Pros and Cons of Private Membership Association (PMA)

You’ve probably interacted with a Private Member Association, directly or indirectly. Let’s list a few groups you may have been in but not know the name of. Do you frequent gyms, health clubs, or country clubs? Have you been part of the Greek community at university? Maybe you made some great new buddies. PMAs, or Private Member Associations, are more frequent than people realize. This is true outside of any notable groupings.

What is a PMA?

You may still be wondering “what is a PMA?” after reading this. To clarify, a Private Member Association is a collection of individuals, including men and women, who voluntarily pursue a shared objective or interest. You must meet specific conditions to be invited by the board to join one of these organizations. Group members may advance by running for the board of directors. In a moment, we’ll discuss registration.

Private Membership

One may find themselves pondering the distinguishing characteristics that set a Private Member Association apart from its counterparts within the realm of organizational structures. Dear interlocutor, in response to your inquiry. The United States Constitution unequivocally ensures the fundamental right of free association. Individuals have the capacity to establish exclusive collectives that operate independently from the overarching structures of federal, state, and municipal governance. The formation of such collectives necessitates no legal sanction. A collective of individuals has the potential to coalesce and establish an organized entity. In contrast to public entities, private membership clubs operate without governmental oversight. Insofar as society does not face an immediate peril, it possesses the capacity to autonomously govern and establish its own set of norms.

In What Ways Should You Anticipate Contributing to a PMA Board?

Now that you understand a Private Member Association and its purpose, we may discuss board composition and election. Define the organization’s positions before addressing board duties or election.

Executive boards of successful Private Member Associations are member-elected. When justice is achieved, all voices are heard and considered in decision-making. The Board usually has a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. Let’s examine what these folks must accomplish overall.

The Board Chair or President oversees the whole company and Board. The public views this individual as the organization’s leader.

The role of vice chair or vice president is crucial. In the Chair’s or President’s absence, this person is responsible for completing and managing all assigned tasks and presiding over Board meetings in their absence.

Since Secretaries handle all administrative affairs, associations frequently grant them a lot of power. The Treasurer must monitor the association’s finances and avoid spending over budget.

Most boards of directors pick these positions. These are the most usual Private Member Association elections, although others are conceivable.

Who decides who gets to be on the board, and how?

Right now, the selection process for board members is the most pressing problem. with the use of voting! We’ve all witnessed elections, and we know they may last a short time or a long time. Both depend on the organization’s size and the quantity of leadership contenders. Despite these practical hurdles, elections should be easy, fair, and user-friendly.

The esteemed individuals within our esteemed assembly shall graciously deliver an oration to the esteemed collective, wherein they shall eloquently expound upon their personal identities and explicate the reasons behind their esteemed qualifications. The residual constituents of the organization engage in a democratic process wherein they exercise their right to suffrage by selecting the most highly competent individual amongst the pool of candidates, subsequently declaring said individual as the victor.

In what manner can a collective ensure the provision of equitable and lucid electoral processes?

The association shall exercise its discretion in selecting the voting procedure that is deemed most reliable and dependable. The availability of multiple options facilitates the process of voting, thereby accommodating the diverse schedules of individuals.

Rapid, highly effective, and streamlined electoral processes enable individuals to devote their attention to the paramount task at hand: selecting the most suitable candidate.

Individuals who possess private membership affiliations are bound by the legal frameworks established at the local, municipal, and federal levels, particularly in cases where their actions pose an evident and immediate threat. Individuals who are affiliated with private membership associations typically enjoy a certain degree of immunity from governmental jurisdiction.

Aspect Pros Cons
Privacy – Members enjoy confidentiality of membership lists. – PMAs operate in a legal gray area, raising potential legal challenges.
Autonomy – Members can establish their own rules and regulations. – Membership restrictions limit diversity of ideas and potential growth.
Protection – Liability protection for members against association actions. – Potential isolation from broader society affects networking opportunities.

Private Membership Associations Pros

Legal arguments used by the civil rights movement relied heavily on the court’s repeated affirmations of the private membership group’s validity notwithstanding the ongoing, contentious lawsuit. The Supreme Court has linked the right and power to associate, which includes the ability to do so in the context of private membership clubs, with the right and capacity to speak freely, despite the fact that the Constitution does not specifically guarantee private membership organizations.

Private membership clubs have traditionally served to shield its members from legal scrutiny. In order to speed up the treatment process, avoid cumbersome and costly regulation, and save money, private membership clubs have opted to induct their patients into the organization.  Independent alternative medical practitioners are protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments and similar provisions in state constitutions from government oversight when they form private membership associations to provide benefits and services to their members (patients).

Private Membership Associations Cons

Executives and, in some cases, members may be held liable for the club’s debts and the performance of the club’s contracts and other duties due to the lack of limited liability enjoyed by the club; for more information, see the section on the responsibility of members, officers, and trustees.

  • It cannot launch a lawsuit or be sued in any manner other than via its executives and members since it is not a body corporate and does not have a separate legal existence from that of its individual members.
  • Assets or interests cannot be held by anybody other than officials or trustees.
  • Members cannot disband unincorporated clubs since the 1986 Insolvency Act does not allow voluntary dissolution.
  • Since the group cannot make legal contracts, any agreement in its name might be null and invalid.


Private Membership association rights are not limited to political or social activities, and may be used for commercial goals like the sale of alcoholic drinks. Private membership organizations may continue to engage in the right to privately contract guaranteed by the 5th and 14th Amendments, which establish legally binding partnerships for the sale of goods and services. With the proper paperwork in place, a private membership club like this one may legally do business involving goods and services that fall under state and federal oversight. A private membership organization has the same constitutional protections against arbitrary governmental action as any other American citizen, including the right to due process in the event that state authorities investigate the group’s activities or establishment.

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