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The Decision to Join: How Individuals Determine Value and Why They Choose to Belong Perfect Paperback – August 12, 2007
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About the Author
James Dalton, president of Strategic Counsel, is a management consultant to the nonprofit community, specializing in customer research, process improvement, strategic planning, and leadership development. In a previous position as CEO of the American Society of Landscape Architects, he instituted an ongoing member research program to gather information about member satisfaction, changing market dynamics, and emerging issues. He has authored or co-authored several books and participated in the task force that produced 7 Measures of Success: What Remarkable Associations Do That Others Don t.
ASAE is a membership organization of more than 22,000 association executives and industry partners representing more than 11,000 organizations. ASAE members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. ASAE is the preeminent source of knowledge, learning, community, and advocacy for the field of association management. ASAE s publishing imprint, Association Management Press, reflects the ASAE mission by publishing relevant, reliable content focusing on helping professionals tackle their organizational leadership and management challenges.
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Perhaps as never before, associations are looking for and using data to make important decisions. As we learned last year from the ASAE and the Center's book, 7 Measures of Success, there is a clear correlation between successful associations and those that build the organization around the collection and use of data.
Now practical assistance in data driven decisions for membership professionals is available with the release by ASAE and The Center for Association Leadership of The Decision to Join: How individuals determine value and why they choose to belong,
The Decision to Join survey went to the members and prospects of 18 individual membership associations including the:
* American Chemical Society
* American College of Healthcare Executives
* American Geophysical Union
* American Health Information Management Association
* American Society for Quality
* American Society of Civil Engineers
* American Society of Mechanical Engineers
* The College of American Pathologists
* Credit Union Executives Society
* Emergency Nurses Association
* Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
* Institute of Food Technologists
* National Association of Secondary School Principals
* Athletic Trainers Association
* National Court Reporters Association
* National Society of Accountants
* Project Management Institute
* School Nutrition Association
A total of 16,944 responses to the survey were received from current members, former members, and those who have never been members.
The book explores the impact of issues on membership like: the image of associations, reasons members drop, generations and career level, gender, and employment setting.
The top personal benefits for deciding to join an association highlighted by respondents are networking with other professionals in the field and gaining access to up to date information.
However, the study also supports the concept that a member's decision to be a part of an association is also tied to much more than a classic procurement decision. Respondents highlighted that "promoting a greater appreciation of the role and values" of the association motivated the decision to join.
If you're in any way responsible for new member acquisition or member retention for an association, this is a good read.