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Professional Standards Research

Associations Matter: 2013 State of the Sector Study for Professional Associations

The Associations Matter: 2013 State of the Sector Report was the first of its kind in Australasia. 7749 members of 23 professional associations participated in the inaugural survey. Conducted by research organisation Survey Matters, it was designed to provide sector-wide information and benchmarks about the demographics, opinions, service and product preferences, satisfaction and renewal intentions of association members in Australia and New Zealand.

Key findings included:

  • An overwhelming majority of members recognise the value of associations and their services
  • There are opportunities for associations to provide products and services that help members meet their professional challenges
  • Most members chose to join their association for information-based services
  • Associations should clearly differentiate their recruitment and retention messaging based on career lifecycles
  • While the personal benefits of membership are valued most highly, members also value their association’s advocacy services
  • Most members are satisfied with their association’s services, but there are opportunities for improvement when it comes to cost, quality and delivery
  • Most members are proud to belong to their association, but only a small percentage agree their association drives engagement or makes them feel part of a community
  • Over 90% intend to renew their association membership when it expires.

The report concludes by identifying the top-performing associations, and making recommendations to help associations remain relevant to current and prospective members.

This paper was originally published by Survey Matters, Australia, August 2013.

About the author

Survey Matters is an independent research organisation that provides services to membership and not-for-profit organisations. It works with a wide range of associations to survey their members, and provide insights into their products and services, strategy development, and whether their memberships provide value.

Survey Matters intends to repeat the Associations Matter: State of the Sector Report on a regular basis. To take part in future studies, contact Survey Matters on 03 9452 0101 or visit their website.