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  • Writer's pictureArden Solutions

Should you choose an Association Management Company (AMC) or in-house staff?

Association Management Companies (AMCs) serve a variety of trade associations and professional societies at once, providing management and administrative services for a fee. AMCs have been used for over a century, and with good reason. There are numerous advantages to using an AMC, including:

Tap into Diverse Staff

An association board of directors is often tasked with having to hire one full-time person who can lead the organization, but also must do fundraising, government relations, writing, and marketing (or some other combination of occupations). When hiring an AMC, you buy a fraction of the time of a variety of talented people with dedicated experience in several subject areas or occupations, rather than trying to find one unbelievably talented person. You also gain the cost advantage of being able to keep tasks at appropriate salary levels. When you hire one person you get one pay rate. When you hire an AMC, you pay the appropriate pay rate for the work being done.

Lowers Overhead and Technology Costs

One of the largest ways an AMC saves you money is in the joint use of overhead and technology resources. You no longer have to pay for: rent on an office, utilities, hardware such as staff computers, printers, or phones, or for a variety of software that would cost you considerably such as cloud storage, QuickBooks, licenses to Microsoft Office, or conference agenda applications. Using an AMC lets clients get the same benefits at a substantial discount by harnessing bulk purchasing power.

It's easier to expand or shrink capabilities. Instead of adding employees one at a time, you can have the capabilities of 1.25 employees or 3.75 employees. With more staff on hand, you also benefit by not having your organization down when a single employee may be sick or goes on vacation. You also get a more natural stretch, with a little more help during times of high need, such as at an annual conference or major event that needs staffing.

Already Optimized

When hiring directly, as each staff member is brought on they must be acclimated to other staff, systems, and processes are built and refined. A young or rapidly growing organization has to 'figure things out.' The use of an AMC connects you to office tasks and technology systems that have already been tested and optimized for efficiency and staff that are accustomed to working as a team. You're buying into a system and staff that's already proven, instead of testing systems and staff yourself.

They’re Association Experts

An AMC manages operations. But they also house the kind of expertise businesses hire consultant groups to obtain. By nature, an AMC manages numerous associations and other mission-driven organizations. This means an AMC can use good ideas or operational improvements that they see one client use to help another. This is as opposed to a direct hire who may only have work experience with a few or even one other association.

AMCs benefit small, growing associations for full management toward growth, and larger associations to expand expertise not available in hired staff. AMCs also offer an excellent option to outsource some areas of management. Regardless of how you came to consider an AMC, know that you are in good company. AMCs are widely used by hundreds of well-respected associations, certification bodies, academic societies, and institutions.


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