Centennial Research Initiative

To celebrate ASAE's centennial, the ASAE Research Foundation launched the study "Impact of Associations on Society: Evidence for Future Influence and Action." The research promotes the value, impact, and contributions of associations to society in the past and explores opportunities for the future.


To document the work of associations throughout the last century—and in the spirit of looking back to look ahead—the ASAE Research Foundation Centennial Research Initiative explores association impact in three areas: education, the economy and workforce development, and protection and safety. The research illustrates how associations engaged with a broad range of external partners—including policymakers, academia, and the business and nonprofit communities—to pursue their work.

In 2018, the ASAE Research Foundation selected Westat, Inc., and McKinley Advisors as partners in this broad-ranging effort. Researchers created a mixed-methods approach to identify:

  • the role of associations in improving the lives of individuals 

  • associations’ impact on the U.S. workforce and economy, education, and protection

  • how associations contributed to bringing about positive changes in society over the last century

  • opportunities for associations to anticipate and prepare for members’ needs in the future.

This project’s objectives are aligned with the four pillars of ASAE’s Power of A advocacy campaign. Research findings will be released throughout 2020 in articles, education sessions, video, and a complete report.

Additional Resources

Assessing a Century of Association Impact

ASAE Foundation Announces 2020 Centennial Research Initiative, Firms Selected to Collaborate on Multi-Year Project

Recognizing a Century of Association Work