As the Executive Director of an association, the demands on your time never end. Are there enough hours in the day to attend to all of the items on your “to-do” list?
You have prioritized the list. You have delegated as many of the tasks as possible. But with a limited number of employees, who else is going to handle the website updates, the bookkeeping, the membership renewals, the event logistics, and the membership data entry?
Your volunteers, although wonderful, come and go…and the processes they’ve developed go with them.
Your Board members are so busy with their own jobs and Board responsibilities that they can’t be tasked with the minutia that should be within the association’s functions.
Your employees are already working twice as hard and are unable to take on additional tasks.
Outsourcing as a Solution
In The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman writes;
“The best companies outsource to win, not to shrink. They outsource to innovate faster and more cheaply in order to grow larger, gain more market share, and hire more and different specialists – not to save money by firing more people.”
It is possible to buy newer software that promises greater control of systems and operations. But you have to do the data importing, data cleanup and all of the other labor intensive tasks to get to the point that it will save you time. All the work you do on these tasks steals time from your ability to manage your nonprofit strategically and focus on advancing its mission.
Outsourcing database support functions, bookkeeping, website updates, and events logistics can be an effective solution to getting your time back. Association Management Companies (AMCs) offer these types of services to Executive Directors and Boards of Directors. At SBI, we work with associations across the country needing financial management, executive services and board support, event management, technology solutions, and marketing and communications – in effect, we are the “home base” for your members.
Our services are completely customizable and delivered seamlessly. We free you up so you can deliver when the Board asks you to “ratchet up your advocacy,” “recruit more members,” or “pull in more sponsorship dollars.”
We have seen Executive Directors, and in turn their associations, benefit from this structure. Before Coastal Estuarine Research Federation came to SBI, they had an Executive Director on one side of the country, administrative support staff on the other coast, and a webmaster, an event management company and a bookkeeper that were all separately outsourced. By bringing all of these services to an AMC, the ED could stop juggling contractors, and start focusing more attention on long-term growth strategies.
The Association of Workplace Investigators has recently contracted SBI to manage its operations in order to accommodate growth into a national and international association. AWI is retaining its part-time Executive Director, whose role will transition from operations into strategic initiatives.
You were hired to manage your nonprofit into the future; an Association Management Company can get you there by supporting your association with all of the details and necessary tasks that can distract you from the bigger picture. Consider speaking with one of our 30+ nonprofit clients who have experienced the difference that outsourcing can make.