A new online request for proposal service from the AMC Institute is aiming to make it easier for associations to hire association management companies for specialized support services, such as meeting planning and Web site development.

The Philadelphia-based AMC Institute, a trade association representing association management companies, created the new http://member.amcinstitute.org/select/rfp_select.cfm Outsourced Services Request for Proposal tool to complement its existing RFP portal intended for those seeking full-service association management, which has been available since 2004.

“In the tight economy, associations and nonprofit organizations are increasingly turning to AMCs to improve results and enhance operational resources and flexibility,” said John Dee, AMC Institute board president, in a press release. Dee is also chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Bostrom Corp., a Chicago-based AMC. “In the past 12 to 18 months in particular, we’ve seen a significant increase in project-based work. The timely launch of the AMC Institute’s online Outsourced Services RFP tool addresses that growth area and makes the AMC model all the more accessible to association leaders,” added Dee.

Using the free service, association executives can solicit proposals from 160 different AMCs for a variety of services on a one-time or recurring basis. Users first select from a menu of 12 services, including conference/meeting management, public relations, international expansion, advisory services, survey services, government relations, and Web site development, then hone in on specific selection criteria.

The RFP can reach up to 160 AMCs, all of which are members of the AMC Institute. Or users can narrow their search by management specialization, geographic location, size, accreditation status, or client type. Recipients can also be hand-selected using AMC Institute’s Online Member Directory. The service is open to all associations.