Encyclopedia of Associations: Regional, State and Local Organizations

Since 1956 the Encyclopedia of Associations has provided comprehensive information on more than 100,000 national organizations headquartered in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Regional, State and Local Organizations (RSL) covers associations and societies that are organized and function at the regional (both interstate and intrastate), state, county, city, neighborhood, and local levels.

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

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Section 1: Scope

Regional, State and Local Organizations is your guide to U.S. nonprofit membership organizations with interstate, state, intrastate, city or local scope and interest and includes trade and professional associations, social welfare and public affairs organizations and religious, sports and hobby groups with voluntary members. Detailed entries furnish association name and complete contact and descriptive text information.

Included are sizable associations that encompass several states, organizations whose membership is limited to residents of a single state, and groups whose scope is limited to a single city or section of a city. Nonmembership organizations such as resource and referral centers, clearinghouses, information services, projects, and programs are listed if they disseminate information to the public. Some for-profit organizations may be included if their names or activities suggest that they are nonprofit organizations.

Section 2: Method of Compilation

Although every attempt is made to achieve accuracy and currency, associations constantly form, disband, and relocate. This is particularly true of regional and local organizations, which tend to be more transient than their larger and better-funded national and international counterparts.

An extensive research effort is conducted to maintain and enrich the RSL database: entry information previously listed in RSL is sent to the organizations for updating; questionnaires are sent to newly formed or newly identified associations, and efforts are made to contact organizations that did not provide updated information or failed to return questionnaires —- these efforts include emailing and faxing organizations, as well as searching organizations’ websites; national organizations are contacted for lists of their local affiliates; other databases maintained by Gale are searched for local organizations; and reliable secondary sources are employed after being checked for accuracy.

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

Encyclopedia of Associations: Regional, State, and Local Organizations (RSL) covers U.S. nonprofit membership organizations with interstate, intrastate, city or local scope. 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 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, Telex and Cable 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, contact person listed, or national affiliate.  
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; an attempt is also made to give the founding dates for the predecessor organizations in the body of the Description field. 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, and is rounded off, if necessary, by the editors. Budget (bu)
Regional, National, State, and Local Groups Indicates the number of regional, state, and local associations, chapters, clubs, councils, posts, and other subgroups affiliated with the listed association.  
Languages The official and/or working languages of the organization are listed, if other than English.  
Geographic Scope Organizations are REGIONAL, STATE or LOCAL in scope. Regional indicates a multistate scope of the organization; State indicates a statewide scope; Local indicates a local 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.  
Additional Websites List additional Internet addresses which may be used to access information on or related to the organization. Addresses are organized by type (e.g., FTP, Gopher, Telnet, and World Wide Web.)  
Telecommunication Services Notes special communications services sponsored by the organization. Services included are hotlines, electronic mail/bulletin boards, and telephone referrals.  
Sections and Divisions 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 Changes of Names If the group superseded another organization or was formed by a merger, the original organization(s) and founding date(s) are listed. Former names and the date of change to a new name are also indicated.  
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 in the entry’s main body. 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.  
Section Broad category into which the organization is grouped, based on geographic location. The Sections in RSL are:
  1. Great Lakes States: Includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin
  2. Northeastern States: Includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont
  3. Southern and Middle Atlantic States: Includes Alabama, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia
  4. South Central and Great Plains States: Includes Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas
  5. Western States: Includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming
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.  

Section 4: Comments and Suggestions Welcome

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