The ASAE Research Foundation identifies critical trends and evidence-based effective practices in association leadership and management by funding and conducting research that no one organization can undertake on its own.

What’s New?

What’s New contains recently or about to be published research.

How should associations enhance DEI within their governance structure May 2021

DEI & Governance Practices Expert Panel Q&A (Video)

How do associations leverage interim CEOs

2021 Interim CEO Lessons and Observations from Fifteen Case Studies coming soon!

How can associations better prepare for disruptions

2021 ASAE ForesightWorks New Drivers of Change coming soon!

Active Research Initiatives

Active Research Initiatives reflect our ongoing research projects.

Holistic Volunteer Management Models 2021-2022

Holistic models can enable associations to strategically design, implement, and operate effective volunteer management practices. Building on previous volunteerism research, this research aims to provide models, strategies, and actions to effectively manage volunteers and to identify barriers that prevent effective volunteer management.

Associations as Innovation Catalysts 2021

Associations as Innovation Catalysts investigates the roles, culture and capabilities that associations use to foster and sustain external-industry focused innovation. Building on previous innovation research, This research examines how associations play an important role in fostering and sustaining innovation in an association’s industry.

DEI Organization Assessment Tool 2021-2022

This study will investigate a new DEI Assessment Tool for association leaders to utilize for analyzing and advancing their organizations efforts in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. It builds on learnings from the previous Association Inclusion Index (2017, 2013). The tool shall deliver insight, recommendations and resources for associations to move towards a desired DEI environment.

Comprehensive Research Catalogue Updated August 2021


Completed Research

free-to-members = Free Resource for ASAE Members

Advancing Business-Venture Innovation2021

A Readiness Tool for Health Associations. 8 key factors critical for business-venture success

Mutually Beneficial Volunteerism2017

Opportunities for Enhancing Association Volunteer Management Systems

Measuring Performance: Purpose, Process, and Practice 2017

Three components of an association performance measurement system contributing to success

Pathways to CEO Success – Research Brief2019

How experience, learning and networks shape association CEO careers

ASAE ForesightWorks – Drivers of Change Summaries and Forecasts 2020

Use ForesightWorks to help engage your board in discussions of changes facing the association industry

ASAE ForesightWorks – Action Briefs2017

Access this set of three Action Briefs – Aging World, Anticipatory Intelligence, Virtualized Meetings.

Impact Every Day – The Vital Role of Associations Compendium 2020

Use this compendium of case studies for models for association impact.


Tools and Resources

free-to-members = Free Resource for ASAE Members


Access several benchmarking reports for strategic and tactical decision making.


Apply assessment tools for organizational readiness.


ASAE’s online interactive benchmarking and assessment platform

ASAE Research Foundation Books

Professional Practices in Association Management: The Essential Resource for Effective Leadership of Nonprofit Organizations, 4th edition (2021)

Contact Us

ASAE Research Foundation
1575 I St. NW
Washington, DC 20005