In early 2021, the GrowthZone AMS team joined Teri Carden, Founder of ReviewMyAMS for a fast-paced, interactive webinar

The topic? The 2021 Association Industry Survey Results. The annual survey conducted by GrowthZone explores statistical benchmarks as well as current issues impacting the membership industry. Year-over-year, the report has proven to be GrowthZone’s most downloaded content. 

As a follow-up to the webinar, the team aggregated some baseline statistics to provide a quick look at industry trends. The entire report is available on the GrowthZone website, as is the on-demand webinar.


Annual Growth in Overall Net Membership (year-over-year change)

     Increased (% of respondents reporting a higher overall membership count)
       2020: 19%
       2019: 40% 

     Unchanged (% of respondents reporting basically no change in overall membership count)
       2020: 49%
       2019: 46% 

     Decrease (% of respondents reporting a basically no change in overall membership count)
       2020: 32%
       2019: 13% 

Association Size

  Increased membership: Most common in organizations with 200-500 members and an operating budget between $250K-$500K.

  Decreased membership: Most common in organizations with 201-1000 members and an operating budget between $1M-$3M.

  Unchanged membership: Most common in organizations with 201-500 members and operating budgets under $250K and between $1-$3M.

Engagement & Growth:
% Respondents reporting improved engagement rates:

     Those with:
       Increased membership: 53%
       Decreased membership: 23% 
       Unchanged membership: 35%

COVID Impact

% Respondents reporting COVID had a positive impact on members’ opinions of their organization’s value.

Overall, 58% reported their organization’s response to the COVID crisis had a positive impact.

     Those with:
       Increased membership: 66%
       Decreased membership: 64%
       Unchanged membership: 44% 

Non-Dues Revenue & Growth
Top 3 Most Successful Sources of Non-Dues Revenue

     Those with:
       Increased membership:
         1.    Education offerings
         2.    Virtual events
         3.    Sponsorships

       Decreased membership:
         1.    Sponsorships
         2.    Virtual events
         3.    Advertising

      Unchanged membership:
        1.    Sponsorships
        2.    Virtual events
        3.    Education Offerings

DEI Initiatives & Growth
% Respondents reporting their organization made changes to its Diversity/Equity/Inclusion policies or practices in the previous 12 months:

     Those with:
       Increased membership said:
         Yes 41%
         No 44%
         Unsure 15%

     Decreased membership said:
         Yes 37%
         No 49%
         Unsure 14%

     Unchanged membership said:
         Yes 27%
         No 61%
         Unsure 12%

Check out the free, full report and see what over 600 association professionals across the U.S. and Canada said. Topics included everything from non-dues revenue sources and COVID relief funding to remote working arrangements and diversity practices. The results showed several interesting trends impacting today’s associations.

The GrowthZone mission is to empower organizations with the tools they need to grow membership, keep members engaged, keep members longer, and do more in less time. Ideal for chambers of commerce, business, trade, and professional associations, GrowthZone is a full Association Management System with built-in payment processing, e-commerce, fundraising, marketing automation, member prospecting, and more.