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Professional Standards Research

Associations Matter: 2014 State of the Sector Study for Industry Bodies

After surveying members of professional associations for its 2013 study, research organisation Survey Matters analysed industry associations for its Associations Matter: 2014 State of the Sector Study for Industry Bodies.

The organisation surveyed over 1,100 members of 17 industry associations in Australia and New Zealand, and described the results as “concerning”. For example:

  • Only 58% of respondents were satisfied with their industry association membership
  • Only 65% think their association understands their needs
  • Only 65% think their association is an effective advocate for the industry
  • Just over 50% rate the quality of their associations’ member services, events, professional development resources and communications as good or excellent.

However, industry associations that truly know their members’ day-to-day issues and challenges are far more likely to have a satisfied and engaged membership. Associations that were rated highly when it came to representing members equally and understanding members’ needs and performed significantly better on all satisfaction and engagement measures.

The report concludes by highlighting the sector’s top performers, and making recommendations to help industry associations improve their performance and remain relevant.

This paper was originally published by Survey Matters, Australia, July 2014.

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 its 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.