Burnout and Stress Among Association Staff

SEPTEMBER 14, 2023 / Tips & Insights

By Tony Rossell, Senior Vice President

The American Psychological Association published an article last year titled "Burnout and stress are everywhere." The piece maintained, "Burnout and stress are at all-time highs across professions."

Through our research over the past 15 years with association staff, we have seen substantial increases in the challenges of managing ever more complex membership programs and the demands of doing more with less. These difficulties grew even more intense with the radical adjustments brought on by COVID.

So, in our 2023 Membership M...


What are the Barriers to Membership Growth?

AUGUST 22, 2023 / Tips & Insights

By Tony Rossell, Senior Vice President

The good news from the 2023 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report is that many associations experienced a remarkable rebound in membership counts. A multi-year high of 49% of associations say they saw an increase in their membership numbers. However, for some growing their membership remains a challenge. A total of 22% of respondents shared that their membership has declined.

So, in addition to reporting the characteristics and practices of growing associations this year, we also asked in our research what impediments hold back growth. In their own words, with some minor edi...


How Membership Professionals Advocate for Bigger Budgets

AUGUST 16, 2023 / Tips & Insights

By Tony Rossell, Senior Vice President

In our just released 2023 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, many respondents shared that one of the reasons for success this year in growing their membership is an increased budget. About one-third of associations report increases in the marketing budget earmarked for recruitment (36%) and awareness and engagement (32% each). And these higher budgets correlated with overall membership increases.

But how did membership staffs make the case for more money? We asked respondents how they successfully advocated for additional membership marketing funding. He...


The Psychology of Membership Engagement

FEBRUARY 28, 2023 / Tips & Insights

Brain Puzzle Image

By Tony Rossell, Senior Vice President

The MGI Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report highlights year after year the importance of a defined engagement program supporting a more favorable outcome in member retention. The data statistically shows this positive outcome but does not explain why putting an engagement program in place is so effective. Understanding why it works offers the opportunity to develop an even more effective effort.

First, let’s look at the problem. It might be surprising, but once the heavy lifting of getting a prospect to join your association is accomplished, they immediately...


Defining the Process for the Decision to Join

FEBRUARY 14, 2023 / Tips & Insights

By Tony Rossell, Senior Vice President

We often hear the question, “Why does it take so many contacts to convince an individual or company to join our association?” The pat answer from marketers is that it takes seven contacts to turn a prospect into a buyer.  

However, as opposed to just doing more, establishing an understanding of the decision process involved in joining an association allows for a more nuanced strategy to be put in place.

One explanation offered by psychologists on the stages that a person goes through in making a decision is a theory called the Transtheoretical Model (TTM). The model says there are five stages to behavior change: Precontemplation, Contemplation, Planning, Action, and Maintenance.

As ap...