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Management of Non-Profit Organizations

"How to Staff Your Non-Profit Organization"
By Vicki L. Scott, New Business Manager

As volunteer organizations vie for less available volunteer hours, the need for effective professional management becomes increasingly critical.

Non-profit organizations have traditionally considered two main options for staffing with a third option growing in popularity as volunteer leaders recognize the cost/benefit ratio of outsourcing.

1. To utilize non-paid volunteers. Although volunteers serve a vital role in promoting the mission of the organization, through no fault of their own, they usually don't have the time or required expertise to manage their non-profit organization. As volunteers come and go, with them goes vital historical knowledge that rarely gets handed down, never mind written down on paper.

2. To hire a paid staff. This can consist of a secretariat working from a home office or a team of professionals dedicated to the goals and initiatives of one organization. Of course the organization's services and annual operating budget will dictate which level of paid staffing is needed.

3. To outsource to a professional Association Management Company (AMC). An AMC serves as Headquarters for several non-profit organizations, providing a fully equipped office and a team of professional associates with expertise in among other things, association/society leadership, accounting, meeting planning, membership services, database management, desktop publishing, web site management, and marketing. Additionally, an AMC can provide invaluable continuity during transitions in the volunteer leadership ranks.

Fernley & Fernley, Inc. is recognized as originating the AMC concept in 1886. Today, Fernley & Fernley offers volunteer leaders flexible staffing options, access to transferable ideas, operational efficiencies, cost savings, and technical capabilities that might otherwise be cost prohibitive. Our experience has taught us that each non-profit organization is unique. With this in mind, we work with volunteer leaders to develop a set of professional contracted services to meet their goals and budgetary parameters. Although we provide full-service management to the vast majority of our clients, we do offer project-based or a la carte services to others.

According to Suzanne C. Pine, Executive Vice President of the Association Management Company Institute , there are almost 700 Association Management Companies worldwide, providing services to over 4,500 non-profit organizations with average annual operating budgets ranging from $50,000 to over $16 million.

The decision is yours!