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Frequently Asked Questions

Find helpful FAQs, links, and resources for your team.

Frequently Asked Questions about Association Management

Selecting an AMC for your association is an important decision, and we want to make it as easy as possible for you to find the best fit for your needs. Review the answers to the most frequently asked questions about working with us. Have a question that isn’t answered here? Get in Touch!

Benefits of Working with an AMC

What is an Association Management Company (AMC)?

Learn more on our What is an AMC page.

From members of nonprofit organizations to executives serving on boards and committees, we certainly work with a lot of different types of people in our line of work — each exhibiting unique characteristics and attributes but often with similar goals. The primary thing these groups have in common is us: their association management company.

But what exactly do association management companies like SBI accomplish for associations? And how do association management companies operate?

What are the benefits of working with an AMC like SBI?

Learn more on our Benefits of an AMC page.

Association Management Companies (AMCs) deliver proven solutions and support for sustainable, thriving associations. How? The AMC Institute has pulled together a wealth of research and information to illustrate how partnering with an AMC is beneficial to associations.

Working With SBI

How will my association maintain its identity if we move to the SBI office?

Volunteer leaders may fear that their organization’s identity will become lost within the SBI staff structure — that no one will be responsible for their needs. SBI uses a team approach to client management: there is always one, and often several, individuals who are intimately familiar with the association’s members, programs, and culture.

We understand that your success and ours are ultimately the same, and partner with you to provide custom services that will not compromise your identity. We take pride in each of our clients and their mission to serve.

How can SBI be dedicated to more than one client?

Like lawyers and accountants, association managers attend to the affairs of each of their clients with the same care and attention to detail.

SBI strives to build strong and lasting partnerships with our clients and provide exceptional quality in all work performed in support of our clients goals and objectives. Yet, we don’t do it alone; in order to properly deliver quality results, we rely on client boards of directors, committees, and volunteers to openly collaborate with SBI staff.

What services does SBI offer?

Our integrated association management services are custom-tailored to fit the unique and evolving needs of your association. As the premier AMC in the Pacific Northwest, we are known for providing innovative solutions to manage and support member-based, nonprofit professional associations. Our clients are primarily mid-to-large-sized regional, national, and international associations.

How is the SBI team structured?

SBI is made up of a talented and well-rounded team of subject matter experts who wear multiple hats. Our integrated team structure creates an environment of open collaboration, flexibility, and innovation to support the evolving needs of our association clients.

View our team here.

What are the staffing advantages of working with SBI?

A significant benefit to working with SBI staff is access to the vast knowledge and expertise we have gained working with a variety of nonprofits, along with the flexibility to provide customized support and appropriate staffing to fit your association’s needs.

Associations tend to experience busy and slow seasons and struggle to support a year-round, full-time staff. SBI shares resources to alleviate this struggle, acting as your full-time staff to navigate the peaks and valleys of traditional staffing structures. This shared-resources concept allows our clients to realize savings in computers and other office equipment, office space rental, insurance, and a host of other expenses that go into maintaining an office.

Not only do we free your board of directors and volunteers to focus on your mission and providing valuable benefits to your members, but we also manage the responsibility, liability, and overhead associated with running a stand-alone office and staff.

Why does SBI request past and current financial information when responding to a request for proposal?

Financial statements are necessary because they provide information about the extent and breadth of the association’s activities, giving us a truer picture of your association and needs. With this information, we are able to develop an individualized scope of services that truly fits your needs.

How doe SBI charge for services?

Our clients pay us on a fee-for-service basis. This is a monthly retainer paid to us based on the scope of services contract that we work together to develop. We like this way of working together because it encourages our clients to call whenever they have a question or need.

If a client wishes to alter their scope of services by adding an event or new project, SBI has the flexibility to change and adapt as you do.

Can we terminate our agreement if we want to?

Our agreements have a 60- or 90-day termination policy. If you wish to take your business elsewhere, we will complete a thorough, meticulous transition to another professional of your choice. Your mail will be forwarded and all electronic and physical property will be returned. Like an attorney or accountant, we will maintain the confidentiality and integrity of our relationship through closure and beyond.

We realize this is a big decision for your organization. Before you make this commitment, we encourage you to speak with our references and compare us to our competitors.

How to Get Started with SBI

How do we get started?

Reach out to us to answer any additional questions and get started!

Additional questions

Are you hiring?

View our careers page here for more information.

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From Our Clients

What They’re Saying

For us, as a small organization of two staff members, SBI is able to increase our impact around our mission and effectively support us in the areas of finance, marketing & communication and event planning.

Shoshanna Sumka, Executive DirectorIndependent Schools Experiential Education Network

SBI took the management reins for our organization well into our annual conference planning cycle when our predecessor provider terminated relations unexpectedly. The SBI team hit the ground running and demonstrated superior flexibility and support to make the conference a success... and they have only built upon that success since.

Mark Patterson, Conference Committee Co ChairInternational Ombuds Association

WOW – just WOW!! I have been through a lot of conferences and conference planning, and I have to say—this was an extraordinary experience. I don’t know what it felt like behind the scenes but from where I sat, it was flawless. You all do better work than organizations twice this size with twice the number of staff. I am amazed and honored to work with you!

Ellen Miller, Executive DirectorInternational Ombuds Association

Having SBI’s assistance and expertise has been critical to our organization’s growing success and in meeting the needs of members to connect and share information with one another.

Gina Galluppi, Newsletter EditorAssociation of Donor Relations Professionals

SBI's technical expertise, professionalism, responsiveness, organizational strength and depth, attention to detail and support has contributed to the quality trainings offered to our members.

Lori Cummings, Professional Development ChairWashington Recreation & Park Association

Working with SBI has provided increased capacity for the Board to focus on setting direction because now our leadership has the time to strategize on the future of a fast-changing profession.

Julie Bostian, Past PresidentAssociation of Donor Relations Professionals

During the first year...we were able to establish a solid relationship that truly has been fruitful...We look forward to continuing our important work in partnership with the SBI team.

Marcia Martínez-Helfman, Past PresidentInternational Ombuds Association

The board meeting was fabulous. I think the diversity session was very well-received. The strategic planning session was great and gave us concrete strategic areas to work on going forward.

Teresa Costantinidis, Past PresidentWestern Association of College and University Business Officers

We love working with SBI! Preparing for and running our annual conference is made simple and straight forward due to their expertise.

Mousa Shamonki, Past PresidentPacific Coast Reproductive Society

I highly recommend SBI to any association seeking outside management.

Paul Dudley, Past PresidentPacific Coast Reproductive Society

Delightful group with whom to work. Has gone to great lengths to understand, assimilate and coordinate the process of our Society.

Charles Coddington, Board MemberPacific Coast Reproductive Society

We've appreciated SBI's guidance, support, expertise, competence, kindness, and professionalism these past two years. We know that CERF 2023 is not your only client, but it sure seemed like we were. Without fail, you were immediately responsive to all of our many questions and requests. We also appreciated your positively and can-do attitudes. We think that if you had a motto, it would be, "Yes, let's make this happen!" Thanks in no small part to you, CERF 2023 is actually happening, and we know it will be a success.

John Rybczyk and John CallawayCERF 2023 Conference Chairs

Featured Clients