Scholarly Research in Association Management Grants

The Scholarly Research Grants Program (SRGP) facilitates research projects in the academic community, forging partnerships that add to the body of knowledge in association management. Each grant of up to $15,000 is awarded to support proposals from academics and association professionals that investigate research questions crucial to association management functions and concerns. ASAE Research Foundation is an established primary creator and resource for research and information in the association community. Through this grant, ASAE Research Foundation intends to expand and promote academic research that advances knowledge in association management and leadership, creates new conversations, and raises the profile of nonprofit research both inside and outside academia.


2020 Grant Recipient

Congratulations to the 2020 Scholarly Research award recipient! The Research Foundation looks forward to supporting this project throughout 2020 and beyond.

University of Washington

Principal Investigator: Mary Kay Gugerty, PhD, Professor, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy & Governance

Title: How, When and Why do Associations Advocate? Association Engagement in the Policy Process Abstract

National nonprofit associations are a kind of professional association that have proliferated globally in recent decades. These organizations face distinct management challenges in balancing member recruitment and service with external engagement and advocacy. In spite of their increasing prevalence, we have very little empirical data about how nonprofit associations engage in policy processes and how their distinct structure as membership organizations affects their activities and involvement in advocacy. To what extent do the demands of organizational survival influence the inclination and ability of associations to engage in advocacy? In this project, we take a political economy approach to conceptualize national nonprofit associations as interest groups facing collective action challenges. We examine the mix of private, collective and public goods provided by these organizations and the relationship between the production of goods for members and external engagement in policy advocacy.

SRGP has been fueling academic research projects that impact the association field since 2015.

Learn about past grant recipients.



Important Dates

  • 2021 application period opens: November 2, 2020
  • Letter of Intent requested: February 1, 2021
  • Application deadline: February 26, 2021
  • Grant recipients announced: Spring 2021

Find out more about the program, including selection criteria, eligibility, types of grants, and FAQ.



A new addition to the SRGP portfolio, the Sal Martino Legacy Grant provides awards to meritorious proposals addressing DEI in nonprofit membership and member-based association management and is intended to support the research activities of those working (or matriculating) in an academic community, association management professionals, and consultants/private contractors in association management. 

Proposals can address DEI in a variety of ways: as the primary research question(s); within subsequent questions of a larger theme (i.e. membership development, volunteer management, board governance, advocacy, etc.); or, explicitly addressed in the review criteria (e.g. theoretical application, approach, significance, impact, innovation, organizational commitment, and dissemination).



ASAE Research Foundation Announces Recipient of Inaugural Sal Martino Legacy Grant For DEI Research

Jennifer A. Wade-Berg, Ph.D., CNP, Associate Professor & Campus Executive Director of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, Kennesaw State University 

“Building Diverse Association Memberships Through Pipeline Programs: An Evaluation of the Association of Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action’s (ARNOVA) Diversity Scholars Professional Development Program” 

On the organizational level, membership associations are recognizing the importance that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)practices have on its efficiency and effectiveness. Although demographics are changing, many associations struggle with how to increase the number of people of color within their organizations, and how to retain them. This proposal seeks funding in the amount of $7,500 from the ASAE Research Foundation's Sal Martino Legacy Grant for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Research to examine the DEI strategy of building intentional pipeline programs as a means of recruitment and retention of people of color. To understand this strategy, the researcher will partner with the Association of Research on Voluntary Action (ARNOVA)to conduct a program evaluation of the Diversity Scholars Program, a professional development workshop. According to Center Point, the method of “evaluation refers to a periodic process of gathering data and then analyzing or ordering it in such a way that the resulting information can be used to determine whether [an]organization or program is effectively carrying out planned activities, and the extent to which it is achieving its stated objectives and anticipated results”( Through the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data, several research questions aimed at understanding the effectiveness of this DEI strategy are undertaken. The significance of this study includes providing baseline data for future studies involving the use of pipeline programs as a DEI strategy for associations and to underscore the importance of creating such opportunities for underrepresented people of color as a means of equity and inclusion. Additionally, ARNOVA will receive an evaluation of its program along with what the research hopes will be a deeper understanding of how this program impacts the association and its membership. 

Funding for the Sal Martino Legacy Grant for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Research is provided by:



Learn More

For more information, contact:
Andrea Wieters
Research Project Manager
202 626-2892
[email protected]