Comparing Growth Rates of Trade Associations to Individual Membership Associations

Trade associations have had a much tougher membership year than have individual membership associations.

In our 2010 Membership Marketing Benchmarking study, we asked respondents to identify their association by what membership structure they operated under: trade or organizational, individual, or both.

When we cross tabulated structure with our membership growth question, we found that 42 percent of individual membership associations had experienced membership growth in the past year, but only 25 percent of trade associations saw growth.

Here is a chart of the results.


Kevin Whorton said...

This seems reasonable, given what business response has been during the "recovery." Often I think our viewpoint of what is happening to U.S. companies is shaped inordinately by the "big actor" data from Wall Street, yet almost all of our trade assn memberships are comprised primarily of small to mid-sized firms who may have a very different view closer to the ground. Smaller firms have by and large escaped the credit restrictions that were threatening their existence, but something that fundamental to their survival should have shaken many of them and led them to be much more conservative in expansion, new hires, considering new resources, and perhaps more willing to abandon marginal resources than they were previously. The key for us is be sure we're not one of those 'marginal' resources that are easy to divest in hard times because once a business has learned to live without us as a resource, they might not come back later when economic conditions return to normal...

Tony Rossell said...

Kevin -- Excellent analysis and application of the data. There is still a lot more to come from what participating associations shared in the survey. Tony