The act and the consequence of associating or associating are called association. This concept is also used to refer to the group of associated individuals and the entity that brings together several people who share the same objective.
Civil, for its part, is a notion that can be associated with citizenship and what does not belong to the orbit of the State (that is, that its management is private and not state).
A civil association is a private organization that has legal personality and that does not have a profit motive. These associations are made up of individuals who work together for a social, educational, cultural or other purpose.
The importance of the civil association is incalculable, in that it represents a means for citizens to get involved in the public space and regulate the actions of the government, while giving voice to the diverse groups of people who are victims of neglect. There is no better way to grow as a society than to close the distance that separates the leaders of the people, an effort that brings, among many other benefits, the acquisition of invaluable wisdom to avoid manipulation.
Although there is no shortage of messages in favor of civil associations and of the benefits that they can bring to coexistence in society, it is not common to expose the many challenges that its creation entails, the numerous and strict requirements that must be overcome during the start-up stage to avoid that all the effort dissipates after a few months in a sea of legal problems.
And it is that to create and develop a civil association it is not enough with the hard work and interest of its members; If the objective is to build a stable and capable organization that will last, then they must fulfill a series of obligations from day one. The procedures are many, as are the government offices to visit, and at every step it is necessary to make crucial decisions that, little by little, shape the final structure.
It is not possible to guarantee one hundred percent the success of a civil association following a magic recipe, but there are certain tips that can avoid future headaches. Perhaps the fundamental point is to bring together the right people, the group of people who are willing to give themselves genuinely to the pursuit of goals, without allowing individual interests to interfere and create fissures.
Broadly speaking, we can say that the steps to establish a civil association are the following: deciding on its name and registering it with the appropriate body; definition of the corporate purpose; decision of the type of participants; establishment of the governing bodies; appointment of the legal representative; preparation of the statutes and internal regulations; definition of institutional policies; preparation of the meeting minutes.
The way of establishing a civil association varies according to the country. In general, the law establishes certain conditions for its formation and operation, such as the presentation of its statutes before the public administration, the existence of a minimum number of members and the development of an accounting whose data is available to all associates.
An example of this type of organization is the Civil Association for Equality and Justice (ACIJ), which was created in Argentina in 2002 with the aim of ensuring respect for the National Constitution.
The Association of Librarians of Uruguay (ABU) is also a civil association, whose headquarters are located in the city of Montevideo. Its purpose is to represent, defend and promote the interests of the country’s librarians.
It should be noted that civil associations can be framed within the group of NGOs: non-governmental organizations.