Selecting the Right AMC

The first measure of what AMC is right for your association is one that can satisfy your organization's needs, as laid out in your Request for Proposals (RFP). 

In addition, the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) has identified the following standards that professional AMCs should follow:

  1. AMCs recognize the unique missions, goals, structures and needs of their association clients and use their best efforts to meet those needs.
  2. AMCs operate ethically and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
  3. AMCs accurately represent the expertise, experience, credentials and services of their company and their employees to the public.
  4. AMCs manage all client accounts and funds in compliance with accounting rules and regulations as promulgated by the Financial Accounting Standards Boards (FASB). 1
  5. AMCs observe federal tax requirements for maintaining the tax status of their clients.
  6. AMCs have written policies precluding co-mingling of assets among client associations or with assets of the AMC.
  7. AMCs disclose to clients all income received by commission, finder's fee and other sources related to the client.
  8. AMCs enter into written contracts with each association client stating, at a minimum, the services to be provided, fees and billing procedures and the term and termination aspects of the contracts.
  9. AMCs ensure that employees are certified or qualified to provide services to clients when certification or a particular qualification is necessary to serve the client effectively.
  10. AMCs maintain comprehensive insurance coverage in amounts reasonably sufficient to protect association clients. AMCs also encourage clients to acquire appropriate officers and directors insurance.
  11. AMCs maintain full and accurate records of current and prior association clients, maintain the confidentiality of all association client records, data, proceedings, contracts and other information, and maintain and provide a written confidentiality policy to all clients (either as part of or separate from the written contract with the client).
  12. AMCs investigate all potential conflicts of interest in their representation of association clients, avoid all conflicts of interest unless an express written waiver of such conflicts is obtained from all relevant parties and maintain and provide a written conflicts of interest policy to all clients (either as part of or separate from the written contract with the client).
  13. AMCs communicate regularly with their association clients to ensure that the AMC is providing all contracted services in an effective and efficient manner.
  14. AMCs ensure the integrity and confidentiality of each association client's relationship with its legal counsel, including but not limited to the protection of all privileges.

1 Or the equivalent accounting standards in the appropriate jurisdiction if outside the U.S.

Other things to consider in a potential AMC partner:

  1. What are the professional qualifications and the experience of the principals of the AMC?
  2. What are the AMC’s technological capabilities?
  3. Where is the AMC located and what geographic advantages does it offer?
  4. What is the AMC's client base like - is there diversity in client type, size, and jurisdiction?
  5. Does the AMC require a written contract with all client organizations, clearly detailing the services to be provided and the compensation for those services, the duration of the agreement, and the exact method of renewing and terminating such contracts?
  6. Is the AMC and all client organizations current in their government and regulatory filings?
  7. Does the AMC have privacy policies in place that comply with applicable legislation?
  8. Does the AMC maintain a comprehensive employee or personnel manual setting forth the terms and conditions of employment for all employees in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations?
  9. Prior to you making a decision, will the AMC provide a complete list of all clients managed for any portion of the past year?
  10. Finally, it is a good practice to check references of past or current clients.

For more information on how to find and select an AMC for your organization, we recommend you visit the ASAE and the Center for Association Leadership Knowledge Center.


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