Top Six Things to Look for in an Association Management Company

Best Practices : Article

At Virtual, half of our business is organizations we helped launch. And the other half comes to us from another AMC. This gives me a bit of a jaded view of other AMCs—after all, no one would be looking to switch if they’re current AMC was doing a great job. But it has given me a great window into some of the challenges that organizations face in working with AMCs, and as a result a good idea of some of the things that someone should look for in hiring an AMC. Here’s my top six.

  1. Experience matters. You want your AMC to be a strategic partner for the organization, not just “the people that send the invoices out.” Good AMCs have helped dozens of organizations, just like yours —and can bring that experience to bear.
  2. Silent partners need not apply. Given item #1, don’t settle for an AMC that sits silently on calls and at meetings. You want them to be an active partner, helping guide an organization’s strategy . You can hire a temp to take minutes—you hire an AMC to help guide the direction of the organization.
  3. Subject matter experts. Ideally, you don’t want the same person that is processing new member applications to be writing your web copy. Look for an AMC with a staff of experts in focused areas, rather than generalists.
  4. Systems vs. people. Look for an AMC that understands how to automate processes and drives for efficiency—and has a track record of success in doing so.
  5. Leadership involvement. In hiring an AMC, be sure you have an understanding of what the ongoing involvement of the senior leadership of the AMC will be with your organization. At a minimum, there should be regular strategic checkpoints with senior leadership.
  6. Stability counts. There are lots of smaller AMCs in the market. That’s fine—many give great service. But you want to make sure the organization that you’re working with is going to be around for the life of your organization. Ask questions about their corporate history, breadth of their client base and recent growth.

Of course, if you don’t want sort through this list, just give me a call. We’d be happy to help. 😉

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