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The decision to join by Monica Dignam

The decision to join by Monica Dignam






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  • Great information. Highlights for associations what members feel is important, so what to focus on. It would be good to see 'pull' out performing 'push' - perhaps opportunities here.

    Sue Froggatt
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  • They are looking themselves: Searching on the Internet and some even call…And the associations are actively pursuing them by --
  • Based on the book by Fred Richheld The Ultimate Question” suggests that there is only one question you need ask any customer:Question is asked on a 0-10 scale
  • This question was asked of all respondents about associations in general, not the particular association that contributed their name. Note the big difference in priority for “providing technical information” between US and European respondents.
  • Lead:Paul BorowskiOthers prepared to discuss this topic:Tom DolanBarbara Byrd KeenanFred Johnson
  • Lesson 1: We make a distinction between “joining” and “belonging”The decision to join, the act of responding favorably to an appeal that invites a prospect into the association, is one thing. But joining and belonging are not the same things. The decision to belong begins a year or so after joining, when that prospect-turned-new-member gets the first dues invoice. At that moment in time members think back on their experience since joining, and with that, the belonging decision kicks in. Responsibility for belonging goes to every volunteer and staff person whose job it is to deliver program value and pull that new member into a self-organizing community of peers who generate the value. An association isn’t a service provider. It is a co-op. Members both create and consume content. It’s important to understand how associations are unique in this regard. Lesson 2: It’s not just a matter of selling the personal benefits. Some associations try to sell membership as a package of hard benefits included with membership, discounts, publications, networking opportunities and place a monetary value in an attempt to show how the monetary value of this laundry list of personal benefits is greater than cost of dues. This misses the critical importance of good of the order benefits.Lesson 3: Increasing opportunities for members to volunteer, even in small ways, significantly enhances both satisfaction and retention. Keeping track of who is doing what is also important – here we are referring not only to board or committee (governance) volunteering but ad hoc opportunities as well.Lesson 4: If yours is a trade, profession or group that is not clearly understood by the public, members frequently look to the assn to help the public better understand them and their challenges. For most assns this is not feasible because of the cost involved in influencing the public. Helping members to understand this and redirecting their expectations is recommended. Awards programs, generally a low value to members, might be a more realistic way of influencing key constituencies. Lesson 5: Ours and several other studies have convinced us that young people are not abandoning associations. To attract them associations need to focus on what they need – to build a network and to understand more about the industry and career.Lesson 6: Social media is not particularly effective in reaching prospects or retaining members. People are not reporting that they either learn about the association that way or that they use social networks to connect with other members. It’s important to keep up with this but not to invest too many resources into it.Lesson 7: Elected are generally further along in their careers and more influential in their industries, they are generally sought out because of these qualities. In addition, as part of the leadership of the association, they have more ‘inside’ information and tend to perceive some activities, like lobbying as far more important than the rank and file. Lesson 8: Gender doesn’t make too much difference to either the importance of, or members’ satisfaction with the association or its benefits – unless it’s the minority gender in the profession – women in male dominated (engineering) men in female dominated (nursing) then the minority gender tends to volunteer more – maybe they are asked more “to be representative” and to be more active in the association.Lesson 9: Academics, here we mean educators of all sorts, are important, even if yours is not an academic membership, because they tend to remain members longer and to be more active, but more important, because they tend to strongly influence prospects to join.10. This is a lesson that is primarily for US-based associations, but we are fortunate in having our next speaker, Edwin van der Voort, who will address some aspects of this lesson in his presentation.

The decision to join by Monica Dignam The decision to join by Monica Dignam Presentation Transcript

  • Presentation Information
  • International & European Association Congress 2012Association Congress 2012Inter Liverpool, UK 16 July 2012 3
  • PresenterMonica DignamStudy Principal Investigator and Co-AuthorFormer Chief Research OfficerASAE: The Center for AssociationLeadershipContact:Email: mdireland@asaecenter.orgPhone: +353 089 428 88 99 4
  • The Decision to Join• The Decision to Join (DTJ) is based on two surveys of people who are, were, or could be but never chose to become members of a professional association.• The first study, conducted in 2006 and published in 2007, involved 19 diverse organizations and the second study, conducted in 2011 and to be published in August this year, involved 21 diverse organizations, including two in Australia.• There were about 20,000 respondents in each study among members of U.S. based worldwide associations. In both studies over 800 respondents were from Europe.• Each participating organization contributed member and prospect names to be included in the Internet survey. While each participating association received their own results, the data used for the publication, and this presentation were analyzed as one common pool of professionals• Participating organizations were shown how their members responded and how they differed from the normative pool. 5
  • Session Objectives• Share some of the topline, strategic findings from research on reasons professionals do or do not join their professional associations• Discuss implications for your organization
  • Decision to Join Co-sponsors• American Chemical Society (2006)• American College of Healthcare Executives (2006 and 2011)• American Geophysical Union (2006 and 2011)• American Health Information Management Association (2006)• American Nurses Association (2011)• American Occupational Therapy Association (2011)• American Osteopathic Association (2006 and 2011)• American Society for Quality (2006 and 2011)• American Society of Civil Engineers (2006 and 2011• American Society of Mechanical Engineers (2006 and 2011)• American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2011)• APICS The Association for Operations Management (2011)• ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership (2011)• Australasian College of Health Service Management (2011)• Engineers Australia (2011)• HIMSS (2011)• IEEE (2006 and 2011)• InfoComm International (2011)• Oncology Nursing Society (2011)• Project Management Institute (2006 and 2011)• Society of Petroleum Engineers (2006)• The Ohio Society of CPAs (2011) 7
  • Why should you care about a bunch of American associations…Despite clinging to “American” in theirname, 2/3 of ASAE associations report havingmembers outside the United States*• In 2001 that was just 40 percent (the greatest growth in membership in any category)• US associations also report a significant increase both in the overall number of members outside the US and note significant increases in participation.
  • Primary Areas of Inquiry• Attitudes toward associations in general – Challenges the respondents face – Functions that associations perform – Means of accessing professional information• Attitudes toward the sponsor association – Personal Benefits from membership (8) – Benefits to the Field (12) (Good of the order) – Overall attitude toward associations
  • Primary Segments Analyzed• Age/Generation/Career Stage• Gender• Employer/practice type• Level/type of association involvement• Geographic location – broken out by continent for this presentation…
  • Europe, 877 United States, 1000 Australia-New Zealand, 500Canada, 575Mexico/SA/Carrib Asia/Pacific ean, 317 Islands, 876 Africa/Mideast, 3 96
  • How did you first learn about the association? 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 34 work 38 26 school 34 personal Europe 7 actions (pull) 3 USAassociatio 21 n (push) 14 Some 13other way 12
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)• What is the NPS• How likely would you recommend membership in this association to a friend or colleague?• 9 or 10’s are “promoters”• 7 and 8’s are “passive”• 0 to 6’s are “detractors”• The NPS is promoters minus detractors
  • How likely is it that you would recommend membership in this association to a friend or colleague? Europe USPromoters 31% 45%Passive 40% 28%Detractors 29% 27%NPS 2 18
  • What are the three most important functions of an association? Europe USConnecting practitioners to each other/networking 1 3Providing technical information 2 9Providing training/professional development to members 3 1Creating and disseminating standards of practice 4 2Providing timely information about the field to members 5 4Representing the field within the industry or discipline 6 7Representing the field to the public 7 5Representing the field to the government 8 6Providing certification opportunities 9 8
  • 9 Personal Benefits Europe USAccess to the most up-to-date information available in your field 1 1Opportunities to network with other professionals in your field 2 4Professional development or educational program offerings 3 2Access to products, services and suppliers (insurance, pubs, etc.) 4 8Certification/credentialing 5 3Access to career information and employment opportunities 6 5Opportunities to gain leadership experience 7 7A reference directory of members/practitioners 8 9Member discounts 9 6
  • 12 Benefits to the Field Europe USProviding standards or guidelines that support quality 1 1Publishing data on trends in the field 2 6Conducting research 3 9Defining critical competencies 4 4Attracting competent people into the field 5 10Promoting the field to practitioners 6 5Maintaining a code of ethics for practice 7 2Promoting the field to the public 8 8Supporting student education and entry into the field 9 11Certifying those who meet critical competency standards 10 7Influencing legislation and regulations that affect the field 11 3Providing awards or recognition for excellence in the field 12 12
  • Personal Good of Benefits the OrderEurope 3.2 3.4 US 3.3 3.6
  • Major Lessons 19
  • Lessons from the Study1. Understand the essence of associating2. Put “What’s in it for me?” in its place3. Capitalize on involvement4. Connect the PR dilemma and awards5. Don’t fear the next generation: engage them6. Communication technology is hot; but stay cool7. Elected leaders are not representative8. Gender makes a little difference9. Don’t neglect academics10. Insure that there’s a strategy for international activities
  • Decision to Join for your organizationFlexible options for conducting the study include:• In-house or through a consultant (ASAE: The Center will provide the Internet questionnaire)• Fee-for-service options with ASAE: The Center doing the work – Turnkey service through ASAE: The Center 21