Why you should outsource your association management
At VdW&Co we understand that associations are usually brought to life and run by a group of passionate individuals who aim to make a difference in their industry. These individuals are typically volunteers and their main focus would be the impact of the association. An association does however still require a support structure for the day to functions such as maintaining membership records, collecting membership fees, organising meetings, event planning and management, communication and marketing of the association.
Associations can take one of three approaches in how they grow their association.
Volunteers will eventually lose interest and move on and are seldom sustainable, especially if the organisation is growing. Member volunteers also bring conflicts of interest; often the cause of governance problems that are very difficult to deal with.
Appoint staff, open an office and pay for infrastructure, training and systems
This option can be very costly and energy draining in the long run as the board ends up with all the long term risks and liabilities associated with being an employer and a tenant.
The association can outsource these functions to a specialist services provider, commonly known as an “association management company”. This type of organisation will provide all the core services that your association requires, against a fixed monthly retainer fee.
The benefits of outsourcing
A fixed retainer fee covering all the operating costs of your secretariat will make it easy to plan the income and expenditure of your association. A pure retainer fee basis incentivises the outsourced secretariat to manage the budgets of the association in a responsible and sustainable way.
An association management company provides services to multiple associations, which means that they can afford to invest in better offices, systems and specialised staff than what standalone associations would typically do. An association also benefits from the expertise the association management company has by working across various other association portfolios.
As an association your main interest lies within providing support to members, representing members at a national level and ensuring they are kept abreast of the latest developments in your industry.
By outsourcing your association management, you are allowing experts in these areas to manage the association and its members on your behalf.
Because the association management company will employ more staff than a standalone association, the institutional memory of your association will not get lost if any single employee should leave the organisation. These larger staff compliments also provide more career path opportunities and staff stability than what can be expected from a small-office secretariat.
By outsourcing to a professional association management organisation such as VdW&Co, your association gets, at a stroke of the pen, an instant national or regional office, fully staffed and equipped with state of the art information technology systems and communication equipment.