1st November 2019

How to measure the success of your association

1st November 2019


Running an association is no mean feat. You have a responsibility to your members to deliver educational, meaningful and memorable content, offered through your communications and via the events you organise. Though your delegates are always at the forefront of your mind and you’re continuously striving to generate the best content you can provide, it's important to monitor those tangible measurables to assess just how successful your organisation really is. Here are six key indicators of your association’s success:


1. Member engagement

The key indicators of how successful your association is centred around the engagement levels of your members. If you’ve got good interaction with your marketing efforts, for example, subscribers to newsletters (and even more telling open rates and click-through rates from emails) and attendees at events and seminars. Reviews and feedback are also key indicators of how engaged members are with your offering.

2. Annual growth in sign-ups

Every organisation strives to have an offering so attractive that you’re able to expand your membership base year on year. This is a sign that you have good marketing to promote externally, that your reputation exceeds you and that your existing members are so impressed that they’re encouraging their peers to join too - there is no influencing power greater than that of word of mouth.

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3. Membership retention

An even more telling indicator of the success of your organisation than membership growth is the retention of existing members. Longevity of membership shows that your delegates validate your success by demonstrating that people are so impressed that they want to reinvest year on year.

4. Revenue

Revenue from membership subscriptions, profits generated at events, collateral/education materials sales will be another numerical indicator of how invested your members are in your offering. By nature, associations are not profit-led, but equally, it is important for there to be sufficient business foundation, and with that, generating adequate Return-on-Investment (ROI). Ideally, you should be aiming to maintain, if not increase this Year on Year.

5. Competitor analysis

Benchmarking your association’s performance against other organisations in your field is a good indicator of your success. Do you favourably compare to those in your market? Are you leading the way with innovative ideas and providing the right tools for your members? Aim for the collateral you produce to be as high level as those you’re rivalling, and the events you put on to be even more memorable and spectacular.

6. External support

The winning of longstanding support from sponsors and business partners is a key indicator of your association’s reputation. A willingness to be connected to your association is not just beneficial to the funding of your events, but shows you’re reputationally held in high regard when this support is forthcoming.

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