Broadening the Potential for Your Organization and Career: An Introduction to Association Management Companies
We've all heard the phrase "wearing multiple hats." For many nonprofit organizations and associations, this is not only a skill that's desirable from potential and current employees, but is sometimes mandatory when resources and/or staff are otherwise limited. But, when organizations are faced with limited resources and staff, how do they adjust while still serving their mission successfully? Introducing: the Association Management Company (AMC).
What are Association Management Companies?
AMCs are exactly what they sound like: companies that assist in the management duties of one or more associations. They answer the call when resources, staff, and volunteers are not enough to successfully fulfill an organization's mission. They provide a multitude of services that relieve the pressure from organizations and can sometimes provide services and resources that may not be readily available from the organization itself. In essence, the AMC model serves as a comprehensive management solution for organizations large and small, offering a myriad of services: from staffing and board member training, to strategic planning and financial management.
Benefits of Using an AMC
For these reasons, there is a wide range of benefits that organizations and associations can receive from partnering with the right AMC.
- Financial Efficiency – Probably one of the more visible and sought-after benefits of the AMC model, AMCs reduce overhead costs and other expenses for organizations by reducing in-house staffing needs. With multiple organizations under their management, AMCs are also able to leverage buying power for other aspects of the organization, such as event planning and marketing solutions.
- Networking with Other Organizations – By their very nature, AMCs offer clients the opportunity to network and share knowledge with other organizations that share similar interests or experiences. This also serves as a strength within the AMC model, because AMCs are prepared to address numerous types of experiences and situations that may be similar to multiple organizations.
- Human Resources Management – By redirecting staffing and human resources, the AMC becomes the employer, thereby reducing the amount of time and energy required for organizations to manage HR issues. And in turn, organizations become empowered with more time to dedicate towards achieving their mission.
- Organizational Development – Finally, AMCs can offer various short to long-term solutions for organizations that may further develop and support their mission. Depending on the AMC, some may offer training and enrichment programs for board members and staff; engage in creative or strategic planning efforts; or develop fundraising plans to meet financial goals of the organization.
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AMC as a Career Path
While AMCs serve as a great resource for nonprofits and associations, they also offer a niche within your current career path. Consider the benefits of not only "wearing multiple hats," but also applying this skill towards multiple organizations at the same time. It may seem like a daunting task on paper, but the benefit of working at an AMC is that the process of managing multiple organizations demands efficiency in itself. While services are tailored for each client, AMCs generally utilize the same resources and solutions across the board.
AMCs also offer an opportunity for you to gain experience and network with multiple types of organizations, focusing on many different issue areas. By working at an AMC, you are not only exposed to organizations large and small, but you also have the potential to network with their board members, in-house staff, and other stakeholders.
What an AMC Represents on Your Resume
When you work at an AMC, you are not only broadening your career opportunities, but also telling future employers that you are flexible and adaptable to any environment. By working with both small and large organizations, your resume could potentially reach a wider range of employers, which in turn could provide you greater flexibility in a tough job market. Even more so, consider the amount of references you could gain for your resume from multiple organizations.
AMCs are one of many resources nonprofits have to maximize their effectiveness and to unlock their potential. What other resources do you use?
Conni Ingallina is the owner of SOS-Association Management Solutions, a full-service association management company based in Scottsdale, Arizona, firstname.lastname@example.org; www.sossolutions.org.
To access additional information on what AMCs are and what services they can provide, visit the AMC Institute website, which also provides a directory of AMCs nationwide and other resources for organizations and individuals alike.