The 2014 version of the report is our third annual review of the association sector in Canada, and found that relatively few organizations are pro-actively addressing the key strategic and operational issues that will determine their future strength.
The research was conducted from April through mid-June 2014, and received 178 responses from Canadian-based associations. We reached out to approximately 1,500 organizations, through our own association client list, and through our partnership with Advanced Solutions International, extensive exposure on social media (including Twitter and LinkedIn Group posts).
Some of the key findings derived from this research are:
- Membership growth, higher visibility in the association's industry or field, and increased member participation remain the top three priorities this year;
- Non-dues revenue, insufficient staffing, and lack of funding to support association initiatives were the most serious concerns among respondents. The overall level of anxiety over these challenges may have been abated somewhat between 2013 & 2014;
- Alarmingly, no more than 56% of associations have marketing plans in place to reach potential new members and offset steady attrition of existing members;
- Association executives are well aware of the emerging need for member-driven management and customized service. Almost half expressed strong concern about their organizations' inability to properly track or measure member engagement.