Association Management Companies

     The phenomenal growth of associations and professional societies is dramatically increasing the need for effective, professional managment.
     But the traditional answers--a major investment in full-time staff and office facilities, or operating with volunteers who often lack time, experience, and expertise in key areas--result in high overhead and headaches. Long-term goals frequently get lost in day-to-day details.
     A unique concept of association management has existed for more than 100 years and remains today an alternative that offers significant advantages that associations and societies are rapidly discoverin--the association management company,
     What exactly is an association management company? How does it operate? Whom does it serve? And what are its benefits?

The Rational Alternative

An association management company is a firm of skilled professionals whose goal is to provide management expertise and specialized services to associations and societies in an efficient, cost-effective manner.
     Whether they are large or small trade associations or professional societies, all volunteer organizations need to evaluate their goals and objectives and then select the management framework that is right for them Maintaining a full-time staff and office space may not be cost-effective or time efficient for many organizations. At the same time, operating with a volunteer staff can be counter-productive because of a lack of continuity in leadership, professional expertise, and hands-on experience.
     That is where the unique services of the association management company fit in.

Centers for Professionalism and Service

 Based on the concept of shared resources, an association management company provides volunteer organizations with the expertise they need, when they need it.The association management company typically assigns executives and administrators to conduct day-to-day operations. Plus, specialists are assigned on an as-needed basis to designated projects. For example, a publications editor coordinates a monthly newsletter or an annual report, an exhibits manager oversees the annual meeting trade show, a research team is created to assist with special projects, or additional support staff is utilized to help with membership projects.
     Using an association management firm enable an association or society to benefit from the professional expertise of top specialists for a fraction of what it would cost to hire them as full-time staff. An association management company also provides a centralized office that serves as the client associations's headquarters. The overhead costs for this office are shared by many associations and professional societies. In this ways, association clients are able to enjoy an increase in resources--and often benefit from the latest in advanced technology and professional equipment--without a major capital investment.

Whom an Association Management Company Serves and How

Business, trade, service, and professional associations and societies of all sizes benefit from the services of association management companies. Association management companies help these volunteer organizations meet complex challenges by offering both general and specialized areas of expertise including:

    • executive management
    • administrative management
    • membership development
    • strategic planning
    • meeting/convention planning
    • public affairs lobbying
    • communications services
    • financial management
    • marketing
    • education and professional development services

As professionals in these areas are assigned on an as-needed basis, client service is customized to meet specific tasks. This, in turn, offers the association the flexibility needed to meet the challenges of changing policies, programs, and leadership.


Focusing Attention on Goals and Roles

The services of an association management company are designed to promote the overall mission and goals of the organization by allowing association leaders to focus on industry issues and policy decisions while management company staff advise, develop, ad implement programs to fulfill those policy objectives.
In summary, an association management company can:

    • allow association leaders to concentrate on policy issues rather than administrative tasks
    • provide a higher degree of professionalism, management expertise and technology than might other wise be available
    • customize staff needs to fit peak activity periods
    • maintain a continuity of business operations during leadership and staff changes
    • provide a cost-effective solution to personnel, equipment and budget considerations.

If your organization's programs can benefit from these services, the time has come to consider an association management company.

W.V.Cross Enterprises  503-873-5384