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.

As the 4th largest state, Florida is home to a thriving association market that includes thousands of international, national, state, regional and local associations. As of October 2017, the IRS reports 2,873 501(c)6 organizations are headquartered in Florida and filed a tax return in the past year.

In total, Florida’s largest 1,000 associations contribute 3.7 billion dollars in spending to the economy. The travel industry is one of the major benefactors of Florida’s largest associations as over 4.1 million association members and staff traveled to attend board meetings, committee meetings, conferences, conventions, trade shows and education programs in 2016. The number of members and staff who attend meetings of the 1,000 largest associations in Florida outnumber the total attendance of all University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Miami, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Bucs home games combined. Another interesting fact: association members spend $608.4 million on conference hotels alone. An estimated 72.8% of FSAE members' conferences are booked with member properties. Members spend approximately $443 million with our Associate Supplier Members.

Attendees of Florida associations’ meetings purchased over 850 thousand airline tickets to travel to meetings in 2016. The rental car industry can thank Florida’s 1,000 largest associations for over 1.2 million rental car reservations a year. Members and staff of Florida’s largest associations spend over $529 million on air and land travel in one year. Members and staff of Florida’s 1,000 largest associations spend over 3.6 million nights a year in hotels over a one year period.

Associations are big taxpayers and employers as well. Over $75 million in property, payroll, sales and other taxes flow from Florida’s 1,000 largest associations into local and state government coffers each year. In addition, Florida’s 1,000 largest associations directly employ 15,000 people, yet over 88,000 jobs are supported by expenditures of Florida’s largest associations.

“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 economic benefit of not-for-profits on local business is huge and one that should be recognized statewide.”

Bennett Napier, M.S., CAE, President/CEO of Partners in Association Management - a sponsor of the impact report agrees. “Florida is a hotbed of association activity. 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.”

“We are honored to work with such stalwart members like Downs & St. Germain Research and Partners in Association Management to produce this important study,” said FSAE President/CEO Frank Rudd CAE, CMP. “We are especially grateful to the many members whose valuable input made the Report possible. We look forward to telling the story of Florida’s associations to help all our members succeed.”


Download the Economic Impact Report