AMCs customize client services, assigning staff specialists as needed to carry out specific goals. Each association pays only for the services rendered, finding more value in concentrated, professional expertise. There are large and small AMCs to meet your organization’s needs, as well as AMCs that specialize in a particular industry or field.

  • How will an AMC work with our Board members and association leaders?

    • AMCs prize long-term partnerships with their association clients, which necessarily demands development of strong, professional relationships with volunteer leaders. These relationships – based on trust and respect – enable AMC staff and elected association leaders to work closely, collaboratively and effectively in order to achieve strategic goals. AMCs concentrate on managing the day-to-day business and providing strategic input to Boards, which frees the leadership to focus on mission critical initiatives, making the most of their limited time.

  • What kind of specialists will we have access to?

    • AMCs offer the complete range of services required by today’s nonprofits. Some AMCs have all of the services in-house, while some work with outside specialists to deliver some programs. Services available typically include all aspects of executive and strategic management, administration, membership, education, accreditation, meeting and convention management, finance, marketing, communications, standards, research, government relations, information systems and web services.

  • Can we change the scope of work with an AMC, if and when our needs change?

    • As your programs' size or scope increase, additional staff and/or new specialists can be added to your team to provide the additional services to meet those needs.

  • How can shared resources across AMCs benefit my association?

    • AMCs provide cost-effective solutions to staffing, equipment, facilities, budget considerations and more. Overhead costs are shared across each AMC’s clients, providing access to better facilities, technology, training and resources than an organization could afford on its own. Your association can “plug in” immediately to the newest and most efficient software and hardware available, instantly boosting the level of service you provide to your members. In addition, associations and nonprofits managed by AMCs are able to leverage extensive buying power when it comes to meeting planning, marketing and communications, creative services and technology, among others. By working with vendors and suppliers on a regular basis, and negotiating contracts on behalf of multiple associations, AMCs realize savings which are then passed along to you.

  • Beyond shared resources, do AMCs share ideas and solutions among the associations they manage?

    • Sharing ideas and experiences is one of the great benefits of working with an AMC. Because they work with multiple clients, AMCs can develop best practices and standards based on the collected experience of their staff members and clients. That leaves more time for staff and volunteer leaders to develop custom programs and solutions for your organization that are based on what really works.

  • What happens to our current association staff?

    • AMCs manage each engagement in accordance to the specific needs of each organization. During the contracting process, your AMC will work with your organization’s leadership to identify your staffing needs and limitations, evaluate current staff performance and determine what makes the most sense – using all AMC-sourced staff, supplementing your existing staff with professionals with similar and/or different experience, or keeping some staff and replacing others based on performance.

  • Will our AMC leadership offer experience from our members’ profession?

    • For some associations, it is imperative for executive staff to possess a professional standing within the industry or profession. In these cases, AMCs work with the organization’s leadership to identify individuals who offer both experience within the profession as well as business aptitude and some association management experience.

  • How long does it take to transition to an AMC?

    • The transition time to an AMC can vary greatly based on the circumstances surrounding an organization’s status quo. Generally, AMCs work with the association’s leadership to develop a comprehensive plan that addresses all the necessary details to ensure that the transition is seamless – operationally and, most importantly, for your membership.