Reports

Membership Marketing Benchmarking Reports

Since 2009, our Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report has provided important data and analysis about the health of membership organizations and the satisfaction of their members.

  • What are the primary challenges to association growth?
  • How do dues affect membership?
  • Why do members join and renew?
  • What are the common uses for social media?
  • How does your association compare with similar associations?

MGI's Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report gives individual and trade association leaders the tools they need to evaluate their own membership marketing strategies and tactics.

Did you miss this year’s survey, and still would like to find out how your organization compares to the others in your class? Call us at 800.644.6646 and ask for Rick Whelan.

The 2020 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

Download Your Free Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report!

MGI’s research team is excited to share the results of our 12th edition of the annual Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report. This edition provides critical benchmarks for you and the leadership of your association to evaluate your membership marketing strategies and to understand what practices correlate with improved membership outcomes.

This year’s report includes data and insights on:

  • Membership trends over the last decade
  • Best practices in membership recruitment and renewals
  • New membership models implemented by associations
  • Products and services with improved member participation
  • Challenges reported in growing membership
  • Changes in membership marketing budgets
  • Average renewal rates for individual and trade groups
  • Top reasons why members join
  • Top reasons why members do not renew
  • Communication methods used to engage new members
  • Marketing outsourcing practices
  • The frequency and amount of dues increases

Download your free benchmarking report now and learn from the insights shared by over 800 professional and trade associations on the best practices in membership marketing.

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The 2019 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

MGI's research team is excited to share the results of our 11th edition of the annual Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report. As in past years, the report highlights the strategies and tactics that membership organizations find most useful in recruitment, retention, and reinstatement of members.

The longevity and popularity of this report are only possible thanks to the organizations that step up every year and answer our survey.

The survey is created from the review of previous years' questions, evaluated as to their usefulness and success. Some questions are removed and new questions are added in order to ensure that the content we provide continues to stay relevant and address our participants' interests.

Easy to read and digest, the report provides vital information on:

  • Association Statistics
  • Member Recruitment
  • Member Engagement
  • Member Renewal and Reinstatement
  • Challenges and Goals
  • Dues and Membership Structure
  • Marketing Tools
  • The Demographics of Your Association
  • Words of Wisdom

The 2019 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report will be of value to anyone involved in membership marketing or association management.

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2018 Association Innovation Benchmarking Report

What are the characteristics that define innovative associations?

Building on qualitative research conducted by Amanda Kaiser and a similar benchmarking report from 2016 in conjunction with the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), MGI launched an online survey and invited association professionals to share their thoughts on a variety of innovation-related issues facing their organizations in order to assess industry changes in the past two years.

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The 2018 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

MGI's research team is excited to share the results of the 10th anniversary edition of the Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report. As in past years, the report highlights the strategies and tactics that membership organizations find most useful in recruitment, retention, and reinstatement of members.

The longevity and popularity of this report are only possible thanks to the organizations that step up every year and answer our survey.

The survey is created from the review of previous years' questions, evaluated as to their usefulness and success. Some questions are removed and new questions are added in order to ensure that the content we provide continues to stay relevant and address our participants' interests.

Download

The 2017 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

MGI's research team is excited to share the results of the 9th consecutive edition of the Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report. As in past years, the report highlights the strategies and tactics that membership organizations find most useful in recruitment, retention, and reinstatement of members.

Over 1000 organizations shared the responses and insights that made this report possible.

To create the survey, we reviewed questions from previous years to evaluate their usefulness and success. Some questions were removed and new questions were added, in order to ensure that the content we provide continues to stay relevant and address our participants' interests.

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The 2016 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

For the eighth consecutive year, MGI’s research team has surveyed association executives in an effort to provide benchmarks by which association leadership can evaluate their own membership programs. This year, we are thankful to the 828 organizations who participated and whose responses make up the backbone of this report.

Although many survey questions remain the same from year to year to provide the tracking insight needed for benchmarking, some do change to maintain relevancy, reflect movements in the marketplace, and to address our participants’ specific areas of interest.

This year we have also added more open-ended questions and included an expanded range of responses in the full report. These responses add insight and a personal profile to the percentages and statistics.

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Association Innovation Benchmarking Report

What are the characteristics that define innovative associations?

That's the question Marketing General Incorporated (MGI), in conjunction with the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), decided to ask professionals in the association world.

Building on qualitative research conducted by Amanda Kaiser, MGI launched an online survey and invited association professionals to share their thoughts on a variety of innovation-related issues facing their organizations.

The research focused on how associations set innovation goals, how they support innovation, what rewards and recognition they offer, and how they set metrics for innovation.

A total of 344 associations participated in the research, and the findings reveal a wealth of insights on the role of innovation within associations.

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The 2015 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

With this seventh edition of MGI's Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, we add to our knowledge of what associations are actively doing to recruit, engage, renew, and reinstate members. The number of respondents has grown yearly, and we have 914 organizations to thank for contributing to the research that is the backbone of this latest report.

Every year we revisit our survey questions, both closed and open-ended, in order to fit the needs and fluctuations of the organizations and associations we serve.

For 2015, and at the request of many of our past respondents, we changed some of the questions to provide a greater understanding of not only what channels are being used but which are the most effective at acquiring and retaining members. We have also focused on member engagement, viewed as crucial to association growth, and the expanding use of social media.

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The 2014 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

2014 celebrates the sixth anniversary of MGI’s Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report. With this edition, we continue to add to our knowledge of what associations are actively doing to recruit, engage, renew, and reinstate members.

This year, we changed some of the questions to provide a greater understanding of not only what channels we are using but which are the most effective at acquiring and retaining members.

Based on input from nearly 865 respondents, 2014 results show that membership organization numbers continue to rebound.

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The 2013 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

2013 celebrates the fifth anniversary of MGI’s Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report. With this edition, we continue to add to our knowledge of what associations are actively doing to recruit, engage, renew, and reinstate members.

Building on what has been learned in the past, this new survey reinforces many of the patterns previously observed and provides insight into several areas that called for additional inquiry.

Based on input from nearly 700 respondents, 2013 results show that membership organization numbers continue to rebound.

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The 2012 Meetings Marketing Benchmarking Study

For many associations, the organization's annual meeting or trade show is the highlight event of the year. No matter its purpose, size, or format, it takes considerable planning and preparation to put on a successful event.

To better understand the dynamics involved and provide a basis for further study, MGI has conducted its first-ever research into the association annual meeting. The results can be found in the 2012 Meetings Marketing Benchmarking Study.

Nearly 440 association meeting planners and executives from individual member organizations, trade associations, and combination member/trade groups, participated in this study. Their survey responses provide valuable insight into what contributes to a successful annual meeting.

In addition to the strategies and tactics employed, respondents provide information on:

  • Budgets
  • Revenues
  • Fees
  • Timing
  • Staffing
  • Attendance
  • Venue

…and many other issues and considerations that factor into, or result from, their annual meeting or trade show. The study also provides data on the participants, allowing the reader to compare and contrast their own meeting marketing efforts and results to those obtained in the survey.

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The 2012 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

The 2012 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report marks the fourth year that MGI has surveyed associations to better understand the strategies and tactics they use to:

  • Recruit members
  • Engage new members
  • Renew existing members
  • Reinstate former members

More than 690 individual membership and trade association executives participated in the 2012 study. Results from the previous three Benchmarking Reports are included so trends can be evaluated. And for the first time, five open-ended questions were asked.

Going beyond cataloging membership practices, the benchmarking report also takes these practices and cross-tabulates them with the membership results associations are experiencing.

Comparing membership practices and outcomes provides insights and information on what tactics and strategies might be added (or dropped) to improve results.

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The 2011 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

The 2011 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report surveyed more than 650 association executives to better understand the strategies and tactics they use to recruit, engage, and retain members. This represents the third year that Marketing General Inc. has produced this report.

A key feature of the report is to cross-tabulate specific marketing practices with reported membership outcomes in order to determine which practices support better membership results.

The 2011 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report evaluates the relative success of a variety of marketing practices and includes dozens of key findings to give association executives insight and direction to develop effective membership marketing programs.

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The 2010 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

The 2010 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report marks the second year that Marketing General, Inc. (MGI) has surveyed associations to better understand the strategies and tactics they use to recruit members, engage new members, renew existing members, and reinstate former members.

Over 400 associations participated in the survey and shared their membership practices and their opinion on what works best for each stage of the membership lifecycle.

Beyond cataloging membership practices, the report also takes these practices and cross tabulates them with the membership results associations are experiencing. The comparison of practices and outcomes in membership provides strong directional information on what tactics and strategies might be added or dropped to help improve a membership program.

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The 2009 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Survey Report

In the spring of 2009, Marketing General, Inc. (MGI) launched a survey designed to gain insight into the tactics and strategies that associations use to recruit members, engage new members, renew existing members, and reinstate former members. The goal was to better understand what tactics correlate with higher new member input, better renewal rates, and overall membership growth.

Over 500 association professionals participated in the survey and shared their associations' information and experiences.

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