Chicago is home to more than 1,600 national and international associations and nonprofits that contribute more than $11 billion to the local and national economy. MSL Chicago, home to MSLGROUP's association expertise, is uniquely positioned to serve these enterprises with a strong and dedicated association practice group.

At MSLGROUP, we understand the challenges these organizations face and are dedicated to meeting their varying needs with a range of client services. Our work for associations like the American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Home Inspectors, the National Roofing Contractors Association and the Cosmetic Surgery Foundation has driven membership, built share of voice and uniquely positioned associations and their members as the industry’s top leaders.

Associations operate in an environment of multiple stakeholders and unique challenges. Headquarters’ staff is in the position of answering to, and serving, its members and volunteer leadership, both of which may have vastly different ideas about the organization’s objectives and role of its staff. To move forward, member-based organizations require consensus and consistency in their decision making, which by virtue of their very structure can prove to be challenging. Add to this the fact that in many cases, associations are either understaffed or do not have the financial resources to develop and implement major key initiatives demanded by their members. Even when resources are available, staff is often over tasked and must rely on outside consultants to accomplish their goals. It is essential that these partners possess a keen understanding of how to navigate and leverage the use of volunteers while garnering support from leadership and meeting staff expectations.

We have a strong track record of success working closely with a wide variety of groups ranging from professional associations, trade associations, fraternal and charitable organizations to membership, advocacy and activist groups. In addition to developing full scale branding campaigns, we’ve conducted media relations programs, coordinated and partnered with third-party groups, launched public education campaigns, helped position groups in Washington, D.C., and helped groups tackle challenging issues. We have also orchestrated business-to-business and trade media relations campaigns that support increased sales of their members’ products and services. And we’ve done it all using a mix a traditional and non-traditional campaigns that break through to target audiences. We continuously monitors trends and issues that impact non-profit association groups, particularly, but not limited to, those organizations based in the greater Chicago area.

MSLGROUP offers a variety of services to meet the needs of our association clients:

  • Audience Research
  • Association Branding
  • Association Management
  • Chapter Development
  • Coalition Building and Grassroots Support
  • Conference Planning and Events
  • Crisis Management
  • Legislation and Regulatory Action
  • Media Relations/Product Publicity
  • Membership Recruitment and Retention
  • Message Development
  • Non-Dues Revenue Opportunities
  • Program Measurement
  • Spokesperson and Media Training
  • Strategy Development

If you would like more information about hiring our associations team, e-mail

If you would like more information about joining our associations team, e-mail

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