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Membership is not dead. Far from it.

By Sarah Sladek, CEO of XYZ University

I started researching the widespread decline in membership in 2002, and authored a best-selling book for ASAE in 2011 titled, The End of Membership As We Know It. (This book has continued to top the sales charts for the past seven years.)

What I discovered while researching that book was that membership associations were facing unexpected challenges while also facing an unprecedented opportunity to grow—but few were recognizing or capitalizing on the growth opportunities.

It’s simple economics:  the value of membership was minimized, demand declined, and therefore, associations suffered membership and revenue losses.

Fast forward to 2018, and not much has changed. The economy rebounded, technology advanced, and the spotlight shifted from Millennials to the youth of Gen Z – but the outlook for the majority of associations remains the same.

Why has the state of associations remained largely unchanged since the mid-1990s? Why has membership engagement – and now employee engagement – continued to decline despite increased awareness and efforts to turn the tide?

I know the answers. Since 2011, I have authored two additional books for ASAE and conducted several membership and employee research studies, and now I’m bringing these insights to a special webinar series titled, The Future of Membership.

Drawing upon in-depth research and best practices, this series will identify why decline is occurring in more than 60% of associations today. More importantly, the series will equip leaders with the tools and insights they need to successfully and immediately engage members, grow membership, and increase revenue.

Membership is not dead, and it shouldn’t be declining. If you want to create a more prosperous future for your association, please join me for this special series and journey into the future of membership.


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