Establishing Associations

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Before it can grow and support its members’ priorities, an association must have a solid foundation, correct and appropriate beginnings, and a clear vision forward.

Formulate a Mission and Vision

When stakeholders come together they do so because they have a common need.  They know what they want to accomplish and can usually discuss the problem and the solutions in detail.  However, articulating those reasons, goals, and solutions so others can understand them, let alone support them is not easy.  Developing an actionable, understandable, and concise mission statement and creating a clear, well-defined, and plausible vision statement requires stakeholder consensus on substance, language and, meaning.

Grau & Associates helps association stakeholders through this thinking and drafting process assuring clarity, easy application to corporate documents, websites, and collateral giving stakeholders a clear and unified message to the public and to new members.

Create an Appropriate Legal Entity

Associations can be loose coalitions; entities or individuals agreeing to contribute time and resources to a common cause.  Such groups benefit from informal organizing documents describing the group’s goals, resource allocations, and perhaps division of responsibilities including who among them may hire consultants.  Associations can also be formalized organizations requiring incorporation, officer selections, operating agreements, by-laws, bank accounts, etc.

Grau & Associates will walk stakeholders through their options and help execute all the necessary steps to create and support an appropriate entity, formal or informal.

Consider the Association’s Tax Status

Formal associations are often non-profit organizations.  Some non-profit organizations qualify and choose to become tax-exempt.

Grau & Associates will analyze an association’s purpose, membership, activities, and budget to help determine if the group can apply for tax exempt status and if so, which status, i.e. 501c4, 501c3, 501c6, etc.  Then, G&A can develop the IRS application and assure its timely and correct submission.

Identify and Prepare Initial Leadership

Committed leaders assure associations’ success.  However, associations’ leaders are rarely also association managers.  They usually have careers that prompted their interest and desire to form or join an association in the first place.  They are dedicated stakeholders typically unable to spend their time focused on an association’s stability let alone its growth.

Grau & Associates works closely with these men and women to keep them informed, appropriately engaged, and prepared to make the organization’s leadership decisions.