There are many things the leaders should be planning for as they enter this exciting new chapter in their organization’s history. Questions will undoubtedly arise: Who will take the lead in overseeing the transition? How do we communicate this decision to the organization’s members and/or stakeholders? How long will the transition take? . . .
You will have many conversations with your new AMC (hopefully Partners 😊 ) to arrange for a smooth transition. While all of the task and decisions can seem overwhelming, your organization’s leadership will work with the AMC to develop a transition plan that will ensure a successful move. That plan will detail the specifics of who will be responsible for performing all needed tasks by specific dates. The following subject areas are meant to provide a high-level overview of some of things an organization’s leadership should be contemplating (if they have not already) as the transition begins.
Non-profits have many records in many forms, including hard copies of the old records mentioned above. In addition, electronic versions of more recent documents and contracts will need to be provided. These include contracts with hotels, third party service providers, bylaws, policies and procedures, tax records, insurance policies, membership data, account numbers, passwords and the like. Hopefully your organization has a document destruction policy that will allow you to purge any unnecessary documents which will help avoid the shipping and storing of unneeded records.
As mentioned above, a strategy for communicating the upcoming changes with members should be developed. It should in include multiple messages through varying mediums to make sure all constituents are aware of the upcoming changes. In addition, vendors, members and others (such as financial institutions and insurers) should be made aware of new mailing addresses, phone numbers (if applicable), etc. Make sure the plan includes how your mail, email, faxes (yes, people may still use this) and phone calls will be transitioned to your new AMC.
If your organization owns a building, you likely have likely been contemplating leasing the space or selling your building. A trusted commercial real estate professional can help analyze your circumstances and recommend the best option for your organization. If your organization currently leases office space, hopefully the agreement has already been reviewed, but if it has not, it should be reviewed carefully to determine what obligations may exist.
One of the benefits of an AMC is that they can leverage the collective purchasing power of all of their clients to benefit each individual client, which means they may have preferred vendors for their client organizations to work with. While every circumstance is different and any changes will be mutually agreed to, you may be transferring banks and investment firms, resulting in the execution of new signature cards and related documents, etc.; utilizing a new customer relationship management (CRM) or association management software (AMS) system which will require data migration, etc. Does your new AMC management agreement include accounting? Then, your books may need to be transferred to a new accounting software. This is a great time to review all your vendor contracts to determine what needs to transition as well as what changes could be made to leverage your new AMC relationship.
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “stuff” as unspecified materials. Your organization probably has existing office space which contains all of the related “stuff” that will need to passed along to your new AMC. This may include everything from historical documents, financial records, storage needs, LCD projectors, and the like. You’ll also have items that may no longer be needed, such as office furniture, computers, etc. You will need to coordinate delivery of the items you wish keep and the selling or donating of that which you will no longer need. In addition, your organization may have an inventory of items that are sold or otherwise provided to members that need to be shipped to your new headquarters.