What is an AMC?

An association management company (AMC) is an independent service provider offering staff and solutions for associations. The staff of an association management company often is the staff for an association.

The roles of AMC staff includes, but is not limited to leadership, customer service, administrative assistance, management solutions, and strategic guidance to organizations on a fee-for-service basis. In its essence, an AMC acts as the home office, managing the everyday operations of nonprofits, societies, boards, and other associations.

Associations bring people together to achieve a specific goal, and so it is important that association members be allowed to focus on said goal. Because everyday operations can be time-consuming for members, AMCs give associations the opportunity to focus time and energy on their mission.

Association boards sometimes contract with AMCs to help them address specific challenges, such as planning for long-term growth, global expansion, or business model transitions.

What Are the Different Management Models for Working with an AMC?

Full Service means the AMC is part of every aspect of operations: from membership to marketing to risk management, to event planning and finances and strategic planning. In this model, the AMC is a strategic partner that supports the association so they can be more impactful in the work they do.

Outsourced Service means the AMC undertakes a single task or project for the association. As an example, the association may only need help organizing an event, or maybe it’s managing the association’s website or finances. Regardless, the AMC can help.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring an AMC?

Working with an AMC allows for a lot of flexibility — matching most needs and budgets. In addition to providing access to the best practices in industry and association expertise, AMCs can offer associations:

  • Access to the best technologies and business practices
  • Tailored solutions: optimized and led by adaptable and passionate team members
  • Staff focused on day-to-day operations, administrative upkeep, and member support, IT, etc.
  • Optimal resource distribution, given specific industry know-how
  • Shared resources within the AMC
  • Crisis Management & Communications: provide an experienced strategic approach to any crisis including event cancellations, financial hardship, public relations, and more
  • Marketing & Strategic Growth
  • Consolidation of all association duties under one umbrella and reduction of the amount of workload on members and volunteers

When is it time to hire an AMC?

An AMC is there to streamline the management capabilities of an association so the association can focus on mission, strategic growth, and support of priorities. From administrative tasks to strategy implementation, the AMC offers industry expertise and assistance in all its forms — so the association leaders, members, and volunteers can devote their time to the larger picture. It is time to think about hiring an AMC:

  • When it becomes difficult for volunteers to handle the volume of a growing membership and business demands
  • When staff does not have the necessary expertise to manage the complexities of the organization or needs assistance fulfilling the organization's mission
  • When the financial health of the association calls for turnaround management dedicated to the organization's renewal
  • When the workflow of an association is uneven and it's difficult to have the right team in place.
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