December 13, 2017
    What's stopping your association's growth?

    TRENDS will present its annual Membership Special Focus, sponsored by Marketing General Inc., later this month. Here is a sample from the report by author MGI VP Eric Schoner. You can find more at his blog Membership Marketing Tips & Tricks.

    Perceived impediments to association growth

    While the drop in renewal rates “softened” the impact of member acquisition, renewal rates as a metric measure the association’s cumulative ability to effectively develop and manage the relationship with their members.

    Given this perspective, it is important to consider what association executives believe are the obstacles to renewing.

    This year’s respondents cited the top three reasons for not renewing as (1) lack of engagement with the organization; (2) could not justify membership costs with any significant ROI; and (3) budget cuts/economic hardship of the company. 

    When respondents were asked their association’s top three membership goals, 67 percent responded “Increasing member engagement,” 64 percent responded “Increasing both membership acquisition and retention,” and 60 percent cited “Increasing membership acquisition.”

    Member engagement

    Compared to associations that saw no change or a decrease in membership in the past year, associations reporting growth are significantly more likely to say they are seeing increases in:
    - Attendance at annual conference/trade show (55 percent)
    - Attendance at professional development meetings (52 percent)
    - Attendance of webinars (70 percent)
    - Volunteerism (37 percent)
    - Number of members who acquire or maintain certification (59 percent)
    - Purchase a non-dues product (45 percent)
    - Purchase a non-dues service (46 percent)
    - Number of visits to members-only section of website (61 percent).

    Association TRENDS