At VdW&Co we understand that associations are usually brought to life and run by a group of passionate individuals who aim to make a difference in their industry. These individuals are typically volunteers and their main focus would be the impact of the association. An association does however still require a support structure for the day to day functions such as maintaining membership records, collecting membership fees, organising meetings, event planning and management, communication and marketing of the association.

Associations can take one of three approaches in how they grow their association.

Using volunteers

To save on cost, association often make use of volunteers to manage the association. Volunteers may eventually lose interest and move on and are seldom sustainable, especially if the organisation is growing. Member volunteers can also bring conflicts of interest; often the cause of governance problems that are very difficult to deal with.

Appoint staff, open an office and pay for infrastructure, training and systems

This option can be very costly and energy draining in the long run as the board ends up with all the long term risks and liabilities associated with being an employer and a tenant.


The association can outsource these functions to a specialist services provider, commonly known as an “association management company”, such as VdW&Co. This type of organisation will provide all the core services that your association requires, against a fixed monthly retainer fee.

Which option would be the best for your association? This depends on your size and where you want to take the association. If you’re uncertain and need some guidance, please feel free to reach out to us. With more than 60 years experience, we can certainly advise you which direction to take.

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