A Message from ASAE: The Essential Pillars and Purpose of American Associations Print
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 03:18 PM

A Message from ASAE: The Essential Pillars and Purpose of American Associations

We are excited to announce a new ASAE messaging piece to support our members and the nonprofit association community: The Essential Pillars and Purpose of American Associations. This document is intended to correct misconceptions about nonprofit associations and their purpose and function in the economy and society at large. Please feel free to share broadly.

Outlined are four facts about the nonprofit association community:

1.       Associations began prior to our nation’s inception and remain a foundational instrument of American economy, society and democracy. 

2.       Associations contribute in direct and significant ways to U.S. economic stability and societal advancement.

3.       Associations engage in a wide variety of activities that benefit industries, professions and workers through far-reaching career and economic development programs.

4.       Associations, alongside any American individual, organization or business, reserve their Constitutional right to lobby the government as provided for by the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

New ASAE Letter to Congress

Today, ASAE delivered to Congress this document and a letter that outlines our priorities before legislators begin negotiations on the next major relief package. The letter continues ASAE’s urgent requests for Congress to expand eligibility under the Paycheck Protection Program to include 501(c)6 nonprofit associations. Supported by many Members of Congress from both parties, this priority is crucial to the financial stability of nonprofit associations nationwide as we struggle with the economic ramifications of COVID-19.

As the economic and safety impact of COVID-19 has evolved, this letter further reflects our current thinking on how to best sustain our community and save imperiled nonprofit associations. To that end, we also provide several additional policy recommendations to support our community moving forward:

·       Expand employer assistance policies;

·       Ensure a safe return to work;

·       Support families and workers; and

·       Pass policies that ensure a broad-based economic recovery.

ASAE staff continues to emphasize the critical need for PPP expansion to legislators and their staff. We expect more details on Congressional negotiations soon and will report to our members and stakeholders as those conversations develop.

For more information, visit ASAE’s Coronavirus Advocacy and Resources page. Sign up for Inroads, ASAE’s weekly policy newsletter, or email questions to [email protected]. Follow ASAE Public Policy on Twitter @Power_of_A.


Mary Kate Cunningham, CAE
Vice President of Public Policy