Before association industry professionals check out for the holidays, they’re making their plans for 2020 and checking them twice. 

And that’s all well and good, but how often are plans getting made that actually respond to the data we’ve spent so much time collecting over the course of a year? And how often are we zooming out to see the big picture and how our members fit into it?

A number of studies released this year revealed snapshots of these big pictures about membership, the association industry and our use of the tools that help get the job done. It can be hard to keep up with all of them, though, so we’re boiling down all that data into a quick look at the numbers you should be paying the most attention to as you prepare to head into a new year.

More than half of all internet usage is mobile.

  • Questions you should be asking: Is your association website responsive? What’s the experience like on mobile? How are your users getting to your website, and how could you improve accessibility? 
  • Source: Statista

81 percent of association chapters use state boundaries.

  • Questions you should be asking: What does local mean for your organization? Are there legal reasons (like state licensing) that justify this for your chapters, or should you rethink what links the members of your organization to each other?
  • Source: Chapter Benchmarking Report from BillHighway and Mariner Management and Marketing

71 percent of members of professional organizations agreed that the use of technology makes them concerned about privacy and data security.

  • Questions you should be asking: What is your organization doing to protect your members’ information? Does your organization routinely back up data in the event of a cybersecurity threat? And how often are your staffers being briefed on the ways they can help protect your organization against one?
  • Source: Digital Evolution Study from Community Brands

2 percent of associations are employing artificial intelligence.

  • Questions you should be asking: Do staffers in our organization have the breathing room to try new technology? What reasons do we have for avoiding experimentation or are we just too scared to try new things? What cutting-edge projects could we try to bring a higher level of service or engagement to our members?
  • Source: Digital Evolution Study from Community Brands

42 percent annual compound growth in companies looking to hire a chief growth officer, meaning this position is gaining popularity faster than any other C-suite title.

  • Questions you should be asking: What are we doing to scale our organization? How do we measure and discuss member growth? Are we transparent about our goals?
  • Source: LinkedIn Economic Graphs

 34 percent of members reported feeling “extremely connected” to their organization in the first five years of their careers, while 45 percent considered themselves “very likely to renew.” 

  • Questions you should be asking: How can you improve your connections to potential early-stage career members, and what is your organization doing to prove its value to people in the beginning years of their affiliation with you? Is renewal easy to do? And does your organization have a discount for early-stage members?
  • Source: Member Engagement and Loyalty Study from Community Brands

70 percent of organization members say job opportunities are an important benefit of their membership, but only 12 percent of professionals say their organization does very well at delivering those opportunities. 

  • Questions you should be asking: What is your organization doing to promote career connections in your organization? And what are the gaps you could potentially fill in 2020 that, if filled, would make for happier and more engaged members?
  • Source: Member Engagement and Loyalty Study from Community Brands

For every 100 men promoted and hired to managerial positions, only 72 women are promoted and hired.

  • Questions you should be asking: Does your organization offer equal opportunity for men and women to seek promotions? How is diversity not only being talked about in your organization but sought after and acted upon?
  • Source: Women in the Workplace from McKinsey and Company

More than 40 percent of millennials, the largest generation in the workforce, believe the ability to work remotely is a priority when evaluating job opportunities.

  • Questions you should be asking: Does your organization offer flexibility in how work gets done? And is your organization helping to teach the skills your members need to successfully be a remote worker?
  • Source: Emerging Jobs Report from LinkedIn

Chelsea Brasted is the writer and editor who serves as content manager for AssociationSuccess.org. A former reporter and breaking news editor for The Times-Picayune, she lives in New Orleans with her husband and two rescue dogs.

Chelsea Brasted is the writer and editor who serves as content manager for AssociationSuccess.org. A former reporter and breaking news editor for The Times-Picayune, she lives in New Orleans with her husband and two rescue dogs.

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