How can a for-profit firm take control of a non-profit organization?
(Posted on October 30, 2017)
One of my current research projects asks: How can a for-profit firm take control of a non-profit organization? I look at this question through the case of Club Intrawest, a non-profit non-stock association that was created by Intrawest ULC (a for-profit firm). The field of research is the timeshare industry. I look at the case over a 25-year period, using institutional theory. The research also has an applied component: the intent is to share findings to concerned stakeholders (members, government officials, regulators, etc…) on both how the industry operates and potential corporate wrong-doing / ethical issues. This webpage will be used for this purpose.
I would like to acknowledge and sincerely thank all of the Club Intrawest members who have participated and continue to participate in this project, by providing valuable documents, analysis, insight and perspective. The research is being performed directly by a small group of individuals, but so many members have contributed in various and special ways.
Below is an overview of the case. Over the next few weeks, this website will be populated with key findings, and include material that was previously found on the Club Intrawest Owners Group website. Please contact me if you have any questions about the research at gwyneth.edwards at hec.ca
As it relates to Club Intrawest, this research looks at the following questions:
- How has the timeshare industry evolved over time (through the lens of institutional theory). What role have developers, trustees, investors and consumers played in this evolution?
- How does the timeshare industry operate, at the club level? How are nonprofit timeshare associations (also referred to as Home Owner Associations) created and operated? What is the role of the developer in this process?
- Who owns the property that underlies the timeshare programs? What is the role of trusts? – CURRENT FOCUS
- Are there ethical and/or legal issues in the timeshare structures? If so, what are the implications?
Club Intrawest (Embarc) Member Info
- Overview of what you own – The Club Intrawest “Facts”
- Who owns the club properties?
- Overview of the GST issue – why does the club pay taxes on Canadian operations?
Current Embarc Board Communication
Joint Retainer Agreement with Geldert Law
Class action request (Quebec) Robichaud c. Intrawest ULC
- Argues that the introduction of a floor price for the resell of a membership goes against Quebec consumer laws. Demand (french)
- Formal Class Action request – Quebec Supreme Court
- Hearing scheduled for Nov 28 & 29, open to public (I will be attending)
- Location of hearing: Montreal Court House
- A (revisionist) history of Club Intrawest
- A poem about the events that led to the 2016 Special General Meeting
Club Intrawest (Embarc) Owners Group
In early 2016, an owners group was established, to allow members to exchange information, learn about the club, and advocate for change. To become a member, please visit the CI-The Owners Group website and join the FB Group.