Seven out of every 10 adults belong to at least one association.It is likely you’ve already had come first hand experience as an association member. You probably know more about associations than you realize. You may participate in high school sports, belong to a college fraternity or sorority, volunteer for the Red Cross, or pay dues to a homeowners’ association.
There are over 100,000 trade and professional associations in the U.S. Associations educate, serve, train, manage, oversee, lobby, inform and more. They affect the quality of life through their services, their guidelines, and their interactions with legal, regulative and legislative processes.
Associations are created to establish strength and unity in working toward common goals in virtually every profession. They are nonprofit organizations formed to promote the economic, scientific or social well being of their members.
A trade association is an organization of businesses structured to assist its members and the industry in such areas as standardization, government relations, research, product promotion, business ethics, personnel, and public relations. Examples of such organizations include the Home Care Association of NYS, NYS Insurance Association, NYS Broadcasters Associations, and NYS Restaurant Association.
A professional association is an organization of individuals which come together to expand their own knowledge of their profession and the guidelines under which they operate. These associations may fulfill their mission through research, government affairs programs, conferences and seminars, publication of books and journals, certification or a host of other programs. The Dental Society of the State of New York, Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, and NYS Society of Professional Engineers are three of many professional associations in New York State.
Since associations represent economic activity at every level of our society, there is frequent interaction with governmental and regulatory representatives on behalf of their members. The overall result of these connections is more informed legislators, a more informed public, and better lawmaking in general.
From financial aid to family advice, associations serve consumer needs and interests. In fact, the number of associations helping people cope with life, enhance their careers, improve the safety of their products, and inform the public about issues is in the thousands.
Associations provide a wealth of information to the public through hundreds of publications, public service campaigns, educational programs, training services, and related activities.
Associations lead the way in developing professional codes of ethics, product standards, and other vital areas of quality control that the public relies on daily. Studies have shown that associations, given their unique expertise, can be more responsive than the federal government, and often take the lead in developing standards for product safety and professional behavior.
Because of associations, life is safer, of higher quality, and the public is better informed and better served.