24. Member (definition)
OK you just learned that most not-for-profit corporations don’t have shareholders. Well, that was kinda not true. Almost all of them actually *do* have a sort of shareholder, but they just call them “members”. There’s even a type of not-for-profit corporation where members technically own a piece of the corporation, just like a shareholder of a for-profit corporation. It’s different enough that it’s useful to think of it as a separate sector, so we’ll talk about it more in a few days. Anyway, basically all not-for-profit corporations have members of some kind. Members get voting rights and other types of authority, just like shareholders. What members don’t get, though, is dividends, at least not directly, or any other financial benefit. Well, except in that other sector I mentioned a few seconds ago. Just be patient.
One really common type of not-for-profit corporation is called an “association” where the members are a group of people or organizations that all have something in common. They might live in the same neighbourhood or have the same type of job or even be a group of companies that are all in the Billie Eilish-themed headwear business. Associations usually exist because these people or organizations have similar enough interests that they say “hey, let’s form a whole new corporation that knows what we want (like lower taxes on hat profits) and does things to help us get it.” Your corporation could become a member of the Steilish Manufacturers And Retail Professionals Association (SMARP Association) by paying an annual membership fee to keep SMARP in business.
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