Applying Research

Research by the ASAE Research Foundation provides tools that help association leaders make data-driven decisions. The foundation’s benchmarking resources, environmental scanning initiatives, and publications on how to most effectively use research promote the understanding and value of research to all association professionals, regardless of their familiarity with research methodologies.

Major Research Initiatives


Benchmarking research allows association executives to compare their performance against other organizations and identify where they’re doing well, where they need to improve, and what areas warrant closer examination. The ASAE Research Foundation conducts surveys on operating ratios, investments and reserves, compensation and benefits, and policies and procedures in functional areas of association management to provide leaders with the data to inform decisions and drive their organizations forward. Read More

Environmental Scanning Research Program

Leaders need to constantly look to the future. To that end, the ASAE Research Foundation Environmental Scanning Research Program is developing a continuous environmental scanning program with a framework that analyzes developing trends likely to affect the association field. Learning experiences, tools, and other resources will be designed to help associations use research to create a culture of foresight in their organizations. Read More

The Informed Association

The Informed Association is a step-by-step guide to help association leaders understand the role of data in decision-making. The book covers how data can be used strategically in association management, how to discern good data, how to conduct research and use results effectively, and how to ensure research integrity. Read More

The Decision Series

What drives engagement with associations? The Decision series addresses questions that are fundamental to understanding the value associations provide and their sustainability. The research identifies the key motivators that drive members to join, volunteer, participate in association-based learning, and donate to associations. 

Publications and Resources


The Informed Association: A Practical Guide for Using Research for Results

The Decision to Volunteer: Why People Give Their Time and How You Can Engage Them

The Decision to Join: How Individuals Determine Value and Why They Choose to Belong


Reports and Research Briefs

Responsible Conduct of Research: The Roles Associations Play in Promoting Research Integrity



From Foresight to Action

How Associations Support Members With Research Standards

Responsible Research Is Everyone’s Business

The Benefits of Benchmarking


Tools and Resources

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