Encyclopedia of Associations: National Organizations of the U.S.

Encyclopedia of Associations (EA) is the only comprehensive source of detailed information concerning nonprofit American membership organizations of national scope. EA is your guide to more than 23,000 organizations in subjects such as Trade, Business, and Commercial; Legal, Governmental, Public Administration, and Military; Cultural; Educational; Veterans', Hereditary, and Patriotic; Athletic and Sports; Fan Clubs, and many more. With its vast listings of associations and professional societies, EA is unsurpassed as a "switchboard," connecting persons needing information to highly qualified sources.

Frequently, a phone call, fax, or letter/e-mail to one of the thousands of organizations formed around a specific interest or objective produces more information faster than research in books, periodicals, and other printed materials.

Organizations often operate with small, volunteer staffs. Many such groups have requested that all written inquiries be accompanied by stamped, self-addressed envelopes. Replies can then be expedited and costs to the organization kept to a minimum.

The remainder of this page is divided into the following sections:

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Section 1: Scope

Turn to the Encyclopedia of Associations (EA) for a comprehensive source for detailed information concerning nonprofit, American membership organizations of national scope.

The organizations described in EA fall into the following seven general categories:

Section 2: Method of Compilation

The editorial objective for each edition of Encyclopedia of Associations is complete verification or updating of existing entries and the identification and description of new or previously unlisted organizations. This intensive effort includes direct contact by correspondence and telephone with non-responding groups.

Section 3: What You'll Find in an EA Entry and Searchable Fields

Encyclopedia of Associations (EA) profiles nonprofit membership organizations in the U.S. The main method used to store entries is by organization name; however, there many ways to find entries, including by Keyword, or by some other specific field of data using Advanced Search (refer to the Corresponding Advanced Search Index(es) column in the table below).

When you search for entries, your search results will show the main fields of data, enough to give you a brief view of the organization profiled. The full entry can be viewed on the entry display page by selecting the entry name from your results list.

Tip: The table below lists the kinds of information you will find in the entries in this eDirectory. Note that not all fields are present in every entry.

The Corresponding Advanced Search Index(es) column lists which Advanced Search index to use to search that field.

Field of Information Description Corresponding Advanced Search Index(es)
Name of Organization The formal name is given; "The", "Ltd.", and "Inc." are omitted from most listings, unless they are an integral part of the acronym used by the association.

Name (ti)
Keyword (ke)

Address Contains the street address, city, state, full zip code, and country code. The address is generally that of the permanent national headquarters, or of the chief official for groups that have no permanent office. You can search for organizations in a specific city, state, and/or zip code using Advanced Search. City (cc)
State (sc)
Zip (zc)
Country (cn)
Phone Telephone numbers are listed when furnished by the organization. The area code portion of the phone number can be searched using Advanced Search. Area Code (ar)
Free, Fax, and Telex The toll-free, fax and/or telex numbers are listed when furnished by the organization.  
Email The primary electronic mail address for the organization or contact person, when furnished by the organization.  
Website The primary web address for the organization or contact person listed.  
Contact The name of a full-time executive, an elected officer, or other contact person designated by the association is provided. Officers (na)
Keyword (ke)
Founded Indicates the year in which the organization was formed. If the group has changed its name, the founding date is for the earliest name by which it was known. If, however, the group was formed by a merger or supersedes another group, the founding date refers to the year in which this action took place. Year Founded (fd)
Members The figure represents individuals, firms, institutions, other associations, or a combination of these categories. Since membership constantly fluctuates, the figure listed should be considered an approximation. If an organization describes itself as nonmembership, you'll find the term NONMEMBERSHIP within the entry. Number of Members (nm)
Membership Dues Fees required of members as reported by the organization. Dues often vary according to membership category.  
Staff Many associations operate with a small paid or volunteer staff. The fact that an organization has no paid staff does not mean it has a limited program. Many groups carry on extensive activities through volunteer workers and committees. Employee Count (em)
Budget The approximate annual budget for all activities is listed as reported by the organization. Budget (bu)
Regional, National, State, and Local Groups Indicates the number of regional, state, and local associations, chapters, clubs, councils, and posts affiliated with the national organization.  
Languages The official and/or working languages of the organization are listed, if other than English.  
Geographic Scope Organizations are MULTINATIONAL or NATIONAL in scope.  
Description The description briefly outlines the membership, purpose, and activities of the association. Where no description is given, the title of the group usually is self-explanatory; in some cases, no summary of activities could be obtained. Description (de)
Keyword (ke)
Library Provides information for organizations that maintain a library. Includes type of collection, holdings, and subject matter of collection, if available. Libraries Maintained (lb)
Awards Provides information for organizations that offer awards. Includes name, frequency, type, and recipient of award. Award Name (am)
Award Type (ay)
Awards Given (aw)
Computer Services Lists computer-based services offered by the organization, including online services and databases, bibliographic or other search services, automated mailing list services, and electronic publishing capabilities.  
Telecommunication Services Notes special communications services sponsored by the organization. Services included are hotlines, electronic mail/bulletin boards, and telephone referrals.  
Subgroups Lists those subgroups, including committees, sections, divisions, councils, departments, etc., that give an indication of the activities of the group, as distinguished from such administrative committees such as membership, finance, and convention. This information often supplements the Description by providing details about the organization’s programs and fields of interest. Geographic divisions are omitted. Note: You will not find the term "Subgroup" used as a field name; rather the entry will list the specific type of subgroup, such as COMMITTEES or COUNCILS.  
Affiliated With Lists organizations sponsored by or directly related to the listed group.  
Also Known As If the group is also known by another name, legally doing business under another name, or otherwise operates under a name different than its official title, that name is provided here.  
Supersessions, Mergers, and Former Names If the group superseded another organization or was formed by a merger, the original organizations are listed. Former names and the date of change to a new name, if available, are also listed.  
Publications The official publications are listed in alphabetical order with frequencies. When available, a brief description of the publication is provided. Additional publications, such as newspaper columns, are listed following the words "Also publishes." When provided, languages in which the publications are available are noted. If the group has indicated that no publications are issued, this is noted as: "PUBLICATIONS: None." Publications Issued (pi)
Publication Frequency (fq)
Product/Publication Title (pt)
Publication Type (pd)
Keyword (ke)
Price The figures are as provided by the organization.  
ISSN The International Standard Serial Number is a unique code for the purpose of identifying a specific serial publication. It is listed when provided by the organization; not all publications have been assigned an ISSN.  
Circulation This figure is as reported by the organization.  
Advertising Indicates whether or not the association accepts advertising in the publication. Advertising Accepted (aa)
Alternate Formats Notes online, CD-ROM, diskette, and microform (includes microfiche and microfilm) availability.  
Also Cited As Lists any alternate or former names of the publication.  
Conventions/Meetings The frequency of national or international sessions and the dates and locations (city, state, and country) of the association’s conventions, meetings, or conferences are given, if available at the time of publication. Also noted is the inclusion of commercial exhibits. If the group has indicated that no conventions or meetings are held, this is noted in the entry’s main body. Conventions/Meetings Held (ch)
Exhibits at Meetings (m3)
Meeting Location (m0)
Meeting Name (m1)
Meeting Type (m2)
Subject(s) Lists subject matter terms associated with the purpose and description of the organization. Keyword (ke)
Section Broad category into which the organization is grouped. The Sections in EA are:
  • Trade, Business, and Commercial (01)
  • Environmental and Agricultural (02)
  • Legal, Governmental, Public Administration, and Military (03)
  • Engineering, Technological, and Natural and Social Sciences (04)
  • Educational (05)
  • Cultural (06)
  • Social Welfare (07)
  • Health and Medical (08)
  • Public Affairs (09)
  • Fraternal, Nationality, and Ethnic (10)
  • Religious (11)
  • Veterans’, Hereditary, and Patriotic (12)
  • Hobby and Avocational (13)
  • Athletic and Sports (14)
  • Labor Unions, Associations, and Federations (15)
  • Chambers of Commerce and Trade and Tourism (16)
  • Greek and Non-Greek Letter Societies, Associations, and Federations (17)
  • Fan Clubs (18)
Section Heading (sh)
Section Number (sn)
Keyword (ke)
SIC(s) Lists the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes, which are a way of dividing industries and organizations into hierarchical categories. The first digit indicates the highest-level, broad division code; the second digit designates the major group; the third and fourth digits represent the specific industry/group. For example, in the SIC code 8641, the 8 refers to Services, the 6 corresponds to Membership Organizations, and the 41 represents Civic, Social, and Fraternal Associations. You can locate organizations by searching their SIC codes using Advanced Search. SIC Code (ss)
Keyword (ke)
Industries Served Where applicable, lists the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes for the types of industries the organization works to promote. SIC Code (ss)
Gale Document Number Displays the document's unique identifying number. The document number can be searched using Advanced Search.  

Section 4: Comments and Suggestions Welcome

Matters pertaining to specific listings in EA, as well as suggestions for new listings, should be directed to Kristy Swartout, Editor, Encyclopedia of Associations, Gale, 27500 Drake Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48331-3535. Call toll-free: 800-347-GALE, or send an e-mail to Kristy.Swartout@cengage.com.

You may also visit us at www.gale.cengage.com.

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Related topics:

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