We tend to hear a lot of the same Association Management Company Myths (AMC). From concerns about cost-effectiveness and service quality to misunderstandings about culture and control, we wanted to answer some of the most asked questions we get about working with an AMC!

Myth 1: AMC staff will not prioritize building connections or cultivate strong relationships with members, volunteer leaders, and important stakeholders.

Fact 1: AMC staff are indistinguishable from in-house paid staff in their roles and responsibilities. They use the organization’s emails, phone numbers, and titles, ensuring seamless integration and representation.

AMC staff bring extensive experience and are often even more responsive and engaged, thanks to their specialized training and focus.

The relationships they build with members and stakeholders are designed to be as robust, if not more so, than those fostered by traditional staff. This ensures that day-to-day operations are handled effectively and efficiently, freeing volunteer leaders to focus their talents and time on strategic roles.

By prioritizing member and stakeholder connections, AMC staff enhance the overall member experience, driving engagement and satisfaction while allowing the organization’s leadership to concentrate on achieving long-term goals.

This commitment to strong relationships and operational excellence ensures that your organization remains dynamic and well-supported.

Myth 2: Communication will be difficult with unfamiliar staff and limited dedicated working hours on behalf of my association.

Fact 2: While it is true that AMC staff may have more than one client, this does not mean that you will be limited as to when you can communicate with them!

Most AMCs do not prescribe specific days or hours within those days to a certain client. Instead, they incorporate the cadence of the association’s annual projects into their time management to ensure that they are available to meet the needs of the members and the organization.

Your AMC will work closely with you during the contracting process to ensure that the core services are properly defined and to ensure that your association has the dedicated staff time it needs to be successful!

AMCs also provide staff consistency to associations that often have regular volunteer and leadership transitions. Having the resources of an entire AMC supporting you means consistent coverage of all your staffing needs and seamless transitions when changes inevitably occur.

Myth 3: My association will not be a top priority.

Fact 3: A professional AMC will work to thoroughly define your association’s needs and the full scope of work prior to executing a contract, giving you complete confidence that your association will be fully supported. AMCs view the relationship with associations as a partnership. Your success is their success!

The extensive experience an AMC has with a diverse range of associations, clients, programs, and causes allows for a deep understanding of your specific needs. AMCs can swiftly implement the systems and procedures that have proven successful for other clients, bringing immediate benefits to your association.

AMCs are committed to continuous learning and adopting best practices in association management, sharing this knowledge across the company.

Your association will continuously benefit from the expertise gained through interactions with multiple clients as well as the professional development opportunities AMCs provide to staff. You’ll remain a top priority and thrive under the partnership.

Myth 4: AMC staff will not be dedicated to our mission or understand our industry.

Fact 4: While an AMC may not initially be experts in your specific field, they specialize in helping associations thrive. The cause that is important to you will become of utmost importance to the right AMC partner.

Moreover, an AMC that is a good fit for your association will share your core values, establishing a strong foundation for a productive partnership. This alignment in values will enhance the AMC’s ability to effectively support and advance your mission, ensuring your goals are met and your cause is championed.

While AMCs are built on the idea of partnering staff with management expertise together with volunteers with industry.

Myth 5: The transition process to an AMC is too overwhelming.

Fact 5: Transitioning to an AMC is a significant step, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. AMCs use a personalized, structured approach with detailed checklists, timelines, and a dedicated team to ensure a seamless process where nothing is overlooked.

From the initial stages to final implementation, AMC staff will support your association every step of the way, turning the transition into a positive experience.

According to a study by the AMC Institute, associations on average stay with an AMC for 13 years, with 21% of clients remaining with their AMC for over 20 years. This means that once you find the right AMC partner, you can focus less on the logistics of onboarding and staffing transitions and more on advancing your mission.

A well-executed transition allows your association to benefit from the AMC’s expertise and support, leading to long-term stability and growth.

Myth 6: Volunteer leadership will lose control of the vision and strategic direction of the organization if we transition to an AMC.

Fact 6: Partnering with an AMC will help your leadership to focus more on your organization’s strategic direction. Instead of losing control, you’ll develop a relationship aimed at boosting efficiency and achieving strategic goals.

Daily operations are managed by the AMC, freeing the board to concentrate on strategic planning and advancing the association’s mission.

AMCs bring specialized expertise and resources to streamline operations, ensuring your association retains full oversight and decision-making authority. This allows your team to focus on mission-critical activities while benefiting from enhanced operational support. A good AMC will collaborate closely with your association to achieve your goals, working with you to utilize your resources effectively.

By partnering with an AMC, you gain both enhanced operational efficiency and strategic focus, leading to greater overall success for your association.

Myth 7: The AMC’s culture won’t align with my association’s culture.

Fact 7: A good AMC understands the importance of aligning cultures and will prioritize this discussion during the exploratory phase to ensure a successful partnership.

A critical component of the exploratory process involves thorough work before signing any agreement, during which the AMC ensures a strong cultural fit. This pre-contract phase is dedicated to understanding your association’s values, goals, and culture, paving the way for effective collaboration.

Fostering excellent relationships is a top priority for any AMC. They are dedicated to creating partnerships based on mutual respect, shared values, and a deep understanding of your association’s culture. By prioritizing cultural alignment, AMCs ensure their support not only enhances operational efficiency but also strengthens the overall mission and ethos of your association.

Myth 8: Working with an AMC is too expensive.

Fact 8: Working with an AMC is often comparable or more cost-effective than operating as a stand-alone association. The expenses may look different at first glance, but an AMC management fee includes much more than just staff salaries.

An AMC management fee generally replaces the items typically found in a stand-alone association’s budget including staff salaries, staff benefits, staff professional development, technology and office supplies, information technology services, human resources services, property ownership and maintenance, and more.

By leveraging shared resources and specialized expertise, AMCs help associations reduce overhead costs, minimize risks, and focus on growth and member satisfaction, ultimately leading to enhanced financial health.

On average, associations experience revenue increases when working with an AMC, as AMCs help associations do more with less by utilizing their extensive expertise. By focusing on long-term growth and sustainability, AMCs provide substantial value that make them a smart investment for the future of your association.

Myth 9: Working with an AMC will result in unpredictable pricing or hidden fees.

Fact 9: A reputable AMC maintains constant communication to keep you informed about any projects that may fall outside the scope of your contract.

Regular check-ins and detailed time usage reports are integral to a productive AMC-client relationship, providing transparency and predictability in pricing.

A key aspect of the exploratory process involves comprehensive discussions before signing any agreement, during which the AMC and your association determine the essential services needed for your success. This process ensures clarity on core services and establishes detailed pricing structures for any additional hours required for specific or unexpected projects.

This approach ensures that you are always aware of costs and can confidently plan your budget without worrying about unexpected fees. Through clear agreements and ongoing communication, AMCs guarantee that your organization receives the necessary support with full financial transparency.

Find Your Perfect AMC Partner

By choosing an AMC that aligns with your values and goals, you’ll gain access to specialized expertise, streamlined operations, and dedicated support, allowing your leadership to focus on advancing your mission. Start your journey to greater efficiency and success by finding the right AMC partner today.