An association is considered to be an organization in which people with common interests and goals join together to act for a shared cause. Association structures differ a lot. Associations may consist of individuals or social groups and some have sub-associations. There are very many different types. There are the ones related to free time activities, sports associations and economic or political interest groups or science groups. Examples of associations that we are very familiar with are the worldwide karate association, trade associations, or the UN.
Associations always have their own constitution, a common binding and long-term goals. They represent the interests of their members vis-à-vis the state and other interest groups. As interest groups, they are usually located between the state and the market in the nonprofit sector (“third sector”). For their own members, their service function also plays an important role.
Associations fulfill a variety of tasks within the political system. Through their ability to bring societal needs to the attention of political decision-makers, they strengthen the legitimacy of political decisions. Organizing members and their roles in an association can be difficult because not always a manageable hierarchy is formed and not every member even has a clarified role. However, many associations have a similar structure as a large company.
In general, associations are less represented in some places in the world than in others. For example, there are far more associations in Europe and the USA than on other continents. Many associations operate internationally and there is a need for clearly structured communication between teams regarding certain topics. To illustrate this, you can imagine an international company. If two marketing executives in two different countries want to launch an international campaign, the communication has to be on point.
Through nevaal maps, the connections within an association can not only be organized but be presented using a visual network. This way you have all contacts and members connected to separately, instead of a confusing list of people with their positions.
The three main functions of an association that we consider are thematic exchange, consultation with each other, and connecting teams of people with similar functional activities.
An example of an association could be the international association of german teachers. If a member of this association has a question regarding grammar rules, you can easily communicate it through a network to get an answer as soon as possible.
Association members that make decisions for regulations together could update each other between meetings and let others know about their point of view before meetings.
In addition, if some teachers offer classes only for adults, they can then easily form a team and discuss case-related problems. With an impractical representation of all the members and their functional activities, one would probably not even begin to consider all of them because one would simply not find them.
In summary, it is about the support of exchange on these three levels. These exchange-related processes are optimized by nevaal. The presentation of all members and their activities sorted by selected criteria, the communication to individual members or whole groups, and the networking before and after events.