The Economic Impact of Florida's Associations

Published September 2017 by FSAE - Produced by Downs St. Germain Research and Sponsored in part by Partners in Association Management

Highlights of the 2017 Economic Impact report are included in the infographic to the right. Download the free report for more information on Association budget expenditures; Association employee and membership profile; Meetings snapshot by type and revenue and Conferences overview.

Florida Associations Have $3.7 Billion Impact on Florida According to New Research Released by the Florida Society of Association Executives

The Florida Society of Association Executives (FSAE) announced Florida’s 1,000 largest associations have a $3.7 billion impact on the Sunshine State. These associations directly employ 15,000 people, spending more than $778 million in employee payroll and supporting more than 88,000 jobs through expenditures according to the research produced by Downs & St. Germain Research and sponsored in part by Partners in Association Management.

“The economic impact of Florida’s associations is real and it’s powerful,” said FSAE Chair Vicki Long, CAE. “Whether in Tallahassee, Orlando or Miami, the fiscal impact of the not-for-profit sector on local business is huge and one that should be recognized statewide as a major component in the state’s economic engine.”

More than $75 million in property, payroll, sales and other taxes flow directly from Florida’s largest associations into local and state government coffers each year. Additionally, more than 4.12 million attendees provide sales and other tax revenue to the municipalities and counties hosting the associations’ 40,500+ meetings annually.

"In-person meetings are an essential part of association membership and culture," said FSAE President/CEO Frank Rudd CAE, CMP. "Associations are established to bring industry businesses and professionals together to improve the professions they serve and set core standards to protect Florida's consumers. From small in-person board and committee meetings to large educational conferences and events, the meetings that association members participate in not only help the associations, but have a direct impact on local businesses and economies."

According to Long, “Through these interactions, and beyond the numbers, professional and trade associations provide cutting edge face-to-face training and education to improve performance, establish and enforce ethical standards and advocate for efficient regulation that is sensitive to the real-world need of Florida’s businesses to thrive in the global marketplace.”

As of October 2017, the IRS reports 2,873 501(c)6 organizations are headquartered in Florida and filed a tax return in the last year. The travel industry is one of the major benefactors of Florida largest associations as more than 4.1 million association members and staff traveled to attend board meetings, committee meetings, conferences, conventions, trade shows and education programs in 2016. Attendees also purchased more than 850,000 airline tickets to travel to meetings in 2016 and made more than 1.2 million rental car reservations. Additionally, members and staff of Florida’s 1,000 largest associations spend more than 3.6 million nights in hotels over a one year period.

“Florida is a hotbed of association activity,” said Bennett Napier, M.S., CAE, President/CEO of Partners in Association Management. “The state has the third largest concentration of not-for-profit associations behind Washington, D.C. and Chicago. The direct and indirect economic impact of this important business sector is quite significant for the Sunshine State. We greatly appreciate the work of FSAE in conducting and publishing the research, and our company was honored to help support the effort.”

About the Florida Society of Association Executives
The Florida Society of Association Executives (FSAE) fosters collaboration of association management professionals through networking and educational events, online communities and best-practice resources. With more than 1,100 members, FSAE has been serving the association industry throughout Florida for more than 55 years.


Download the Economic Impact Report