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New IMBA-SORBA Relationship FAQs

Currently, SORBA is 43 Chapters operating seven southern states with about 5,500+ members.  It has its own leadership and staff and SORBA chapters operate under SORBA’s 501c3.  The chapters, as part of the SORBA organization, pledge to operate under the SORBA’s by-laws and the operations manual.  All chapters come together twice a year in regional meetings to elect SORBA officers, set policy direction, share information, and best practices on everything from trail building to fund raising.  SORBA’s 43 Chapters work closely together often sharing work days and always sharing information.

SORBA is its own independent entity and because its main mission is aligned with IMBA’s, the two organizations are presently cooperating under a mutually beneficial agreement.  Essentially, in the spirit of the new IMBA Local program, SORBA purchases services from IMBA that would be much costlier if SORBA would attempt to duplicate those operations locally.  SORBA has IMBA handle the membership processing of is chapters.  In addition, SORBA benefits from savings on its tax filing, Human Resource services, and some banking operations.  IMBA assists SORBA and the Chapters with programs like last year’s Dig IN program that raised thousands of dollars for SORBA Chapters.  The list is fairly extensive.

Because IMBA and SORBA have a 29 -year history of working together, SORBA and its chapters share vital policy chores focused on the Southeast.  As an example, SORBA staff and volunteers represent IMBA’s interests, (which are the same as SORBA’s) in USFS Forest planning processes and state wide recreational trail planning.

In conclusion local SORBA Chapters have a great deal of independence are not “managed” by IMBA. 

SORBA’s relationship with IMBA is unique, always evolving and always mutually beneficial.


Tom Sauret,  Executive Director, SORBA