Associations Matter Poll Results - Impact of economic conditions on associations

22 Jun 2023 11:39 AM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

The Associations Matter Monthly Poll – June 2023 Results

The June Associations Matter Poll looked at the current economic situation, and association leaders' perspectives about how economic uncertainty, increasing interest rates and inflation might impact their association, including the challenges they face and their expectations for renewal rates.

Overall, association leaders are quite pessimistic about the impacts, with three in ten saying they are concerned about the current economic situation, and over half (52%) somewhat concerned. Only 5% express any optimism.

The biggest challenges facing association leaders are concerns about the cost-of-living impact on membership renewal (42%) and conversely, managing the increasing costs to provide products and services (36%). Closely tied to these issues are meeting revenue targets, and an inability to invest in additional staff to deliver the products and services used by members. Some are concerned about the impacts to other revenue generating activities like attendance at events and conferences, with around a quarter citing this as one of their primary issues.

While the quantitative results present a somewhat gloomy outlook, the verbatim comments show associations are more concerned about the effect the current economic situation will have on their members, saying “the biggest challenge to us is the increased demand for member assistance when those same members are doing it tough in the current economic environment”.

Other free text comments are largely neutral, with some association’s renewals not due until the end of the year, therefore “it's hard to know what the impact will be yet”, while around one in five suggest a more positive outlook, saying “initially we did believe renewals would drop as cost of living increased, however this has not been the case with overall membership still growing slowly…”.

It is clear from these results that the sector is experiencing much of the same impacts as many others. It remains to be seen how this plays out over time, particularly if the predictions of further interest rate rises are realised.

“Renewals are about to go out now so the response will be interesting to see in coming weeks… and financial pressure on us as a business is ever increasing - wages, overheads, insurances etc. and the margins just get tighter” CEO, Professional association.

About the Associations Matter Monthly Poll

The Associations Matter Monthly Poll is an initiative by AuSAE and Survey Matters. We think it's important to stay up to date with the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities facing associations. The Associations Matter Monthly Poll aims to provide insights into the thoughts and opinions of association leaders, giving them a better understanding of how others are responding to current situations and developments. The Associations Matter Monthly Poll is conducted by Survey Matters, experts in association and membership research.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Associations Matter June 2023 Poll. You can register to receive future polls here.

The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE)

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