|Secrets to Receiving Superior Assn Management Proposals|
Date: January 1, 2011
Many associations and not-for-profit organizations find contracting with an association management company an attractive alternative to hiring its own staff. Just as those organizations seek a management firm that fits its needs, AMCs seek association clients that meet their expertise, and most AMCs have a profile of their "ideal” client. Certain key factors make the Request for Proposal (RFP) process more successful for both parties.
RFP Drives Responses
To receive outstanding proposals, the RFP should be specific and in-depth about the needs of either organization. The association must decide what it needs to know about the companies it will evaluate. The management company also needs to know specific information about the association and what services it needs. To assist associations in the search for a management company, the AMC Institute has several documents on its website which outline all the information needed to prepare a proposal.
AMCs invest considerable time and money to respond to proposals. As a result, most AMCs carefully screen RFPs to determine whether this investment is worthwhile. Many do not respond to RFPs mailed to all AMCs. There are different ways to determine which management company is best for your organization. Some AMCs work with the general market and others target certain industries. As an alternative, associations should consider creating a profile of desired AMC characteristics, including location, size, staff capabilities and other clients.
Seven Steps to AMC Selection:
A comprehensive RFP should also include a cover letter summarizing the organization and its size, scope, needs and the proposal timetable. It is important to indicate notification to the current firm and disclose if it will submit a proposal.
An accurate current financial statement and budget helps the management company determine if it "fits” with the association. Include any financial or legal issues that impact the business. Also request a transition plan and estimated costs from the current management to the new management company. Ask for a description of the management company, which should include its current clients with references.
Selecting the right AMC for the association helps create a partnership that can power the growth and development of an organization. This selection begins with creating a detailed RFP and sending it to AMCs who demonstrate their professionalism through AMC Institute membership.
Steve Drake is president of SCD gROUP, iNC., a nationally-recognized, award-winning Association Management Company located near St. Louis, MO. He can be reached at STEVE@SCDGROUP.NET or at www.scdgroup.net.