A membership organization is a broad term for a group or body which has members. Typically any member of the public can join and a membership fee or "subscription" is payable, but arrangements vary widely. The legal form also varies widely, from very small voluntary associations, which may or may not be formally established, to very large organizations like the National Trust in Britain, which had 3.7 million members in 2010, paying about £50 per year. This, like very many membership organizations, is established as a charity (non profit) though it has commercial subsidiaries.
Types of membership organizations include "Friends of ..." organizations, other support groups, political parties and a wide range of others. Some clubs would typically be covered by the term, but not country clubs and others which exist primarily to use specific facilities.
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membership organization — A voluntary organization which is a charity only as its stated purposes, and the nature and extent of its operations make it so, considering the objective of applicable statutes. 15 Am J2d Char § 149. See membership corporation … Ballentine's law dictionary
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membership corporation — A company or organization that is formed for purposes other than generating a profit. Dictionary from West s Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005. membership corporation A company or organization … Law dictionary
membership — • Her acceptance of this role has…given enormous pleasure to the membership B. Grant, 1990. The use of membership to mean ‘members collectively’ (e.g. of a trade union) was noted by Gowers (1965) as ‘now rife and corrupting other words’. Its use… … Modern English usage
organization — or·ga·ni·za·tion n: a body (as a corporation or union) that has a membership acting or united for a common purpose or·ga·ni·za·tion·al adj Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. organization … Law dictionary