Aviva Directory » Business & Industry » Organizations & Associations

Organizations representing industries or groups of businesses, which may be known as alliances, associations, authorities, boards, chambers, coalitions, commissions, confederations, consortiums, councils, federations, forums, foundations, guilds, institutes, leagues, organizations, societies, unions, or other names, are the topics of this portion of our guide.

Professional or industry organizations, trade associations, and labor unions that are made up of more than one occupation or professional field are appropriate for this category.

However, our Accounting & Bookkeeping, Advertising & Promotion, Consumer Goods, Finance & Investment, and Real Estate categories each have their own subcategory for Organizations & Associations. While organizations specific to these topics could also be listed here, the more specific category would be best.

Local organizations should be listed in the Local & Global category that corresponds to their geographical location, while regional, national, and international organizations could be listed in both.

Trade associations (industry trade groups, business associations, sector associations, industry bodies) are organizations founded by businesses operating in a specific industry. Funded by member businesses, trade associations serve as a public relations arm for the industry, and are involved in advertising, education, publishing, and lobbying on behalf of the industry. Associations may also organize conferences, hold networking events, and offer classes or workshops. Most are incorporated as non-profits, governed by bylaws, and directed by officers who are also members.

A key function of a trade association is to influence public perception and policy in favor of the industry. This might involve political contributions through political action committees (PACs), contributions to issue campaigns, lobbying elected legislators, and working to influence regulatory bodies. Trade associations are heavily involved in publishing, as well. These efforts are likely to include the association's website and other online publications, member newsletters, digital and print magazines, membership directories, and yearbooks.

Other groups may form to represent or advocate for various business factions, such as entrepreneurs, small businesses, women, ethnic groups, or others.

Chambers of commerce, boards of trade, or other business networking groups, are business coalitions or networks formed to advocate for the business community, as a whole, rather than for a specific industry. Similar groups besides the Chamber of Commerce, include Business Networking International, the American Marketing Association, and Network After Network. Chambers of commerce can be found at the community, city, regional, state, nationwide, or international levels.

Labor unions (trade unions) are organizations of workers formed to maintain or improve the conditions of employment for their members. These might include negotiating for higher wages or benefits, better working conditions, fairer rules governing promotions or terminations, establishing complaint procedures, and protecting workers' bargaining power. Labor unions typically employ professional staff to maintain the head office and other functions of the organization, while union representatives are usually made up of members elected by the membership. Trade unions may be composed of individual workers, professionals, past workers, apprentices, students, or the unemployed. Labor unions' legal functions and powers can be expected to vary greatly from one country to another, or even from one state to another.

By whatever name, organizations representing industries, businesses, or employees are the focus of this part of our guide.



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