Research Methodologies

Research is the backbone of organizational decision-making. To provide the association community with the information and skills to make informed decisions, the ASAE Research Foundation studies how to conduct and interpret research, scan the environment for impactful trends, and use data. From its own dedicated initiatives, the foundation also gathers and disseminates benchmarking data and trends information to help association leaders improve operations and build sustainable futures for their organizations.

Featured Research

The Benefits of Benchmarking

Making smart comparisons of your organization’s operating ratios and other metrics to those of similar organizations can create a baseline for performance improvement. That’s why ASAE and the ASAE Research Foundation are investing in a web-based benchmarking initiative called AssociaMetrics.

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

Data is important to effective decision making. This book will help association professionals understand the right questions are to ask, how to gather data in a way that will be meaningful and useful, and the limitations of data. The Informed Association includes detailed definitions, example charts, and case studies to help illustrate how associations can and have used research to help move themselves forward


Major Research Initiatives

ASAE ForesightWorks

The ASAE Research Foundation’s new environmental scanning program, ASAE ForesightWorks, is designed to empower association leaders to see change coming so they can build the future they want. The program will provide continuous and accessible information about drivers of change affecting associations, creating an ever-growing and regularly updated family of resources for association professionals. It will also supply tools and resources that enable executives to identify drivers of change themselves.


Publications and Resources


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

Reports and Research Briefs

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


How Associations Support Members With Research Standards

Responsible Research Is Everyone’s Business