Association management companies (AMCs) are professional services firms that provide comprehensive strategic, management, and administrative headquarters solution to trade, business, and professional associations and foundations. There are nearly 700 AMCs worldwide managing over 5,000 associations with budgets ranging from $100,000 to greater than $10 million annually. AMCs couple the efficiency of a shared infrastructure with specialized staffing, proven practices, and shared resources. They are scalable operations that provide economies of scale, buying power, flexibility, and adaptability to non-profit organizations.
AMCs provide both full-service and project-based management. Full-service services include functioning as a headquarters, delivering a contractually-specified service scope, serving as a one-stop shop for organizational management and service delivery, and providing turnkey staff and infrastructure. Project-based services include specialized services such as strategic assessment, event and tradeshow management, non-dues revenue development (fundrasing), finance and control, membership marketing, public and government relations, and consulting services.
AMCs are contracted by client volunteer leaders to deliver upon a specified service scope. They provide the infrastructure and staff to help pursue organizational growth and success. AMCs typically couple subject matter experts and association management specialists who, together, focus on the organization’s mission. They allow the association’s volunteer leaders to focus on strategy instead of operations and administration.
Even in non-profits, the bottom line is the bottom line. AMCs save money by utilizing shared multi-client staff and infrastructure, using embedded association knowledge and systems, maintaining operational efficiency, building cross-client relationships, purchasing in bulk and buying collectively, and maintaining little-to-no “downtime” inefficiencies.
Quantitatively speaking, AMCs statistically provide a 15% to 20% savings over a standalone model. This equates to $150,000 to $200,000 in annual savings for an organizations spending $1 million in staff and infrastructure costs. These are savings that can be applied to fuel organizational visibility, growth, and success.
AMCs can provide strategic partnership by coupling subject matter expertise with seasoned association professionals, contractual accountability, operational scalability, and high-quality continuity should unanticipated vacancies occur. An AMC also assumes employer and infrastructure liability, and is “invisible” to all but association leaders.