What Is Association Management?

Association management companies (AMCs) help associations and nonprofit organizations handle their day-to-day management and logistics so their volunteer leadership can focus on their long-term goals.

How Association Management Works

When you enlist a full-service AMC, they can help manage your association’s day-to-day operations and administrative tasks. The expertise that AMCs provide can be brought to all facets of your associations operations to streamline processes and save you time.

If your needs are more specific, standalone services, like membership management and meeting planning, can fill gaps where you most need it. Similarly, AMCs can also consult on short-term projects or help you create a strategic plan for your association as part of strategic deep-dives.

No matter what your association needs, the experts at Talley can help you achieve it. With experience spanning multiple decades and industries, our team is ready to jump in and partner with you to guide your association to success. Learn more about our process.

The Benefits of AMCs

MCs allow the association board to focus on what matters, ensuring that the association’s daily operations and management are handled by a skilled team of association management professionals. AMC’s can also be used to supplement existing association staff, extending the capacity and expertise of your team.
AMCs also bring industry-specific best practices to your organization to make sure everything is running smoothly.

On the business side, AMCs can help your association plan and meet business goals. Many times you’ll also have access to AMCs’ existing relationships with vendors, allowing you to tap into their network for all of your specific needs. Those benefits often include greater buying power and preferred partner pricing.

The biggest benefit an AMC can bring you, especially a strategically-focused one like Talley, is the ability to get out of the weeds and plan for the future. Whether you opt for full-service management or not, your board will have more time to focus on what’s important to your association and work toward its mission and goals.

How to Choose an AMC

The AMC you choose comes down to what you’re looking for in a partnership. AMCs can have different areas of expertise, industry experience, and scope of services. Having an idea of what is most important to your organization will help you narrow down the initial search.

Often, looking into the resources an AMC offers, like articles and case studies, can be a good indicator of their reliability. You can see their expertise at work, dive into past successes, and find specific data points to see if their support will match the skills you’re looking for.

Outside of the standard criteria, like experience and quality reviews, evaluating the representatives of the AMC is necessary, but often overlooked in the AMC search. An AMC and its staff will be the ones responsible for your association’s success. Building a working relationship and understanding the team behind the AMC is a key aspect of choosing an AMC that doesn’t get considered.


As your association partner, we support your existing team and your association as a whole. You will retain your branding and member-facing staff, unless you enlist us to support membership-related services where we represent your organization. To your members, there will be no clear change before, during, or after the handoff and partnership with an AMC.

From issuing an RFP to proposal submission the process can take up to a month. Once you have selected an AMC, the standard transition process can take around two or three months to complete. This transition period is handled seamlessly by our dedicated transition team. Additionally, we take this time to make sure that we have a comprehensive understanding of your needs and your goals for the engagement, and assign the right internal specialists to support your association. To learn more about how engaging an AMC works, you can read an overview of our process.

Our team is composed of talented individuals with experience that spans all specialties and industries. Many of our team members bring valuable experience from previous work with associations while others have for-profit sector knowledge. We also have specialists who can help associations with specific services, like meeting and event management, membership management, marketing, or financial accounting. Learn more about our fantastic team.

When it comes to hiring in-house, it can be difficult to find the specialists that you need. New hires will typically have a specialty and won’t be able to fill multiple roles within your association, which can add up in the long run. With an AMC, you have access to any kind of association expert you need, even if we need to source that specialist for you. AMCs take the headache out of staffing as we supplement your team with our experts, all in one place. Partnering with an AMC helps you reduce your overhead and streamline your operations, so that your team can focus on achieving your long term vision.

Partnering with an AMC typically includes three stages: the proposal and interview, the transition, the day-to-day management. As you move through these stages, your team and the AMC can work together to find the workflows, processes, and team arrangements that work best for you and your goals. Learn more about partnering with an AMC with an overview of our process.

If you’re considering working with an AMC, it’s a good idea to determine what you want out of the engagement and establish some potential goals. Then, finding the right partner comes with some exploration of services offered and understanding an AMC’s management philosophies. Our short quiz can help you determine if you’re ready to reach out to an AMC for support.

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