FAQ about Joining AIV
FAQ about Joining AIV
We know prospective members have many questions about joining AIV or any association. We've provided answers to common questions below, but don't hesitate to contact us directly regarding any questions you have by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are not manufacturers. Do we belong in AIV?
Our membership runs the full range of the manufacturing, technology, and natural resource sectors, with companies of every size and from every part of the state.
But contractors, engineering firms, staffing agencies, banks, insurance companies, law firms, and many other businesses and organizations are also members of AIV.
What unites all members is the understanding that the work and services of AIV benefit their business, as well as Vermont's industrial and business community.
We sell goods or services to other businesses. Are there advantages for us in joining AIV?
There are many ways membership can help you sell your goods or services to other members. Marketing and sponsorship opportunities, as well as many face-to-face networking opportunities, are of substantial benefit to many of our members. In fact, there is a good chance your business is missing out on important opportunities by not being a member of AIV.
We like AIV's advocacy and benefits, but don't want to be out in public on issues. Should we join?
Not every business leader wants to testify before a legislative committee or otherwise engage in public debate. In fact, one of the values of membership is that companies who do not want to engage in public activities themselves can benefit from the work we do on behalf of sectors and industries generally, with as much input and participation in that work as they want to provide. Moreover, it is AIV's policy not to release our membership directory so as to maintain the privacy of our members.
We don't agree with some positions taken by AIV. Why should we join?
AIV's agenda is based on fundamental principles that benefit all members. Where there are differences of interest, we work hard to promote the broadest good. Our members understand and appreciate this approach. They know that even if they might not agree with a specific position taken by AIV, the benefits of our activities on the whole make membership well worth it.
Does AIV represent big business or small business?
Our members are of every size and configuration. The fact is that most Vermont employers are "small businesses". But AIV recognizes that a healthy economy needs companies with thousands of employees, sole proprietor operations, and everything in between. We work hard to make sure laws and regulations reflect the needs and interests of the full range of businesses and do not unduly benefit one type at the expense of another.
Is AIV a partisan organization?
AIV is not a partisan organization. AIV seeks and finds support from all parties depending on the issue at hand. Our activities and relationships with legislators and other government officials are always based on substance.
Who sets AIV's agenda?
Our members drive our agenda. Member surveys and our policy task forces help shape our policy positions and activities. In fact, AIV takes a number of steps to ensure that we truly speak for our members as a whole. We even cap our dues schedule so that members of all sizes know they all have an equal voice.
We already belong to another association. Why should we join AIV?
There are several fine business and trade associations in Vermont, and many of our members belong to more than one. But we know from our members themselves that the caliber of our advocacy, publications, technical assistance, seminars and workshops, and direct member involvement in shaping regulations and legislation is unsurpassed by other associations.
For members of local or specific trade organizations, AIV membership brings better connections to state and national developments impacting their business, broader networking and marketing opportunities, and a stronger advocacy voice from a broader member base. Indeed, several trade associations are themselves members of AIV for this very reason.
Of particular importance to manufacturers and their supporting businesses, AIV is the only state-wide association that puts manufacturing front and center. Although retail and travel, tourism, and hospitality are important parts of Vermont's economy and we have some related members, AIV is the only broad-based association in Vermont not dominated by these sectors. Our unmatched focus and commitment to core economic issues and the needs of manufacturers and related companies reflects this important distinction.
We have a lobbyist. Why should we join AIV?
Several members have their own lobbyist, either as an employee or through contract. Indeed, AIV regularly works in coordination with these lobbyists to the benefit of our members. Nevertheless, AIV provides member benefits and services that such lobbyists do not.
Another consideration is strength in numbers. Legislators and agencies are not always sympathetic on issues they think affect only one or a small number of businesses. Time and again, the involvement of AIV has made decision makers appreciate the broader significance of a given issue, and produced a result difficult to achieve for an individual lobbyist. Indeed, lobbyists regularly encourage their clients to join AIV because of the support AIV membership provides.
We must prioritize expenses. Can we afford AIV?
We understand the pressures on members to control expenses. AIV works hard to limit our own expenses and maximize value for the dues our members pay. We also recognize that members go through good times and bad, and work with members going through a rough patch.
When weighing the value of AIV membership, consider:
Your membership helps AIV fight to reduce your cost of doing business in Vermont, providing returns that far exceed any dues amount.
Your membership can give you access to customer, supplier, and service connections that can boost your bottom line.
Approximately 70% of your dues is tax deductible.
Are AIV dues tax-deductible?
For federal income tax purposes, most of your AIV membership dues is deductible as a business expense. This amount can vary from year to year depending on our lobbying activities, but remains fairly steady. Currently 70% of AIV dues is deductible.