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Advancing Technology Success
in the Association Sector
Sharon Moss, PhD, CAE, ASAE Foundation
Charles Colby, Rockbridge Associates
Reggie Henry, CAE, ASAE
Dave Coriale, President, DelCor Technologies
Jenny Nelson, ASAE Foundation
What Are Associations?
• Associations are member-serving organizations.
• Associations acquire and retain members by
offering specific benefits and services.
Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
What Do Associations Do?
Associations promote and protect members interests by providing the
following member services to varying degrees*:
• Education and training functions to develop members’ knowledge
and skills.
• Developing and disseminating knowledge relevant to the types of
work members undertake and/or the industries in which they operate.
• Advocacy and representation to promote member interest and their
public image.
• Facilitating networking and other developmental opportunities for and
between members.
*Hudson, J.R. (2013) Special Interest Society, New York: Lexington Books.
Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
What Are ASAE and the ASAE Foundation?
• ASAE serves both associations and association management
professionals in order to advance the work of associations.
• The ASAE Foundation contributes to this mission through the
support of original research and the development of research-
based products that advance knowledge related to association
management.
• Ultimately, ASAE and the ASAE Foundation help
associations become better service providers for their
own members.
Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
ASAE’s Technology Success Tool
• The Technology Success Tool is designed to advance ASAE’s
member-serving mission by giving association professionals a
methodology to assess and improve their organizational
technology success.
• ASAE’s members and other association professionals will be
able to access the tool online, enter organizational info related
to key areas for IT maturity, get information on their IT
strengths and weaknesses, and connect to resources to guide
their next steps.
Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
The Journey: A Multi-year Research
Program
Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
Exploratory
Research
• Interviews and focus groups with association industry
technology leaders to identify challenges and opportunities
Case
Studies
• Deep dive study of 7 associations
• Data gathered from decision-makers, members and staff
Member
Survey
• Measures satisfaction, expectations and techno-readiness of
over 4,300 members across 14 associations
Sector
Survey
• A survey measuring the “state of the industry”
• Includes over 200 IT decision-makers
Underlying Theory: IT Maturity Model
Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
Association
Data
Manage-
ment &
Strategy
Infra-
structure
Digital
Presence
• The Technology Success
Tool is based on a
theory of IT Maturity that
identifies four critical
success areas
• Originally based on a
consulting model by
DelCor, the research
process refined and
validated the four areas
A Clear Need to Advance the Association
Sector’s Technology
6%
18%
39%
29%
9%
Restrictive Functional Marginally Effective Highly Effective Innovative
Distribution of the Association Sector According to IT Maturity
N=277
Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
Associations
Face Disruption,
making it
Imperative to
Reach this Level
How the Technology Success Tool Works
Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
12%
31%
35%
21%
Content takes full
advantage of digital
environment
Content is custom for
digital access but
often "flat"
Content adapted for
digital access
Developed with little
consideration for
online
• Association IT
Stakeholders can
evaluate their
performance on 32
metrics that capture
their level of
maturity
• Metrics cover each
of the four success
areas
• Each anchor
reflects a maturity
level
How suited is content for an online, digitally
based environment?
Why Is Technology Success Important for
ASAE’s Members?
Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
The research found a connection between a member’s satisfaction with
their association’s technology and their overall satisfaction with their
membership.
Highly Satisfied with
their Association’s Tech
Not Highly Satisfied with
their Association’s Tech
 Highly satisfied with their
association
 High likelihood of renewing their
membership
 High willingness to recommend the
association to a colleague or peer
× Significantly less satisfied with
their association
× Less likely to renew their
membership
× Not willing to recommend the
association to a colleague or peer
Why Is Technology Success Important for
ASAE’s Members?
• What associations don’t know can hurt them.
– Association members are more techno-savvy than their associations
believe – 43% believe members are in the “late majority” of
adopters.
– Members expect online and digital services rather than paper-based
or more traditional forms of information and services, including
newsletters and educational offerings.
– Members in the Boomer generation are most likely to be satisfied
with their associations’ current technology offerings, but younger
generations have higher expectations for what their associations
ought to provide.
– IT decision-makers seriously underestimate member satisfaction
with technology, which may result in too much emphasis on
reliability and not enough on functionality.
Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
Example of Gaps in Techno-Readiness
across Different Stakeholder Groups
Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
13% 6% 2% 0
18%
11% 15%
0
22%
32% 28%
20%
22%
19%
12%
12%
25% 33%
43%
69%
U.S.
Population
Association
Members
Association
Staff
Association IT
Owners
Explorers
Pioneers
Skeptics
Hesitators
Avoiders
Sources: 2015 National Technology Readiness Survey, ASAE Case Study Surveys, ASAE Cohort Survey
The Goal: An Association Sector that
Better Serves Its Members
• Ultimately, the Technology Success Tool will help ASAE’s
member associations to better connect with their members
and to identify and provide the services their members want
and need.
• In the long run, the tool will help associations harness
technology to remain relevant when challenged by for-profit
“disruptors.”
• The tool will also enable ASAE and the ASAE Foundation to
perform annual assessments of the state of technology
maturity in the association sector.
• The Technology Success Tool will launch in August 2017.
Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
Contact Us
Sharon Moss, PhD
Chief Research Officer
ASAE Foundation
smoss@asaecenter.org
Charles Colby
Principal, Chief Methodologist, and Founder
Rockbridge Associates
ccolby@rockresearch.com
Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector

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Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector

  • 1. Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector Sharon Moss, PhD, CAE, ASAE Foundation Charles Colby, Rockbridge Associates Reggie Henry, CAE, ASAE Dave Coriale, President, DelCor Technologies Jenny Nelson, ASAE Foundation
  • 2. What Are Associations? • Associations are member-serving organizations. • Associations acquire and retain members by offering specific benefits and services. Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
  • 3. What Do Associations Do? Associations promote and protect members interests by providing the following member services to varying degrees*: • Education and training functions to develop members’ knowledge and skills. • Developing and disseminating knowledge relevant to the types of work members undertake and/or the industries in which they operate. • Advocacy and representation to promote member interest and their public image. • Facilitating networking and other developmental opportunities for and between members. *Hudson, J.R. (2013) Special Interest Society, New York: Lexington Books. Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
  • 4. What Are ASAE and the ASAE Foundation? • ASAE serves both associations and association management professionals in order to advance the work of associations. • The ASAE Foundation contributes to this mission through the support of original research and the development of research- based products that advance knowledge related to association management. • Ultimately, ASAE and the ASAE Foundation help associations become better service providers for their own members. Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
  • 5. ASAE’s Technology Success Tool • The Technology Success Tool is designed to advance ASAE’s member-serving mission by giving association professionals a methodology to assess and improve their organizational technology success. • ASAE’s members and other association professionals will be able to access the tool online, enter organizational info related to key areas for IT maturity, get information on their IT strengths and weaknesses, and connect to resources to guide their next steps. Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
  • 6. The Journey: A Multi-year Research Program Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector Exploratory Research • Interviews and focus groups with association industry technology leaders to identify challenges and opportunities Case Studies • Deep dive study of 7 associations • Data gathered from decision-makers, members and staff Member Survey • Measures satisfaction, expectations and techno-readiness of over 4,300 members across 14 associations Sector Survey • A survey measuring the “state of the industry” • Includes over 200 IT decision-makers
  • 7. Underlying Theory: IT Maturity Model Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector Association Data Manage- ment & Strategy Infra- structure Digital Presence • The Technology Success Tool is based on a theory of IT Maturity that identifies four critical success areas • Originally based on a consulting model by DelCor, the research process refined and validated the four areas
  • 8. A Clear Need to Advance the Association Sector’s Technology 6% 18% 39% 29% 9% Restrictive Functional Marginally Effective Highly Effective Innovative Distribution of the Association Sector According to IT Maturity N=277 Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector Associations Face Disruption, making it Imperative to Reach this Level
  • 9. How the Technology Success Tool Works Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector 12% 31% 35% 21% Content takes full advantage of digital environment Content is custom for digital access but often "flat" Content adapted for digital access Developed with little consideration for online • Association IT Stakeholders can evaluate their performance on 32 metrics that capture their level of maturity • Metrics cover each of the four success areas • Each anchor reflects a maturity level How suited is content for an online, digitally based environment?
  • 10. Why Is Technology Success Important for ASAE’s Members? Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector The research found a connection between a member’s satisfaction with their association’s technology and their overall satisfaction with their membership. Highly Satisfied with their Association’s Tech Not Highly Satisfied with their Association’s Tech  Highly satisfied with their association  High likelihood of renewing their membership  High willingness to recommend the association to a colleague or peer × Significantly less satisfied with their association × Less likely to renew their membership × Not willing to recommend the association to a colleague or peer
  • 11. Why Is Technology Success Important for ASAE’s Members? • What associations don’t know can hurt them. – Association members are more techno-savvy than their associations believe – 43% believe members are in the “late majority” of adopters. – Members expect online and digital services rather than paper-based or more traditional forms of information and services, including newsletters and educational offerings. – Members in the Boomer generation are most likely to be satisfied with their associations’ current technology offerings, but younger generations have higher expectations for what their associations ought to provide. – IT decision-makers seriously underestimate member satisfaction with technology, which may result in too much emphasis on reliability and not enough on functionality. Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
  • 12. Example of Gaps in Techno-Readiness across Different Stakeholder Groups Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector 13% 6% 2% 0 18% 11% 15% 0 22% 32% 28% 20% 22% 19% 12% 12% 25% 33% 43% 69% U.S. Population Association Members Association Staff Association IT Owners Explorers Pioneers Skeptics Hesitators Avoiders Sources: 2015 National Technology Readiness Survey, ASAE Case Study Surveys, ASAE Cohort Survey
  • 13. The Goal: An Association Sector that Better Serves Its Members • Ultimately, the Technology Success Tool will help ASAE’s member associations to better connect with their members and to identify and provide the services their members want and need. • In the long run, the tool will help associations harness technology to remain relevant when challenged by for-profit “disruptors.” • The tool will also enable ASAE and the ASAE Foundation to perform annual assessments of the state of technology maturity in the association sector. • The Technology Success Tool will launch in August 2017. Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector
  • 14. Contact Us Sharon Moss, PhD Chief Research Officer ASAE Foundation smoss@asaecenter.org Charles Colby Principal, Chief Methodologist, and Founder Rockbridge Associates ccolby@rockresearch.com Advancing Technology Success in the Association Sector

Editor's Notes

  1. Associations are member-serving organizations that generally—but not exclusively—serve a profession (individuals) or trade (organizations). Associations acquire and retain members by offering specific benefits and services, including professional education and training, advocacy, and the dissemination of information relevant to the fields they represent.
  2. ASAE is the American Society of Association Executives—it serves both associations and association management professionals by providing them with the information, expertise, and tools to advance the work of their associations. The ASAE Foundation creates and supports original research on association management, facilitates the establishment of association community networks, and develops research-based products, white papers, and various tools and resources that advance knowledge related to association management. As service providers, the goal of ASAE and the ASAE Foundation is to improve how associations understand and meet the needs of their members.
  3. In 2015, ASAE and the ASAE Foundation partnered with Rockbridge Associates and DelCor Technology Solutions to perform research into the state of technology in the association sector—to learn how associations are doing and where they risk falling behind the tech curve. The outcome of this research is the forthcoming Technology Success Tool. The tool enables associations to assess their IT strengths and weaknesses compared to technology standards in four key areas—data, strategy and management, infrastructure, and digital presence.
  4. --To develop the assessment, ASAE Foundation and Rockbridge developed a multi-phased research study. Researchers analyzed survey data from 277 association IT decision makers and more than 4,800 association members of 14 associations, and case study data from seven ASAE member associations.
  5. -The research results: While the association sector is doing OK on average, few associations are “innovative” in their technology systems and management. -Additionally, there are indications that younger members expect more from their associations’ technology, and many associations may not be poised to address those demands—or even know where they are falling behind. -To help associations assess and improve their IT maturity, the study’s survey for IT decision makers was developed into an online assessment.
  6. The research found a connection between a member’s satisfaction with their association’s technology and their overall satisfaction with the association. As service providers, associations’ technology systems are key interfaces with their constituents. Associations often support digital industry news stories, virtual conversations and networking, online education, professional conference websites, online membership renewal, and other services that engage members using technology. While these offerings represent just a fraction of the benefits associations provide, they serve as major points for connection with existing members, potential members, and the general public.
  7. So why is this tool an important one for the association industry? Association decision makers’ expectations didn’t always align with member perspectives. Association members were much more tech-savvy than the IT decision makers expected, and younger members were less satisfied than others with their associations’ technology. In a time when association leaders are very concerned about attracting the next generations of members, understanding how to connect with those generations in the ways they prefer is key. Association leaders must be able to identify where they are behind the curve before they can effectively make changes.
  8. As you can see from the chart, association members are more interested in technology than the average American. Association staff are even more comfortable than the average association member. Perhaps association IT decision makers are pessimistic about their stakeholders abilities and interests because they are so comfortable with technology themselves.
  9. The Technology Success Tool will help association leaders—not only by helping them to understand their tech weaknesses but also providing information about what both effective and truly innovative approaches look like. Assessment takers will be able to take this critical information to strategic planning discussions and create change that will advance not only the association industry, but also the industries and professions these associations serve.