Almost half of the Dutch population are members of two or more interest groups or associations....
The challenges faced by interest groups
Generally speaking, we find that, to a greater or lesser extent, interest groups face a number of social challenges. We have summarised these into four areas:
4 areas of social challenges
Interest groups face a number of social challenges. We have summarised these into four areas:
Interest groups have become increasingly difficult to pigeonhole. Their activities extend beyond their 'traditional scope'. The idea is that this encourages innovation and is good for members / consumers. This means re-evaluating the mission and finding the right collaboration partners.
Many interest groups have been centralised for efficiency reasons, which has caused them to lose touch with their supporters. If members are to be re-engaged, different organisational principles (regional, thematic, by size) are required. Research indicates that groups who involve their members closely in decision-making are stronger than those who do not.
Interest groups are less and less likely to be given the 'benefit of the doubt'. Loyalty has been replaced by 'what's in it for me?' Groups must demonstrate that they are doing the right things and are doing things right. In the first instance, they must demonstrate this to their supporters. They want to know what's happening with their money. However, they must also demonstrate this to the board of directors, the supervisory board and / or other bodies, society at large, partner organisations, the tax authorities and, where appropriate, regulators.
Many interest groups are currently looking for a different revenue model, so they are less dependent on donations, grants and contributions. Over the past 10 years, this has mainly resulted in asking fees for individual services (advice, meetings) and, to some extent, discount schemes for supporters. In addition, a growing number of interest groups are selling products related to their group through their website (and / or in a physical shop). Some interest groups have found new revenue streams through partnerships with businesses or crowdfunding.
De Nederlandse Associatie (DNA)
Mazars is a partner of ‘De Nederlandse Associatie (DNA)’, which brings together industry associations, professional associations, federations, joint ventures, funds and member organisations. DNA provides inspiration and is committed to the development of associations and association professionals. Through our partnership with DNA, we give and receive valuable input on the challenges faced by interest groups.
Want to know more?
Would you like to find out more about our work with interest groups? Please contact Jaap Rauw by email or by telephone on +31 (0)88 277 20 00 or Bart Achterberg by email or by telephone: +31 (0)88 277 19 92.