Read more about successful election management in associations

Associations are member organizations which operate under a joint purpose. They focus their work on benefiting their members. The structure of associations tends to be similar with only slight differences between the various types of associations. 

There is a wide variety of associations but they ultimately all have the same core. Societies, clubs, councils, and associations are organizations of people who share a common interest. Since numerous names circulate for associations, they are several types of them.

Association types

Membership of an association can be voluntary or mandatory. Here are a few of the most common types of association:

  • Homeowner associations govern planned development lots and ensure security, stability and comfort of their residents.
  • A professional association is an advocacy of interests for people of the same profession.
  • A trade association combines the interests of businesses in a specific sector.
  • An alumni association brings together the alumnus of a particular college or university for networking, social and financial purposes.
  • A bar association is a professional association but it can be responsible to regulate the legal profession.
  • A social club is, in its basic term an association as well an institution aimed at promoting the common interests of a group of people.

Structure of Associations

The most essential document are the association bylaws. It should cover details about membership criteria, governing bodies and committees, elections and other duties as well as the responsibilities of members and board. The association convenes at least once a year at an annual general meeting (AGM) where the board of directors elections and other decision-making processes regarding the association take place.

Associations usually operate on a hierarchical basis with the board of directors or council acting as the highest authority. The board is responsible for managing the association including matters of policy and finances. Furthermore, committees, representatives to other organizations and other units of the association work under the direction of the board. Depending on the size and nature of the association, the number, functions and responsibilities of officers can vary.

The larger the association, the more the need for a simple voting procedure.
Read more about the possibilities of online voting with POLYAS.