Here is the answer, but be sure to read the pros and cons below.
An association management company (AMC) is an organization that typically manages multiple associations to provide efficiencies of scale and access to expertise.
This is in contrast to a “captive” or dedicated association staff that works directly for just one association.
What are the pros and cons of hiring an association management company versus a dedicated association staff?
An association management company can offer these advantages:
- Possibly lower costs due to the sharing of overhead costs with other associations.
- Access to on-demand expertise that a single association could not easily afford or retain.
- The ability to hire dedicated yet part-time employees.
A dedicated or captive association staff can offer these advantages:
- Lower costs per employee if the organization reaches a critical mass.
- Greater control over the employee structure and development.
- Ability to grow with deep levels of control over the organization.
Which is the right choice for your association, an association management company or a dedicated staff that you hire directly? The answer likely comes down to the following factors:
- The size of your association staff
- The rate of growth of your association
- The financial state of your association
Generally speaking, smaller associations often benefit most from an association management company because it is more difficult for them to recruit, retain and afford professional association management.
However, we have seen wonderful exceptions to this rule in both directions. Some small associations are lucky enough to keep a highly talented executive director and staff for many years, while some large associations greatly enjoy the flexibility that association management offers.
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