Posts filed under Research

2017 Association Trends Survey: Participate and Get a Free Copy of the Results

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If you are in an association leadership position in 2017, chances are you feel like you are playing an eternal game of whack-a-mole. Recruiting and engaging young professionals. Growing and diversifying revenue. Stopping the membership bleed... Where to begin? And even more importantly: What to do?

Please take a few minutes to participate in The Portage Group’s 2017 Association Trends Survey. This survey looks at the current and anticipated trends and issues affecting associations in 2017....and what actions they are taking to address them. Please click on the link below to start the survey:

  Begin Survey

All of your input will be kept confidential.

As a thank you for your participation, you will receive a complimentary PDF copy of the Highlight Summary in early April. 

If you are interested in more information and insights on Association trends, please check out and register these upcoming events in Toronto and Vancouver:

  • Big Association Trends – From Identification to Innovation. A CSAE Trillium Chapter PDX Event. Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:00 am – Noon in Toronto. REGISTER
  • Associations 2025: High Performing Associations of Tomorrow. A CSAE National Event. April 03, 2017. 8:30-4:30 at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel. REGISTER
  • Associations Trend Talk. CSAEBC Lunch 'n Learn Session. May 4, 2017. Sheraton Wall Centre. REGISTER


     

 

Revenues, Expenses, and Assets...Oh My! Canada's Premier Association Financial Benchmarking Resource is Here!

Do you ever wonder how your association stacks up when it comes to your finances? Could your expenses and liabilities be lower? Your operations leaner? Your education, programs and events more revenue-positive?

The CSAE 2017 Canadian Association Financial Operations Report has arrived and is available through the Canadian Society of Association Executives. This report is your number one resource for Canadian financial benchmarking data to understand how your association stacks up across a multitude of detailed metrics related to revenues, expenses, liabilities, assets...and a whole lot more. This resource also allows you to break down the information by geography, organization type and size so that you can look at performance across the organizations most similar to yours.

Interested in learning more?

Click here for a more detailed overview and to order your copy

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CSAE Canadian Association Financial Operations Study: Participate by November 30 For Free Highlights, Deep Report Discounts!

How Does Your Association Stack Up? The CSAE Canadian Association Financial Operations Benchmarking Study is open for your participation until November 30. Participants recieve a free highlight report as well as access to deep discounts on the full study report. 

CSAE Annual Association Compensation Study Open Until May 6!

Should I ask for a raise? How much should we pay the new Membership Manager? Would offering flex days help us draw stronger job candidates?

Knowing how to structure staff salary and benefits can be a challenge for any association. Associations are unique, after all - It can be extremely challenging to find comparables that truly reflect your unique realities. 

The CSAE annual compensation survey closes Friday May 6! Participate today for big savings on the report and for the opportunity to pre-order your copy! 

Whether you are a national trade association with 20 staff or a small professional association with a part-time administrator, the annual CSAE association compensation and benefits study is a valuable tool that offers Canadian associations a unique opportunity to measure compensation against similar organizations across areas such as:

  • Staff Level and Experience
  • Age, Gender and Level of Education
  • Organization Type, Size and Geography

The survey is only open for a few more days. Don't miss out!

 

 

Back to The Future: Associations in 2010

The Associations 2025 Summit is coming up next week! http://bit.ly/1MnbCmG

It is a collaboration between The Portage Group, CSAE and a group of inspiring leaders from associations and businesses across Canada. Together in a fun and interactive format, we will explore the landscape of associations today and discuss what trends will shape the sector in the years to come.

I found this article from Carol-Anne dating back to 2010 where association professionals were asked to weigh in on what they think a successful association would look like five-to-six years into the future. Well that future is here. Lets explore if those prophecies have turned into reality.

I think that while tactics will evolve and achieving success will become more of a challenge than ever before, the things that will take an association to the top and keep it there will be the same as what they are now: In my version of the future, differentiation, innovation, value and engagement will continue to be the factors that make or break not-for-profits of all shapes and sizes.

Here are a few of the most crucial ways your Association should adapt to thrive: 

Customized Membership

The survivors will be those who are truly able to stand out from the crowd by being able to deliver value in a world where the term means something different to each member. In order to provide a unique experience that members can’t replicate elsewhere, membership and all that it involves will become more customizable. 

New Revenue Models

Increased competition from sources such as the internet and social media are allowing people to access networks and resources without having to pay a membership fee. Associations will increasingly have to give away for free a lot of what they have until now leaned on as their main sources of revenue.  Some real outside-of-the-box thinking will be needed to help associations figure out how to generate enough revenue to be able to achieve their mandates.

Flatter, Less Hierarchical Structures

Many associations today have structures that are left-over from the days when boomers joined right out of school and stayed until retirement. This multi-layered and bureaucratic structure doesn't fit in a world where people need access to information, resources and decision-makers immediately without having to jump through multiple hoops and gatekeepers. Future associations structures will be flatter so as to be more accessible, responsive and nimble.

Evolution of Volunteerism…and Engagement

The reality is that people are busier than ever before and have more things competing for their time. Social media will be a great tool for the innovative association looking to recruit, retain and engage.  The markedly ‘un-linear’ and transparent nature of this medium has real potential to help boost engagement among all stakeholder groups, from members and volunteers to staff, board members and donors.

Transparency Will No Longer Be An Option

As social media moves more into the foreground, non-transparency just won’t be an option anymore.  When associations mess up, they will have to face the music.  If you haven’t followed the Kiva.com saga, this charity is a great example of how social media makes this happen.  Here’s an article on the debate from the New York Times. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/09/business/global/09kiva.html?_r=1&src=tw)

The Great Age Divide

The baby boomer generation is retiring and will continue to have a significant impact on not-for-profits.  All of the stakeholder groups will start looking a lot younger - from association staff, board members to volunteers and donors. 

Helping members to attract ‘young blood’ to their industries, adjusting to the new leadership styles of a younger generation, and finding ways to transfer tacit knowledge between seasoned executives and young leaders are just some of the challenges associations will face in this arena.

So what do you think? Are these still the most relevant challenges happening in your association? How have you adapted?

We look forward to seeing your top leaders and up and comers in Toronto on April 19th. At Associations 2025 Summit!

Get ready to explore solutions and create change!

 

Using Big Data to Understand What Your Association's Members Are REALLY Thinking

Have you ever wondered what each of your association's members was really thinking?

Meet Jane, the association executive who was able to better target member segments at both a strategic and operational level by streamlining and making better use of big data and other member information...

The Portage Group Joins CSAE in Research Partnership as Level II Corporate Sponsor

The Portage Group is pleased to kick of 2015 with some exciting news! On January 1 2015, TPG entered a new research partnership with the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE).

Under the new partnership agreement, TPG will be the sole and exclusive Corporate Sponsor of CSAE in the area of qualitative and quantitative research. We are very much looking forward to working with CSAE to continue to improve its research program and provide association staff and leadership with quality solutions to help drive sound organizational decision-making.

Questions and comments should be directed to Geoff Thacker, TPG Executive Partner - Research & Strategy.

 

 

 

 

Would You Let a Monkey Take Charge of Assessing the Needs and Priorities of Your Members? When to DIY and When to Get Help With Your Membership Survey

With low-cost survey tools like SurveyMonkey at their fingertips and ever-present budgetary pressures, it is easy to see why some associations are foregoing market research expertise and going the DIY route where their member needs surveys are concerned.

Do You Need A Survey to Tell You What Your Members Think?

Like many folks, you probably do a lot when it comes to gathering stakeholder feedback: You see and make a point of talking to members at association events. Perhaps you make it a habit to pick up the phone or drop in on members periodically to talk to them one-on-one. Maybe you even survey or poll them internally on their satisfaction with events, programs or new issues coming down the pipe.

These are all very important tools to keep your association connected to members on an ongoing basis...but what about when it comes to your planning activities?  Typically, member feedback is used as a peripheral driver of the process, if it's used at all.