Australasian associations saw mixed membership growth in 2023

02 Apr 2024 2:05 PM | Sarah Gamble (Administrator)

Australasian associations saw mixed membership growth in 2023, with most reporting either increases or stability in member numbers.

Membership Trends:

Over the year ending 31 December 2023, participating associations exhibited a mixed but generally positive membership trend. Most associations (44%) reported a slight increase in membership, with an another 6% seeing a significant increase. Just over one in five (23%) experienced a decline in their membership numbers, while 26% saw no change.

For associations experiencing growth, the majority (46%) reported a moderate increase in membership between 3-5%. Almost three in ten (29%) enjoyed membership growth of more than 10%.

For those whose member numbers declined, a majority (42%) noted a decrease of less than 3%. However, 26% experienced a decrease of more than 10%, underscoring continuing challenges for some associations.

Factors Driving Membership Growth

The main drivers for increased membership included improved brand awareness or reputation (66%), successful engagement with targeted demographics or industries (32%), and effective marketing strategies (27%). Educational offerings and member referrals were also notable factors, each contributing to 24% of the growth.

The verbatim comments reflect this, with mentions that “the rise in our voice has improved the reputation of the association” or that “clearly communicating value of membership both intangible and financial” helped attract more members.

Factors Behind Membership Declines

Economic challenges are the primary reason for membership declines, affecting 79% of associations. Other factors included perceived lack of value (47%) and shifts in industry demographics (37%). Some mentioned “a number of businesses closing in our industry” or that the “fall off is largely related to changes in ownership and/or the financial situation of the business…”


The sector's ability to adapt, engage, and innovate was reflected in the varied factors influencing membership changes, from economic conditions to strategic marketing and engagement efforts. The critical role of advocacy and representation is apparent, with those experiencing the largest growth in membership citing brand awareness and reputation as improving the overall value proposition.

The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE)

Australian Office:
Address: Unit 6, 26 Navigator Place, Hendra QLD 4011 Australia
Free Call: +61 1300 764 576
Phone: +61 7 3268 7955

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Phone: +64 27 249 8677

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