What Fuels AAM?

CPA Firm Growth

From the Desk of the Executive Director

By Lauren Clemmer
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it dozens of times…AAM is a volunteer-driven association. That means our volunteers actively work with our 2.5 staff members to produce everything you see, and a lot of what you don’t. Without each and every volunteer, we couldn’t deliver as much value to you.


The other part of the equation, are the numbers. Like any business or organization, we could do more with more money, but that’s not our reality. AAM accomplishes a lot on a little. Let me share with you what we look like financially.


What Drives Revenue?

First, you, our members, are what keep the engine humming. Membership dues represent 50 percent of the association’s revenue. The remainder or our revenue comes mainly from:

  • Events = 38 percent
  • Publications = 8 percent


Since dues alone cannot drive this association, it’s imperative that we charge other fees to cover basic costs. Fees you pay for our existing programs, like AAM High and our new AAM on the Road workshops, allow us to bring you these valuable resources.


Another key component of our revenue is the dollars that come from our sponsors and vendors for things like ads in the AAM Minute, Growth Strategies and on the website as well as sponsored content in our publications and sponsorships of our events. Thanks to our sponsors, we are able to keep your costs low. They offer valuable products and services that can help CPA firms. We encourage you to support them so they continue to support us.


How We Spend?

A survey by The Nonprofit Times says that Americans believe nonprofits should spend 23 percent of revenues on overhead. AAM is quite proud of the fact that 81 percent of our revenue is spent on programming that directly benefits you, personally and professionally. That means only the remaining 19 percent covers staff and association management costs.


AAM continually walks a fine line between covering its cost and keeping any fees charged low enough for firms to approve them. Since all firms are different, this is not a one-size-fits-all formula. Know that your board and committee chairs walk in your shoes. They know what it’s like to ask for money, and they know how important it is to stay within budget. They continue to be great resources; making sure to keep AAM in check with what’s reasonable.


An Open Door

Please know that I always have an “open door.” Call or email me at any time about anything the association is doing and what thoughts, ideas or concerns you have. Together, we can truly make AAM an even stronger association.


I’ll also be at the AAM Summit in May. Please stop and share your ideas with me there.

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About Lauren Clemmer

Lauren Clemmer is the Executive Director for the Association for Accounting Marketing. Prior to becoming the director, Lauren was an active member, participating in the Membership Satisfaction committee and then as co-chair of Virtual Education which includes AAM High Webinars and Virtual Campfires. In her role as executive director, Lauren works with the with the board president, the executive committee and the board of directors to drive AAM’s vision and strategic plan. Her responsibilities include the general administration of all AAM business, managing vendor and partner relationships, enhancing member engagement and loyalty, and serving as the voice of membership. Lauren gives back to her community as a member of the Women’s Board for the Boy and Girls Clubs of Cleveland.

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