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The Pulse Report: Member Connection is the Golden Thread

Statistics with Heart
Over the next few weeks, you’ll be hearing about The Pulse Report, a survey of Canadian associations that Greenfield Services will be releasing at the Canadian Society of Association Executives’ 2012 National Conference and Showcase, November 1-3 in Ottawa.

We’ve worked hard on the survey over the last several months, and I can’t tell you how much we’re looking forward to sharing the results with you.

We realized earlier this year that Greenfield was perfectly positioned to conduct a study on the state of Canadian associations. We know the sector well, and our infrastructure and systems make it easy for us to invite participants to a survey, then follow up by phone. We also knew this was the right time to ask associations some probing questions, to find out how they were coping and changing in a business environment shaped by a tough economy, new technologies, the rise of social media, and profound generational change.

The survey reached 147 respondents, 44.2% of them executive directors or CEOs, 43.5% in national organizations, and 68% in associations operating with 10 or fewer staff. The response rate wasn’t quite high enough to make the results statistically valid across the sector, but the Pulse Report still gave us strong indications that Canadian associations:

Scramble to cope with revenue generation, limited funding, and insufficient staffing to meet their objectives
See the need to increase revenues without raising membership dues
Value member recruitment and retention, but may not be using the latest member engagement tools to seal the deal
Often report low levels of volunteer involvement, social media participation, and non-dues purchases.

The common theme? Member connection is the golden thread that can hold members close to their associations—and when that thread unravels, nobody wins.

Stay tuned for a series of blog posts on the detailed findings in the Pulse Report. And if you’re in Ottawa November 2, drop by our booth at the CSAE Showcase to let us know how the results apply to your organization.