The Guild Associates, Inc. is an association management company (AMC). AMCs serve non-profit associations by performing their executive management and operational functions. The volunteer leaders of non-profit associations may choose to hire an AMC as an alternative to hiring dedicated staff.
A growing number of boards of associations are choosing AMCs because of the changes in technology, economy, and new attitudes about volunteering. Choosing an AMC allows associations leaders to focus more on the strategic direction and less on smaller details or operations.
AMC's now manage nearly 4,700 non-profits, with total annual budgets of $3.47 billion and 5 million members. The industry has also seen a growth of 150 percent since 1986.
Association Management Companies (AMC) work with associations and professional societies of all sizes. They provide an alternative to hiring staff directly and enable volunteer staff to focus on the mission.
What are some of the benefits to working with an AMC?
Staff – The individuals who work at an AMC are well trained in association management and bring that expertise to the clients they serve. Each AMC is structured differently but all will assign one employee to be the key contact for the association. If the association is larger, the AMC will assemble a team to ensure that all the activities of the organization are handled professionally. The AMC is responsible for training the staff and providing benefits such as health insurance. The AMC provides staff coverage when the key contact is on vacation or out sick. If additional staff are needed for special projects, the AMC staffs accordingly and the board of directors can continue to focus on the strategy of the association.
Knowledge – working with an association management company means that you have access to the knowledge AMC staff have from working with other groups. This does not mean that proprietary information is shared. Rather when your association is evaluating different strategies, the team assigned to your association will draw upon knowledge they gained from other clients. This helps them create successful membership drives and grow events.
Infrastructure – For smaller budgets, investing in infrastructure such as high-speed copiers, postage machines, accounting and design software, can be cost prohibitive. Since an association management company is working with multiple groups, it will invest in the best equipment and software.
Shared Resources – AMCs often create their own processes for running and growing an organization. A professional society managed by an association will benefit from this knowledge. It can be as basic as how to run a meeting for 30 or running a multi-day conference and trade show. The AMC employees will share information on hotels, key contacts, and best practices.
Continuity -An association management company provides continuity through staffing changes. They normally cross train their staff so that if someone does leave the company, the day to day activities of the association continue to run smoothly.