Expert viewpoints on association challenges and solutions going forward


Knowing Y: Engage the Next Generation Now

Sarah Sladek

The End of Membership As We Know ItKnowing Y: Engage the Next Generation Now

Their population numbers surpass the baby boomer generation. They will constitute the majority of the workforce by 2015 and their annual spending will total over 2.4 trillion by 2018. Yet many associations and their leaders are waiting for Generation Y to come of age and change their engagement habits to mirror the habits of previous generations who joined associations as their careers and age advanced. That's a nice thought but should you bank your association's future on it? I wouldn't.

Generation Y is changing. They're changing the workforce picture, the global economy, the expectations of value, and they're changing the expectations of the generations before them. It's the trickle-up effect. Just as the early users of Facebook, all of whom were college students, eventually changed the baby boomer's interest in Facebook from very little in the beginning to more than 10 million users by 2010.


The End of Membership As We Know It

Sarah Sladek

The End of Membership As We Know It

How new membership models can help associations survive and thrive in today's evolving environment. The era when associations could count on members joining and renewing, even with a relatively unchanging menu of membership benefits, has passed. No, membership is not dead, argues author Sarah Sladek. But associations do need to change their thinking and their models.

In The End of Membership As We Know It: Building the Fortune-Flipping, Must-Have Association of the Next Century, Sladek offers practical, proven ways that associations can respond to changes affecting participation such as the generational shifts in the workforce, social changes, and technology-eased access to content and community.


Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations

Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers

Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations

Race for Relevance provides a no-nonsense look at today's realities and how associations operate and what they need to do to remain relevant in the future. Based on more than 40 years of combined experience working with more than 1,000 organizations, the authors examine 5 key areas where the traditional approach that organizations have taken in the past needs to be altered.

The book includes worksheets, checklists, and case studies all geared towards helping association leaders, staff and volunteers alike, to kick off the thought-provoking discussions that are generally at the forefront of change, be prepared for those fighting for the status quo, and to implement change without sacrificing your influence.


7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don't

ASAE and The Centre for Association Leadership

7 Measures of Success

This update of ASAE's all-time bestseller retains the original book's focus on the disciplines that define remarkable associations and provides some insights on how those remarkable organizations fared in light of the economic challenges in the intervening years since the original publication was published.

Based on 15 years of data and original, objective research tailored to the association community's needs, 7 Measures of Success provides empirical data and seven success factors common among visionary nonprofits.


Road to Relevance: 5 Strategies for Competitive Associations

Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers

Road to Relevance: 5 Strategies for Competitive Associations

Help move your organization to greater discipline, focus, and value. Association leaders must be disciplined strategists, focusing the organizations they serve on value they can deliver and structuring accordingly to compete in the new normal. Road to Relevance is the follow-up and complementary companion to the bestselling Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations, which identified six challenges that forever changed the association environment and five needed changes. Authors Harrison Coerver and Mary Byers, CAE, provide real insight into how to adapt the strategies of Road to Relevance to your organization's circumstances.

Case studies, adaptable examples, and provocative questions help you use the insights from Road to Relevance to lead your organization to an ever-more-valued, sustainable, and relevant future.


10 Lessons for Cultivating Member Commitment: Critical Strategies for Fostering Value, Involvement, and Belonging

James Dalton and Monica Dignam

10 Lessons for Cultivating Member Commitment

How individuals determine value is a deciding factor on whether they choose to join an organization. Yet, the extent to which members are engaged depends on their sense of belonging to a community and the association's ability to consistently deliver value through the membership experience.

10 Lessons for Cultivating Member Commitment: Critical Strategies for Fostering Value, Involvement, and Belonging draws membership-strategy insight from key findings of ASAE research into what factors go into an individual's membership decisions. The critical decision to belong, rather than merely join, happens when that first-year member gets a membership renewal invoice--making the experience the individual has during year one critical.

This book is a must-have for any association leader looking to better understand what influences someone's loyalty after joining an organization.


The Art of Membership: How to Attract, Retain and Cement Member Loyalty

Sheri Jacobs

The Art of Membership

Member engagement, recruitment, and retention are fundamental activities that all membership organizations must master to ensure the growth and viability of their organizations over the long term. The Art of Membership by Sheri Jacobs, CAE, provides associations and membership organizations with the practical tools they need to build a loyal and diverse membership base over the long term. Readers will be able to put the tools to work immediately regardless organization size, budget, culture, type, or environment.

The recommendations are concrete, irrefutable and backed by data derived from ASAE research, the author's own more than 40 Market Research Studies conducted with her team encompassing members and non-members from organizations of all types and sizes and her more than 15 years of experience developing and executing membership recruitment and retention plans for more than 100 associations. The book contains ample cases and examples from associations, non-profits and for-profits (pricing strategies, value propositions, and marketing tactics) in addition to chapter-by-chapter "how-to" guides with checklists and worksheets that break down the concepts from goal to strategy to tactics culminating in an actionable "to-do" list.


The Decision to Join: How Individuals Determine Value and Why They Choose to Belong

James Dalton and Monica Dignam

The Decision to Join

A person s decision to join an individual membership organization is not a cost-benefit analysis a conclusion of this study that does not fit the conventional wisdom. After all, the membership appeal should be what s in it for them, or so many think. Turns out, it isn t that simple. The reality of this finding opens the door to insight, refined strategies, and a new look at what s valuable to association members.

The Decision to Join compiles data gathered from 18 individual membership organizations and nearly 17,000 survey responses to paint a clearer picture of what people value about membership in an association.

Comprehensive data and analysis paint a clear picture of topics such as affiliation and involvement, generations and career level, gender, employer type and level of support, and world location, offering insights that can lead associations to focus on the programs and initiatives that matter to members and thus improve their overall value proposition. Bonus features of this report are practical guides to discussing and adopting the findings of the report and conducting similar studies to identify specific topics of importance within individual organizations.


The New Recruit

Sarah Sladek

The New Recruit

The Baby Boomer generation has sustained membership associations for quite some time. As that era nears an end, it's time to start thinking about X, Y, and Z -- the next generation of association executives, board members, and volunteers. The New Recruit brings to light the challenges that Boomer-centric membership associations are experiencing and viable solutions that association executives can implement to successfully recruit and retain younger generations.

The only succession plan a membership association has is the continuation of its membership. The New Recruit will teach you how to survive the post-Boomer era and create an association for the next generation.


Remembership- New Thinking for Tomorrow's Membership Organization

Kyle J. Sexton

Remembership- New Thinking for Tomorrow's Membership Organization

Your membership development strategy is out of date.

I've been saying it in speeches, chats, conversations, emails, and on and on. Are you finally getting it? Why are you hearing me, but not your members?

Eighty percent of your members don't show up for anything, yet you still tout participation as the best way to get value from membership. Unless your membership organization is a health club, you're dead wrong. The best way your members will get value from their membership is by you building a member services menu that provides them value, even if they choose to sit on their proverbial butts.

You tell members and prospects that your organization is valuable, yet you don't put a value on anything. In fact, you give away too much and charge too little.

Are you really going to allow your most time-consuming members (the ones you want to fire) to pay the least amount in dues? There is something awry in the world of membership organizations when your members are starting to detach from your association and start their own thing.

You have no advantage of proximity. Your members who work next door to each other would still rather send an email or Facebook message than meet up for coffee. So why would it be that your local association is safe from borderless threats?

Technology has never been more affordable, but your board still says "next year" for that association software purchase you've been putting off far too long.

If you are not an employee, board member, or high-level volunteer of a chamber of commerce or business-focused association, this book is not for you.

If you can't imagine your organization without its sacred cow parade, pageant or pancake feed, this book is not for you.

Many of today's membership organizations are living on yesterday's bread while your members drink tomorrow's wine. If your members are putting up with it now, they won't for long.

This book is about renewing your membership development strategies because your memberships may be worthless.


The Informed Association: A Practical Guide to Using Research for Results

Sarah C. Slater, MS and Sharon Moss, PhD, CRA, CAE

The Informed Association

We've all heard about making data-driven decisions. Here's a resource to help you along your way. Association professionals at all levels can and should play key roles in identifying, filtering, and obtaining the most pertinent data for prioritizing resources, supporting or refuting assumptions, informing decisions and strategy, and increasing member value.

Good decisions rely on reliable data, and this guide is all about helping anyone working with information to use good process, ensure integrity, and make accurate interpretations of the data they gather.

The Informed Association provides you the fundamentals to make research a practical and accessible tool. As you might expect, it covers the "who, what, why, and how" aspects of research methods and data.

Case studies, charts, chapter summaries, and "questions to ask yourself" round it out to make The Informed Association an indispensable and often-used reference guide.


We Have Always Done It That Way: 101 Things about Associations We Must Change

Jeff De Cagna, David Gammel, Jamie Notter, Mickie Rops and Amy Smith

We Have Always Done It That Way


Five of the association community's brightest leaders – Jeff De Cagna, David Gammel, Jamie Notter, Mickie Rops and Amy Smith – examine the conventional wisdom of our profession so we can still make sense of what works and what doesn't. As they point out, the future is full of great opportunities for associations to do what they do well, but only if energetic and capable leaders step forward to seize the moment.

199 Ideas: Membership Recruitment and Retention

ASAE and The Center's Membership Section Council

199 Ideas: Membership Recruitment and Retention

Do you have a great non-profit group, but no members? Learn from the pros about best practices, methods, and simple solutions to recruit and keep members. It s really as easy as 1-2-3!

The 199 sure-fire ideas presented here is your best bet for attaining membership growth and greater income to support your organization s valuable mission.


Membership Essentials: Recruitment, Retention, Roles, Responsibilities, and Resources

ASAE and The Centre Membership Section Council , Sheri Jacobs

Membership Essentials

It's all here in this guide to membership development and operations: setting up a membership function, financial management, using research, member benefits, recruitment and retention strategies, dues structures, communication, operations including membership database tips, and more. Plus, frequently used templates and tools provided on a CD-ROM that everyone who wears the membership hat needs at his or her disposal.


Professional Practices in Association Management: The Essential Resource for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations

John B. Cox

Professional Practices in Association Management

A new edition of one of the most popular Certified Association Executive (CAE) Authoritative Literature titles that covers all the core areas of association and nonprofit management. New chapters on Knowledge Management, Sustainability, Technical/Scientific Publications, and Diversity have been added and other chapters updated to reflect the changes in core areas since publishing the first edition.

Written by association professionals and experts with 300 years of cumulative experience! Major topics include governance and structure, leadership processes, management and administration (including finance and human resources), internal and external relations, and programs and services. You'll get coverage of 34 critical subject areas, which were selected based on the CAE Exam Content Outline.


Principles of Association Management

Henry L. Ernstthal, Bob Jones, American Society of Association Executives

Principles of Association Management

The fourth edition of Principles of Association Management has been updated throughout to reflect the most current issues in association management. You'll find updated information from the latest ASAE industry research studies. This edition also introduces an all-new chapter on Trends Forecasting, which addresses techniques association executives can use to help identify and assess future trends that will affect their organization's future.