Social vs. Business Interest Groups: Operations & Financing

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  • 0:01 Interest Group Survival
  • 0:26 Social and Business…
  • 1:33 Social Interest…
  • 2:39 Business Interest…
  • 3:26 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Social and business interest groups each need to raise funds in order to achieve their special interest objectives. In this lesson, we will compare and contrast social interest groups' and business interest groups' operations and financing.

Interest Group Survival

In order to reach their objectives, business and society need financial help to ensure that their interests are represented and heard. Since interest groups are not formed under a for-profit model of business, it takes extra ingenuity to raise money and acquire membership for their causes. In this lesson, we will compare and contrast social interest groups' and business interest groups' operations and financing.

Social and Business Interest Groups

Special interest groups are nonprofit organizations that publicize a specific cause for either society or business. Special interest groups are divided into two categories: societal and business. A social interest group aggressively pursues social issues with business and government to promote their interests. Most social interest groups focus on one specific subject matter, such as eliminating drunk driving or workers' rights. Some well-known societal interest groups include MADD (which stands for Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and the American Red Cross.

Business interest groups are special interest groups that represent business or industry interests through associations and organizations. Some examples include the Better Business Bureau, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Both business and social interest groups are nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), which are organizations that are not part of government; are not profit based; and help businesses, government, and society communicate their needs.

Social Interest Groups' Operations and Financing

Social interest groups need to find a way to raise money to fund their activities as part of their operations strategy. One way social interest groups handle this problem is through the issuing of membership dues as part of their formation. For example, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Sierra Club, and the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) all collect dues for individuals to become members of their interest groups.

In addition, some special interest groups will receive donations by pressuring businesses for support. For instance, a special interest group that is against drunk driving receives donations from alcohol companies. Many social interest groups will also try to gain money through the selling of books or DVDs or through fundraising activities, such as walkathons, dinners, and auctions. Lastly, certain social interest groups receive funding from the government because their objectives will help the community, such as Planned Parenthood. Social interest groups' major operational task is to then take the funds and implement their objectives through different activism programs.

Business Interest Groups' Operating and Finance

Business interest groups also have an operational objective to acquire funding to pursue their special interest goals. Similar to social interest groups, they also charge memberships to their group. However, the members are usually businesses, instead of individuals as in social interest groups. Business interest groups also differ in other ways from social interest groups because they do not raise money through fundraising, donations, or government funding.

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