As the terrific ASAE Annual Meeting 2012 was winding to a close, it occurred to me that the trends that began in 2008 as the economy turned south might just be here to stay in the Association Community- at least for the near future. Not unlike our private sector counterparts, Associations and Nonprofits are being asked to increase efficiencies and yes, do more with less.
Some trends that came to mind included:
- Members are demanding more. Competition remains fierce for dues revenues. Corporations and individuals are required to justify dues expenditure to determine if they are really necessary and if they are getting the bang for the buck.
- Associations are striving to both retain members and attract new members through the offering creative member benefits.
- Organizations are looking to drive non-member dues where in some cases, memberships may be declining.
- Foundations are looking for creative ways to solicit donations and grants through cross marketing and leveraging new markets whether through corporate grants or federal funds.
- Boards and Executives with smaller staffs must continue to provide exemplary services to members to retain the member base.
What does this mean? As evident by the traffic this week on the exhibit floor, Association Executives across the market are evaluating their organization’s processes, people and technologies to determine where small and large improvements can be made.
One area often explored is Association Management Systems (AMS). Our clients are finding that through the deployment of solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, they are gaining the agility to use industry best practices, organizational specific workflows, and technology that can maximize goals across all departments including marketing, membership, fundraising, and events.