What is an Association Management Company?

If you have been involved in the association world, you may have heard the term, “Association Management Company,” or “AMC.” What is this type of company and how could it benefit an association?

According to the AMC Institute, “Association management companies, or AMCs, are for-profit businesses that manage associations to help them grow and prosper. They offer the expertise, staffing and resources that allow professional societies, trade groups, not-for-profits and philanthropic organizations to effectively manage day-to-day operations and advance their long-term goals. AMCs deliver high levels of expertise and accountability so that associations can continue to increase their value and relevance to members.”

Click to read “Understanding the AMC Management Model” to learn more.

Association Management Companies in Practice

Practically, AMCs offer expertise in comprehensive management, strategic planning, finance, membership, marketing, events and more. Staff are experienced association professionals who know how to navigate the day-to-day of an association. They are experts in their respective fields (membership, meeting planning, etc.) with a foundation in associations. Instead of hiring a full-time staff, the association management model allows associations to hire the exact staff they need. Staff allocation could look something like this:

  • Executive Director – 100%
  • Marketing Director – 50%
  • Membership Director – 50%
  • Meetings Director – 50%
  • Communications Coordinator – 25%
  • Member Services Coordinator – 25%

In this scenario, an association can cover all of its operation needs with 3 full time equivalents (FTEs) instead of hiring a full-time staff member for each position (6 FTEs). The remaining percentages of AMC staff members’ time is filled with other association clients. Staff need is typically determined from an association’s request for proposal (RFP). When an association details the scope of service they are seeking, AMCs can offer a staffing structure that fits.

AMCs provide their clients with unparalleled flexibility, agility and financial advantages, which makes the AMC model a good alternative for managing many nonprofit organizations. Association management companies manage the association to shift the Board of Directors’ focus from operations to high-level, future-focused strategy.

Benefits of an Association Management Company

Association Management Companies offer a variety of strengths and benefits, especially to small and mid-sized groups.

  • Shared Expertise – Though an association will have a dedicated client team, they also have access to other AMC staff members who may offer unique strengths and expertise to particular problems and issues.
  • Shared Resources – The AMC model offers financial flexibility and cost-savings opportunities. AMCs have shared office space and shared supplies and technology across several associations, so there are day-to-day operations savings. Technology examples include tools and programs to improve operations and enhance communications and member services.

Click to read “Staffing Benefits of an AMC” for a deeper dive into association management company benefits.

Selecting an AMC

Some AMCs specialize in particular areas, such as trade association management, professional society management and social cause organization management. There are others, like RGI, that offer full comprehensive management for associations of many types with staff members who possess a variety of nonprofit experience.

Finding, selecting and contracting with an Association Management Company is a valuable process in and of itself, but it does take time. That’s why we created an e-book that lays out the process for selecting an AMC, including exactly what you need to do before, during and after the search to ensure your organization builds on the successes you’ve already worked so hard to attain. Click the button below to view the e-book.

About the Author
Picture of Craig Banister

Craig Banister

Craig joined the RGI team in 2015 as an intern and joined as a staff member in 2018. During his time at RGI, he has worked with associations in the commercial real estate, corporate housing, healthcare engineering, nutrition education and legal industries. He holds a social media marketing certification through HubSpot Academy as well as two marketing certificates through the Association Academy. Craig was selected as an ASAE NextGen Scholar in 2022.