New Report Highlights Impact of Pandemic on Associations

In the just-released Association Economic Outlook Report, over 500 association executives shared how the pandemic and the recession have impacted their organizations.

They reported substantial disruptions.

·       78% canceled or postponed their in-person events this year

·       39% see their membership as going down by the end of the year

·       20% cut the salaries or hours of their employees

·       18% reported layoffs with no intention to bring back those staff members

Nevertheless, associations have responded forcefully to address these circumstances.

Most notably, the present challenges have decreased the impediments to change and innovation experienced by associations. A year ago, in the 2019 Economic Outlook Report, respondents said that some of the barriers to change were institutional resistance to risk and the slow pace of board and senior executive decision making. As this chart highlights this year’s data shows that some of those impediments have substantially declined.

In response to the current challenges, associations are making adjustments.

·       84% have increased their virtual professional development opportunities

·       78% have developed new products and services to assist members and member companies

·       77% of those that canceled their in-person events replaced it with a virtual event

·       72% have reevaluated and streamline internal processes

As associations deliver essential services to members, they see the impact. Fully 69% say that member engagement has increased during this year. For those willing to provide critical information, networking, and community to members during hard times, the results can be increased loyalty and organizational resilience. The message is, do not waste the opportunity for innovation and change that challenging times bring.

You can download the full EconomicOutlook Report here

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