A Guide to Association Subdivisions –
Alliances, Conferences, Chapters and Coalitions

So what’s in a name? Nothing and everything!

When nouns and adjectives are strung together in a particular fashion and used to describe a specific subdivision of a larger group, there is debatable relevance when they all virtually describe the same thing.

Members help build and maintain the vibrancy of an Association. In turn, the process of creating and managing a “subdivision” through an alliance, conference, coalition or a chapter allows members to develop important leadership skills both for the association and their personal businesses that can be used for many years to come. Connections created in a trade association setting often lead to relationships that will help build professional networks. The guidance and mentoring provided by an associations Board or Executive Committee can sometimes mean the difference in a member’s future business success.

An Association “subdivision” can provide an opportunity for the members to reach out to new potential members and also helps them “give back” to the industry they operate in hopefully playing a leadership role in the new subdivision. As a unit of a larger organization, a subdivision is granted permission to exist as part of the member’s activities program of a trade association. An alliance, conference, coalition or chapter must follow all prerequisites of the association for the creation and performance of the group, as well as the rules (bylaws) of the host association. Once the formation of the subdivision takes place, members are selected and/or volunteer and the subdivision then embarks on planning and implementing an agenda to maximize the membership experience.