We're building a feature for a website and trying to think of a hypernym for clients, partners and members so that the feature remains generic enough for re-use later on other websites.

  • Clients/partners/members of what? Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 9:11
  • @ElendilTheTall That would depend on who we're building the website for. A law firm, for example, might have clients and partners while a not-for-profit organization might have only members and no clients (per se). We're trying to avoid having to build a separate module for every different type of organization, hence the need for a generic term.
    – Xhantar
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 9:31

7 Answers 7


Stakeholders would be the term.

Stakeholders : A person, group or organization that has interest or concern in an organization. Some examples of key stakeholders are creditors, directors, employees, government (and its agencies), owners (shareholders), suppliers, unions, and the community from which the business draws its resources.


You might try stakeholders:-

  1. (Economics, Accounting & Finance / Banking & Finance) a person or group owning a significant percentage of a company's shares
  2. (Business / Industrial Relations & HR Terms) a person or group not owning shares in an enterprise but affected by or having an interest in its operations, such as the employees, customers, local community, etc.

Less sophisticated than "stakeholders" is associates.

Associate: person joined with another or others in an enterprise, business, etc.; partner; colleague.

  • But a client cannot be termed as an associate.
    – Sayan
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 10:14

Would generically referring to them as collaborators suffice?


I was thinking about the word "organisations" but I'm not sure if it's generic enough.


I would use the world Contacts as it would describe any type of business, client, partners or member.

M-W gives this contact as the second definition:

2 a : ASSOCIATION, RELATIONSHIP students and teachers in daily contact
I lost contact with her years ago.
c : an establishing of communication with someone or an observing or receiving of a significant signal from a person or object
radar contact with Mars


If you want to further abstract the function of the party, then entity is appropriate. To be less abstract, Sayan's stakeholder will do, but this specifies that they have a real investment or "stake" in the project (material or otherwise). Less specific than that is an associate.

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