Industry Update: GrowthZone 2019 Association Survey: Strategies that Lead to Membership Growth

GrowthZone, a software and networking services provider whose mission is to help associations grow and maintain their active membership base, recently released their 2019 Association Annual Survey results. GrowthZone surveyed association professionals across the U.S. and Canada. The majority of which were from associations that had under 500 members, had an operating budget between one and five million dollars, and about 16 full-time staff. The results show that the majority of organizations are seeing little growth from year to year (a 3% change on average) with less than half of the associations surveyed seeing an increase in membership for 2018.

Common Challenges

The most common choice for biggest challenge was “Member Engagement”, with 29% of all respondents choosing that option. The second largest challenge was “Recruiting and Retaining Members” with 28% of respondents citing it. Other challenges with a high percentage of answers were “Communicating Value Proposition”, “Attracting Younger Members”, and “Funding”.

What Growing Associations Are Doing

Some of the most valuable takeaways from this annual report compare the strategy differences between associations who have seen growth this year and those that have not. The key difference being that associations who have seen growth are doing more to remain relevant for their members. This looks like regularly
posting on social media accounts like Instagram, blogging often, and participating in the legislative process in varying ways.

About the author

Joe Clote

Joseph W. Clote is owner of Publishing Concepts, LLC a communications and marketing firm based in Saint Louis, Missouri. Mr. Clote is Group Publisher of MeetMed™ and Missouri Meetings & Events™ (MM&E) magazine, a quarterly publication read by thousands of meeting and event professionals, and producer of the St. Louis and Kansas City trade shows under the MM&E name. Mr. Clote has extensive sales and marketing expertise in the travel, tourism, fine art, insurance, and software development industries.