Associations 101: Sources: Robert Harris, CAE Heather Fuselier, CAE American Society of Association Executives
Associations Go Waaaaay Back • 1735: American Philosophical Association founded by Benjamin Franklin, now the oldest association of continuous existence.
Waaaaay Back • 1835: Frenchman Alexis deTocqueville authors “Democracy in America,” saying: “Americans of all ages, all conditions, all minds constantly unite. Not only do they have commercial and industrial associations in which all take part, but they also have a thousand other kinds: religious, moral, futile, very general and very particular, immense and very small.”
Waaaaay Back • 1908: President Theodore Roosevelt recognizes the value of associations, saying: “Every man owes part of his time and money to the business or industry to which he is engaged. No man has a moral right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions within his sphere.”
What is an Association? • An organization of people with a common purpose and having a formal structure. • A community of individuals or companies that collectively serve the interests of their members that cannot be met effectively by individual action. • There are nearly 2 million nonprofits in the US • Chambers of commerce and associations both tend to be assigned the 501(c)(6) designation by the IRS to serve as a business league.
501(c) what?!? Tax Statuses of Associations 501(c)(3): Education, research, professional, or philanthropic/charitable purpose. DO NOT LOBBY. 501(c)(6): Trade and Individual membership organizations that provide benefits to members and lobby on their behalf.
Professional vs Trade Organizations Professional : A not-for-profit voluntary membership organization representing individuals with a common interests in a subject or a profession such as law, medicine, accounting and school food service. Trade Association: A not-for-profit voluntary membership organization that represents a group of companies having a business or trade in common. For example: newspapers or automotive.
Florida School Nutrition Association • Is a Professional Association and is a 501(c)(6) Your Local School Nutrition Association • Is a Professional Association and is a 501(c)(6)
Keeping It Real Legal Documents for Associations • Articles of Incorporation • Bylaws • Policies • Procedures
Keeping It Real Articles of Incorporation • Documents between association and STATE to acquire legal standing. • Needed to request exempt status from the IRS.
Keeping It Real Bylaws • Document between association and MEMBERSto describe how the organization will operate and its relationship to stakeholders (members). • Amendments usually require approval of members.
Keeping It Real Policies • Motions made and approved by the board to set best practices for the management of the association.
Keeping It Real Procedures • Administrative responsibilities of staff or volunteer leaders to carry out policies and run the organization. • Outlined in a procedures manual that documents the work steps required for management of the association.
visionary The board sets the course for the organization well into the future. Though a director or officer may have term limitations in the sense of number of years or number of terms, there is a need to think beyond one’s term in order to guide the organization and the community it represents.
fiduciary The board has responsibility for the finances and resources of the organization.
Board of Directors… • Must act in good faith and must not allow their personal interests prevail over the interests of the organization • Must be diligent and prudent in managing the organization’s affairs. The individuals charged with governing must handle the organizational duties with such care as an ordinary prudent person would use under similar circumstances. • Must ensure that the organization’s resources are handled in a prudent and responsible manner • Must lead the organization with purpose and integrity. • Must comply with state and federal law, and conform to the organization’s charter, articles of incorporation and bylaws.
The Feel-Good Part Mission, Vision, and Values Statements • These statements guide the board, staff, volunteer efforts and allocation of resources. • They have a public relations value. • They may be fine-tuned periodically for relevance, usually in conjunction with the strategic planning process.
Thank you! Comments? Questions? Fran Gilbert, CAE FSNA 888-878-1832 firstname.lastname@example.org www.floridaschoolnutrition.org