Although associations are facing competition in creating and serving professional communities, the value of membership remains strong. To help leaders understand changes and strengths in the association value proposition, ASAE Research Foundation research examines the core values that drive membership and seeks to understand the trends that will shape membership in the future.

Featured Research

7 Drivers of Membership

This summary captures key themes from recent ASAE Research Foundation research on membership and member engagement, including Exploring the Future of Membership, The Decision to Join, The Decision to Volunteer.


Major Research Initiatives

Future of Membership

What trends are affecting association membership, and what actions are associations taking to keep pace with them? The Future of Membership research project included grant funding to four research teams, as well as an immersive and collaborative two-day workshop involving the researchers, association CEOs, and membership professionals to discuss the findings and identify common themes. Read More

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

Associations are constantly working to identify new members and retain their existing ones. This requires an in-depth understanding of the motivations of members and potential members—the perceived value of belonging and the benefits that are most important to them. The Decision to Join study asked nearly 17,000 individuals what motivates them to join an association—or not. Read More

Publications and Resources 


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

Supporting the Decision to Join: What Association Boards Should Know and Do About Membership and Affiliation

Reports and Research Briefs

Exploring the Future of Membership

The Future of Association Engagement

Innovations in Membership Engagement: A Benchmarking Study

New Realities Existing Within Converging Trends: The Future Is Now

How Can Professional Associations Provide Meaningful Value for Their Members: Creating Models of Affiliation and Engagement

7 Drivers of Membership


Keeping Pace With Membership Trends