Electronic Databases

Associations Unlimited

Associations Unlimited includes information on approximately 455,000 national, international, state, regional, and local organizations including U.S. 501(C) nonprofit organizations that have been granted nonprofit status by the IRS.

This resource can help you find names of organizations, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, primary contact, year founded, number of members, publications of the organizations, and links to the Internet homepages of many associations.


There are several ways to perform a search in Associations Unlimited. To begin searching the database, select one of the Search options. You can search by association name or acronym, location, subject, or any word in the description.

There are also Custom and Expert search options as well as a special search tool with IRS data on U.S. Nonprofit Organizations. After you have selected your search option, you will be presented with a form in which you can build your search. Enter your search words into the appropriate boxes.

Associations Unlimited is searchable as a complete file or as three separately searchable files for National; International; or Regional, State, or Local associations. Narrow a search to a separate file by clicking one of the boxes at the top of a search screen.

To search by name or acronym, click on Association Name or Acronym Search and, choosing the appropriate box, type either an acronym or a combination of words known to be part of the name. For example, type "aspca" or "ASPCA" or "prevention cruelty animals" or "American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals." Use quotation marks around a complete name to find only that name. Then click the Search button.

Click on Location Search to search by street address, area code, city, state, country, ZIP code.

The Subject/Any Word choice enables you to search by any word in the text of an entry, subject category, SIC code and SIC description. Complete lists of SIC codes and descriptions are available by clicking links at the right of the screen.

Custom search

The Custom Search enables you to search many fields simultaneously. You can enter terms in a single field or in several fields. If you enter terms in more than one field, the search engine automatically uses the AND search operator, looking for entries that contain the criteria in each of the fields that you specify.

Expert search

Using the Expert Search, you can construct search queries to identify associations that meet very specific criteria that may not be searchable using the available predefined search options.

An expert search is constructed by enclosing in parentheses ( ) a two-digit abbreviation for a field, followed by the terms you want to find in that field. Multiple fields and terms can be connected by the search operators AND, OR, and NOT. Wild cards (*, ?) can be used to search for a range of terms. The list of fields and name abbreviations can be found by clicking on the Help button at the left, then clicking on the “Expert Search Field Name Abbreviations” link.

For example, to search for associations located in Colorado but not Denver, you would enter the following search: (ST Colorado) Not (CY Denver).

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This page was written by Mark Ranum in February, 2003.
This page was last updated on November 26, 2003.