Nonprofit | Technology

A Total Game-Changer: Association Operations Support Services

August 9, 2021


If you are looking for a solution to help lower your administrative costs, free up your time to focus on your association’s mission, and make your operation run more efficiently, association operations support services are the key. These services let you outsource the administrative tasks of your organization to an expert in the field, allowing you to focus your time and energy on completing the core mission of your organization. Learn more about how association operations support services can completely change the game for your organization.

What Are Association Operations Support Services?

Association operations support services provide solutions and support services for associations. An association management company is an independent  provider that offers support services to community organizations, often including customer service, administrative assistance, and nonprofit strategic planning. 


Who Can Use Nonprofit Management Services?

A variety of organizations and associations can use association operations support services, including:

  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Associations
  • Trade organizations
  • Member-based organizations 

What Can Association Operations Support Services Do? 

Association management companies can offer a full range of business solutions and support, including:

  • Financial management - Having a secure financial foundation is paramount to your continued sustainability as a nonprofit organization or association. Working with an association management service provider can help you establish and meet important financial benchmarks. Association management companies can help you develop a budget, oversee your finances, and deliver turnkey CFO-level financial and accounting services, allowing you to benefit from their expertise at an affordable cost. 
  • Donor and member recruitment and engagement - A key component to a successful association is thriving membership. Likewise, nonprofit organizations need active donor engagement to complete their mission. An association management service provider can recruit and engage new and existing members so that they have a positive experience with your association. Effective association management companies can help with community management by regularly communicating with members and running member programs. They can look for new ways to attract community organizations and individuals to your organization, as well as to motivate current members to maintain their membership. 
  • Organizational management - Nonprofit management services can also help you organize your internal management. They can help you establish a board of directors, select board members, and appoint key leadership within your organization.

    The benefits of working with an association management service are almost endless-
  • Event management - Many nonprofit organizations and associations have a few key events throughout the year to increase community or donor engagement. During these times, things can get hectic as organizations attempt to complete their typical duties while also managing an event. An association management service company can help set up and run conferences, training events, retreats, galas, and other networking events. These companies can successfully help set up an event budget, develop support and marketing materials, register participants, manage vendors, and run your event smoothly. 
  • Customer service - Through the use of virtual nonprofit assistants, you can ensure that your donors, volunteers, members, and recipients have a positive experience with your nonprofit organization or association. 
  • Business operations - Association management service providers can assist with your day-to-day needs, too. This might include setting up your technology needs, managing memberships and benefits, communicating with members and donors, and ensuring that everyone has a positive experience with your organization. 
  • Administrative assistance - Many NPOs and associations do not have the budget for a full time administrative staff. Association management companies can provide staff augmentation so that all important tasks are handled by capable individuals. 
  • Marketing - Putting your marketing functions in the hands of a capable third party can help you increase engagement while focusing on the growth of your organization or association
  • Strategic guidance - Association operations support services can complete a strategic assessment of your nonprofit organization or trade association. Association management companies have worked with various types of nonprofit organizations and associations and know what works. They can assist with all aspects of nonprofit strategic planning to help you identify new sources of community engagement and how to sustain your organization throughout your lifetime.

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What Benefits Can Organizations Receive from Association Operations Support Services?

The benefits of working with an association management service are almost endless. Whether you are an existing, new, small, or large nonprofit organization or association, you may be able to reap the following benefits:

Reduce Overhead Expenses 

Many associations and nonprofit organizations do not have the budget to pay for an entire administrative staff, especially if they are new or are experiencing lower engagement levels. Association operations support services provide administrative assistance and make it more affordable for associations by distributing the expenses among several associations. You can also avoid some of the additional expenses that come along with employees, such as taxes, benefits, overtime pay, training, and insurance. 

Additionally, association operations support services often let you pick and choose the services that you want, which makes the costs much more manageable. You do not have to pay for full-service support if you do not need it. However, as your association grows, you can add on additional services to meet the growing needs of your organization. 

Gain Expertise 

Even if your organization has been in place for quite some time, this may be the first nonprofit organization or association you have worked with. In contrast, association operations support services have often worked with a variety of organizations and associations, so they know what has worked and hasn’t worked in various industries.

You can benefit from the management experience that these providers offer. Additionally, you can tap into specific expertise and critical skill sets that can help you better manage your organization. Association management service companies often have access to a large database of workers with diverse skill sets in various disciplines that their organizations can tap into. Use an association management service provider to tap into experts with a wide range of expertise.

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Obtain Customized Business Solutions and Support Services 

When you work with an association management service provider, you can receive tailor-made business solutions and support services that are just right for you. These service providers leverage their shared resources across multiple clients, so you have access to more expertise and greater capabilities that are custom to fit your individual organization’s needs. Because these resources are shared, you can enjoy them at reduced costs. 

Free Up Board Members’ Time 

Running a successful nonprofit organization or association is a daunting task. Board members must often devote a significant amount of their time on the day-to-day activities. When you use an association management service, you can reduce the burden of administrative duties and delegate these to a capable third-party so that your board members can spend more time on nonprofit management and setting the direction for your organization. Let your board of directors focus on your mission and strategy (the reason you put them in place) instead of the administrative headaches that can capably be handled by someone else. 

Increase Member Engagement 

Association operations support services can also help engage your new and existing members. They can set up exciting events, take part in networking events, and provide educational opportunities for members. This continued concentration on member engagement can help sustain your association. 

Become More Efficient

Association operations support services know the most efficient methods and processes to manage nonprofit organizations and associations. You can benefit from their expertise and assistance by implementing best practices to help run your organization more efficiently. You can gain access to specific expertise as needed and allocate resources more effectively throughout your organization.  

Gain New Perspective 

Some new blood can help give you a fresh perspective. If you have struggled with a situation for some time or have had trouble engaging existing members or increasing donor contributions, an association management service provider can help develop innovative strategies and give you some new ideas to spur community engagement. Because association management companies work with multiple industries and professional organizations, they can often give you ideas that have worked well for others.

Access Better Technology

If you are a small organization or association, you may not have a huge technology budget to invest in new websites, email marketing, or social media advertisements. When you work with an association management service, you can enjoy the benefits larger organizations receive by having access to better technology and resources. More efficient software programs and databases may be used for financial management, event registration, and membership management. You may be able to host virtual events and develop a digital strategy with the help of an association management service company. 

Enjoy Greater Flexibility 

When you select an association management service provider, you can generally opt for a full spectrum of services or a fee-for-service arrangement. This allows you to choose the method that will provide the most benefit to your organization that you can afford. You can always add on services later as your association grows, but you also have the flexibility to scale down if you need to. 

Are Association Operations Support Services Worth the Investment?

Absolutely. Association operations support services save directors time, you don’t have to hire or train new staff, and you can become much more efficient in your operations. As you can see from the many benefits discussed above, association  services pay for themselves with the costs you will save by using these services. Contact us to learn more about your options.


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