Radio amateurs are united in various organizations, depending on the interest or purpose they pursue. Some organizations cover common fields while others deal only with certain specific areas, for instance the Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society. There is even an organization for female radio amateur enthusiasts, which has been established way back in 1939.
“Representing the Interests of Two-Way Amateur Radio Communication” is the motto of the true authority in the field. Founded in 1925, at a congress in Paris, with representatives of 23 countries from all over the globe, the International Amateur Radio Union nowadays consists of 162 member countries. IARU organizes the Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference (GAREC), which has opened the discussion about the role and usage of amateur radio in natural disasters and other emergency situations.
IARU organizes the World Amateur Radio Day every 18 April to celebrate its establishment and the beauty of this popular hobby.
Founded in 1963, the International Amateur Radio Club maintains the 4U1ITU radio station, which is a unique model for a radio amateur station. It is located in Geneva, Switzerland and operates under the auspices of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
The European Radio Amateurs Organization (EURAO) is a federation of European radio amateur associations. It actually unites associations, as well as individuals from any member country to work together in various projects, lobbying public administrations etc.
What has previously mainly been considered as a men-powered hobby, it has raised the attention of women as well. The Young Ladies Radio League (YLRL) started with an ad in QST magazine with the intention of helping female enthusiasts become licensed radio amateurs. The phrase ‘Young Lady’ comes from the Morse code abbreviation YL and refers to any female radio amateur.
“A community that provides leadership and resources to radio amateurs for the purpose of advancing the radio art.” That’s how the Tucson Amateur Packet Radio community describes itself. It was established in Tucson, Arizona in 1981 with the challenge of developing a terminal node controller (TNC) for amateur use. Nowadays, TAPR operates in research and development of products related to software defined radio (SDR), HPSDR, GPS etc. TAPR organizes annual Digital Communications Conference along with the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).
The American national association for amateur radio, American Radio Relay League (ARRL), is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1914. It offers education, training and gets involved in advocacy matters of its members and other organizations such as IARU.