What is an Association Management Company?

Association Management Companies (AMCs) are businesses that provide a professional, turnkey, centralized office that serves as the client association’s headquarters.

The overhead costs for the professional offices are shared by other association clients at the AMC. Based on the concept of shared resources, specialists are drawn from the pool of personnel resources and assigned on an as-needed basis.

Each association pays only for the time the staff specialists work on the association’s needs. The association benefits from the professional expertise for a fraction of what it would cost to hire full-time staff – essentially, associations receive full-time expertise for part-time needs. In addition, since the firm is working closely with other associations, there’s a natural transference of ideas and successes – what works well in one organization often works well in another. AMCs have been serving associations for over 100 years. An association management company offers cost savings and technology innovations due to economies of scale.

Efficiency, coupled with expertise and experience, are what the American Society of Association Executives & Center for Association Leadership (ASAE) AMC Council, found to be the critical operating principles of any professional AMC. Efficiencies can be found in many different areas including:

  • Technology investment, upgrades, and training
  • Buying power and participation in discount purchasing programs
  • Systems and procedures for managing the association
  • Staff experience with issues important to associations
  • Team assignments

AMCs have unsurpassed expertise in managing all aspects of membership organizations. Due to the variety of professional associations with which an AMC works, an ideal environment is cultivated so that:

  • Cross-learning benefits the association
  • Association management best practices are shared by team members
  • Professional development and staff training is ongoing
  • Team members are specialists in the management of exempt organizations
  • Uniform operating procedures are followed, saving the association time and money

AMCs, due to their multiple association relationships, have a great deal of experience in serving a wide variety of organizations and helping them meet their organizational objectives. While outsourcing is a new concept for many corporations, smart associations have been using AMC’s for over 100 years.

Why Select an AMC?

By narrowing the search to association management companies that have been accredited by the AMC Institute, associations can be assured the association management company has rigorous, measurable performance practices that demonstrate that defined processes, controls, and systems are in place. Additionally, a thorough review has been conducted by an independent accounting firm to assure compliance. PMA is an accredited association management company which has a strong commitment to quality – and was one of a handful of companies that received dual-accreditation when the American Society of Association Executives’ program was active. PMA was recognized as a Charter Accredited AMC by the American Society of Association Executives & The Center for Association Leadership, a distinction given to the first companies that applied for accreditation. The AMCI Institute is a recognized standard developer by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Selecting an AMC

It’s time to contact Professional Management Associates, LLC when:
  • Your association has experienced staff turnover and the board has become tired of dealing with personnel issues rather than furthering the mission of the organization.
  • You want to take your association to the next level of growth or professionalism.
  • You want a consistent headquarters team of association professionals, plus experts assigned on an as-needed basis for designated projects – for significantly less than the cost to hire full-time staff.
  • You’re finding it more and more difficult to recruit volunteers for the day-to-day management and administration of the association’s programs and services.
  • Your members and prospective members expect continuity and consistency of association operations, staff, and identity as the volunteer leaders change.
  • You have discovered that maintaining a full-time staff, office space, and state-of-the-art technology is neither cost effective nor efficient for your association.
  • You want to tap into many years of successful association experience to re-build and re-energize your association’s programs, membership, revenue sources, or programs and services.
  • Your association is working just fine, “except for…” and you need to outsource communications, technology services, meetings, seminars, marketing, conference or exhibit management, or any other key component of your organization’s business operations.
  • Your association has grown beyond the ability of the volunteer leaders to manage the day-to-day details – the treasurer wants to be more fiscally proactive rather than paying the bills, the membership chair wants to recruit new members rather than maintain the database, the conference chair wants to identify trends and members’ needs, not to worry about the menus. Hiring PMA frees leaders and volunteers to focus on the organization’s policies and mission in order to achieve its goals.
  • You understand that volunteers are leaders in their industry or profession, but the management of an exempt organization requires a body of knowledge, experience, and expertise that volunteers do not possess.
  • You’re an Executive Director of an association and find you can’t be an effective staff specialist in all function areas. Tired of going it alone, you want experienced, hit-the-ground-running help!
PMA welcomes inquiries from board members and volunteer leaders to discuss your organizations’ issues. PMA welcomes media and press inquiries. We can be reached at info@association-partners.com or by filling out an online form.