A Winning Partnership: Association Management Companies and Executive Directors 

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Executive Directors of associations play a pivotal role in driving the success of their organizations. They are responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, implementing strategic plans, and ensuring member satisfaction. However, the demands of the role can be overwhelming, leaving little time for them to focus on crucial aspects of association management.  

This is where Association Management Companies (AMCs) come in.  

In this blog, we explore how these specialized firms provide vital support to Executive Directors. From administrative assistance to strategic guidance and professional development opportunities, AMCs offer a range of services that alleviate the workload and empower Executive Directors to focus on their core responsibilities. We will also share three case studies that demonstrate the value of an AMC partnership.

What Are AMCs? 

AMCs are professional firms that provide comprehensive management services to associations and other nonprofit organizations. These companies specialize in handling the administrative, strategic, and operational aspects of running an association. This allows Executive Directors to focus on leading and advancing their organizations. 

What Are Executive Directors? 

Executive Directors are the top-level executives of associations, responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations, implementing strategic plans, and representing the organization. Furthermore, they play a crucial role in driving the mission and vision of the association, fostering member engagement, and ensuring the organization’s success. 

The Need for Partnership 

Support for Executive Directors is vital because they face numerous challenges in their roles. They often need assistance in managing membership, organizing events, handling finances, and staying on top of industry trends. Additionally, Executive Directors must navigate board governance, strategic planning, and advocacy efforts. The workload can be overwhelming, and without proper support, Executive Directors may struggle to effectively lead their associations and achieve their goals. 

Ultimately, AMCs play a crucial role in providing the necessary support to Executive Directors, enabling them to fulfill their responsibilities more efficiently and successfully. 

The Benefits of Partnering With an AMC 

By partnering with an AMC, Executive Directors receive various benefits, such as: 

Expertise and Experience 

AMCs have a team of professionals with experience in association management, providing Executive Directors with access to a wealth of knowledge, best practices, and industry-specific expertise. AMCs can also provide industry representation on behalf of your association at conferences, trade shows, and other industry events. They have a deep understanding of your industry and can effectively promote your association’s mission, initiatives, and offerings. AMCs can help coordinate your association’s participation in key events, including organizing booth space, developing presentations, and facilitating networking opportunities. This industry representation ensures that your association remains visible, influential, and connected within the broader industry ecosystem. 

Administrative Support  

AMCs handle time-consuming administrative tasks, such as membership management, database maintenance, financial management, and event planning. This support allows Executive Directors to focus on strategic initiatives and member engagement. 

Strategic Guidance  

AMCs assist Executive Directors in setting organizational goals, developing and implementing strategic plans, and providing guidance in board and committee support. They bring a fresh perspective and help associations stay aligned with their mission and vision.  

Resource Management 

AMCs provide support in human resources, technology infrastructure, and vendor management. This ensures that Executive Directors have the necessary resources and tools to run their associations efficiently. 

Professional Development 

AMCs offer Executive Directors access to industry education, training programs, networking opportunities, and resources. They support continued professional growth, enabling Executive Directors to enhance their skills and stay updated with the latest industry trends. 

Individualized Guidance and Support 

When you partner with an AMC, you gain access to professionals who can provide personalized guidance and support tailored to your association’s unique needs. AMCs work closely with Executive Directors to understand their goals, challenges, and vision for the association. With this understanding, they can offer targeted advice and support to help you navigate the complexities of association management effectively. 

Advocacy and Governance 

AMCs often have dedicated teams or specialists who are well-versed in government relations and lobbying activities. They can advocate on behalf of your association and its members, ensuring your voice is heard in the legislative and regulatory processes. AMCs can monitor legislative changes, track policy developments, and help craft effective advocacy strategies. They can represent your association’s interests, concerns, and priorities to lawmakers, government officials, and regulatory bodies, ultimately influencing decisions that affect your industry. 

Case Studies: Real-life Examples of AMC Support for Executive Directors 

At Redstone, we have successfully provided association management services to over 100 associations. In the following section, we will present a selection of case studies that highlight the ways in which partnering with an AMC can provide crucial support to the Executive Director and propel the organization’s mission towards success. 

Case Study: Canadian Condominium Institute 

In 2020, the Canadian Condominium Institute (CCI) faced the challenge of finding a new provider. They had been working with a provider for seven years, but their services did not meet CCI’s marketing needs. With the world becoming increasingly tech-savvy, CCI’s Executive Director recognized that there was a growing demand for a provider that could offer comprehensive and effective marketing strategies. Additionally, the provider’s staff experienced a high turnover, resulting in issues with institutional memory and a lack of industry understanding. Conference planning was also a critical area in which CCI required reliable and efficient support. The burden of organizing conferences often fell onto the shoulders of their Executive Director and they needed a change.  

In searching for a new provider, CCI discovered Redstone, an AMC that had a team of professionals who understood CCI’s specific needs and possessed the expertise to address their marketing challenges.  

Redstone and CCI were able to forge an amazing partnership. Redstone was able to take on the operational work that burdened the Executive Director. Also, Redstone not only provided the much needed marketing services, but they were able to fulfill CCI’s conference goals in a very short timeframe.  

The Executive Director of CCI expressed his utmost respect for the Redstone team. They acknowledged their professionalism and the positive impact they had on CCI’s reputation. The Executive Director’s words spoke volumes about the quality of service provided by Redstone, stating, “Despite the obstacles and short notice, not to mention some of the attitudes, your team made us look like stars… It was my great honour to work with such a talented team.”  

Moreover, CCI received numerous compliments from delegates regarding Redstone’s responsiveness and support during the conference, further solidifying the positive partnership between both organizations. The Executive Director enthusiastically recommended that CCI enter into an agreement with Redstone for the following year.  

To this day, Redstone continues to work with CCI, providing reliable association management services, and ensuring CCI’s goals are achieved. The successful collaboration between CCI and Redstone serves as a testament to the value of finding a trustworthy AMC to support its Executive Director. 

Pictured Above: CCI’s 2024 CondoSTRENGTH Event

Case Study: Fertility Matters Canada  

Fertility Matters Canada (FMC) is a small charity organization that aims to support Canadians experiencing infertility. In the past, FMC struggled with capacity building because of limited staff and volunteers. This made scaling its operations and initiatives (like events) challenging. The organization also lacked a clear direction for branding and messaging. 

With limited resources, FMC faced significant obstacles in advancing its mission and vision. In 2019, FMC’s board member suggested working with an AMC to help the organization scale its operations, events, and brand. 

In 2022, FMC was introduced to Redstone. From the first meeting, FMC’s Executive Director was impressed with Redstone’s preparation and ability to understand FMC’s mission and vision during the consultation. 

The biggest priority for FMC’s Executive Director was finding a partnership where there was a deep personal connection. They required a partner who could connect with the organization and ensure that they understood the importance and nature of FMC’s work. 

Redstone enabled FMC to utilize its limited resources more efficiently. This freed up staff members to focus their efforts on advancing the organization’s mission and vision. Through its partnership with Redstone, FMC has increased its impact, solidified its brand, and amplified its online presence. 

The Executive Director expressed their gratitude towards Redstone’s team, saying, “The Redstone team has helped to solidify our brand and online presence, build continuity in our messaging, engagement, and support, as well as allowing our staff to focus their efforts on advancing the mission and vision of our organization.” 

The partnership between Fertility Matters Canada and Redstone highlights how an AMC can support a small charity organization in advancing its operations, achieving its goals, and maximizing its impact.  

Pictured Above: 2022 Fertility Matters 6K Fundraiser

Case Study: Real Property Institute of Canada 

The Real Property Institute of Canada (RPIC) partnered with Redstone in 2020 to strengthen and enhance their operations. RPIC’s Executive Director was burdened with managing the organization’s daily operations. 

The Executive Director explored different providers and found that there were not many one-stop-shop organizations or association management companies available. The goal was to create a seamless and efficient working relationship with a partner who could collaborate with the RPIC team. This would allow the Executive Director to focus on high-level governance, finance oversight, and reporting to the board. 

When RPIC was introduced to Redstone, they were impressed by their resources, capabilities, and skill sets, making them the partner of choice. Redstone’s expertise and capacity allowed the Executive Director to delegate responsibilities and have trusted go-to people for different tasks, enhancing its efficiency and focus on strategic objectives. 

To this date, RPIC and Redstone continue to expand the scope of their partnership. 

Pictured Above: 2023 RPIC Real Property National Workshop

Wrapping it Up… 

Undoubtedly, AMCs play a crucial role in supporting Executive Directors. They can manage day-to-day operations, offer industry best practices, provide scalability, and offer cost-efficiency. By partnering with an AMC, Executive Directors can leverage external expertise and resources to effectively lead and drive the success of their associations. 

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