ASAE Foundation Research advances knowledge in non-profit management by providing resources that help leaders focus on critical factors to enhance their organizations. We implement and facilitate the application of research findings by executives and boards through rigorously designed secondary, qualitative and quantitative methods. The Foundation collaborates with association professionals, scholars and leading universities to produce high-quality research that elevates the profession of association management and has practical implications for associations
- What's New In Research?
- Request for Proposals—Board Selection Processes: Effective Selection and Change Practices for Associations
- Scholarly Research in Association Management Grants Program
- Innovation Grants Program
New Research on Association Technology Issues!
Tech Success for Associations is the latest report from the ASAE Foundation’s Technology Success and Readiness Study. The report provides a comprehensive look at how associations are integrating and maintaining technology to support their missions. The report also examines the technology expectations and perceptions of staff and members to understand current association technology success—and the necessary changes for associations to maintain success in the future. The report is now available free to members in the ASAE bookstore.
Also just released: Association Data Breach Preparedness, an ASAE Foundation research brief that looks at the steps associations are taking to improve cybersecurity and prepare for potential attacks and data breaches.
The ASAE Foundation’s newest research brief, CEO Salary Dynamics: Changes in Association Chief Executive Base Salaries from 2012 to 2016, looks at how factors like association type, size, location, and scope affect median base salary for chief executives and how those salaries have changed since 2012.
This research brief is the second in a series that began with Pathways to CEO Success: How Experience, Learning, and Networks Shape Association CEO Careers. That brief uses survey data to examine the paths of current association CEOs and identify key experiences and advice for aspiring CEOs.
First Phase Findings from In-Progress Research Studies
ASAE Foundation has released three new research briefs to share early findings from in-progress studies.
- Achieving Mutually Beneficial Volunteer Relationships examines the results of a large-scale survey of more than 1,000 associations’ volunteer management practices.
- Why Performance Measurement? provides an assessment of how the industry is currently approaching performance measurement, laying the groundwork for future phases of the study.
- From Practice to Profession offers a comprehensive review of resources relevant to the processes of professionalization and reflects on what this process means for associations.
Selections from the ASAE Foundation’s 2016 Research compiles several of these research briefs and other highlights from the foundation’s 2016 research projects. The foundation looks forward to sharing the complete research findings and the tools and resources developed from these studies with the association community.
By Beth Gazley, PhD and Katha Kissman
This latest installment of governance research funded by the ASAE Foundation builds on the previous research of member-serving association boards highlighted in What Makes High-Performing Boards. Through numerous interviews and focus groups, authors Beth Gazley and Katha Kissman developed case studies that examine the stages and processes CEOs and their staff used to transform boards, creating significant and positive changes in governance practices.
Like the previous research, Transformational Governance focuses on member-serving organizations, so the questions and challenges discussed in the study are the most relevant to the association community. The authors explore in-depth the actions a board can take to achieve desired results, including techniques for altering expectations and changing bylaws, structures, policies, and roles. This book, with its compelling stories and grounded research, will provide you with the necessary evidence-based guidance to positively transform your board.
By Mark Athitakis
This report, the result of the second phase of the Association Global Management Series, explores the paths associations take to determine and implement their global strategies. Using the collective wisdom gathered from association leaders in a series of ASAE Foundation focus groups, the report reveals common themes and provides valuable lessons and ideas—both for associations operating in international markets and for associations thinking about making that leap.
The report also includes the Special Focus on China by Mark Athitakis and Maria Tong, which provides a deeper look at key considerations specific to working in China. According to the Phase I research, China is perceived as the market with the greatest opportunity for associations in the future. If your association is looking to go to China or has started to explore that market, you would be well-served to read this report, featuring advice from 40 association professionals and expert insights from MCI Group, ASAE Foundation’s partner in the Association Global Management Series.
By ASAE Foundation Research, Ahmed Farruk, Robert Olcott, CAE
This report updates the research data for 2015 to deliver reliable benchmarks by which associations can assess their own investment policies and practices. ORION Investment Advisors worked with ASAE Foundation to provide content-area expertise in areas such as oversight and governance, allocations, and strategy. The research findings provide food for thought on how associations like yours are handling their investment strategies and offers ideas on how you might best prepare financially for your association’s future.
By Patrick Glaser, MA, MPA, Samantha Dina, and Sharon Moss, PhD, CRA, CAE
This study examines the diverse ways in which associations have approached the promotion of research integrity within the industries they represent as well as the reinforcement of responsible conduct of research in their own internal and sponsored research. The report breaks down the broad topic of research integrity into areas of impact and provides association-specific examples for addressing each area. If your association represents a research-heavy industry, this report will provide valuable suggestions and considerations to ensure your organization provides your members with the support and information they need.
Sponsored by The ASAE Foundation and MCI Group
Associations are facing an increasingly global operating environment, and this study aims to set the groundwork for better understanding the various operational strategies and goals that are being employed to meet these challenges. Whether you are struggling to respond to the needs of a growing international customer base or you have a structured and aggressive global strategy, you'll gain valuable insight from the strategies of internationally growing organizations identified here. This report is the first phase of a multi-year initiative, the Association Global Management Series, designed to help associations take advantage of the enormous business opportunities that exist in emerging markets across the globe.
As professional and social networks evolve relative to technological and communication advances, associations are adapting and experimenting with membership options as they seek new and effective ways to engage members. This report summarizes the themes of four ASAE Foundation grant-funded research reports and the ASAE Foundation Future of Membership Research retreat, examines the leading concerns and trends affecting association membership, and highlights actions taken by associations to meet these challenges and prepare for the future.
By: Monica Dignam, Rohit Verma, PhD, & Spring Han, PhD
This multi-year research project sponsored by the ASAE Foundation and conducted by the Center for Hospitality Research was undertaken to assess the various trends affecting association-based tradeshows. By employing a multiple stakeholder lens — attendees and exhibitors — the findings will help meeting planners, attendees, exhibitors, buyers, sellers, and destination executives identify best practices, tradeoffs, constraints, and relative preferences of the two groups.
By: Beth Gazley, PhD & Ashley Bowers
Nonprofit CEOs and executive directors from 1,585 member-serving organizations were surveyed about their organizational environment, board structure, board selection procedures and challenges, governance models they employ, board development and self-assessment, and a host of other questions related to the governance practices of their organization. The results will help you understand patterns of related behavior within organizations that support high board performance and that are intentional and not dependent on industry sector or capacity.
By: Sarah Slater, MS & Sharon Moss, PhD, CRA, CAE
The Informed Association: A Practical Guide to Using Research for Results will help you understand the importance of data-based decision making and the limitations of the data; making it more important than ever to know what the right questions are to ask and how to gather data in a way that will be meaningful and useful. Gaining knowledge through research will let you prioritize investments and resources for success in a competitive environment.
Assessing Board Performance: An analysis of ASAE-BoardSource board self-assessment results (free to members!)
By Monica Dignam and Rosemary Tenuta
A well-functioning board is a strategic resource for any organization's mission and performance. ASAE joined with BoardSource to offer a board self-assessment designed for membership organizations. We then conducted a study to aggregate our findings from the responses of over 1,367 individuals serving 75 membership organizations that met the study criteria. The report is a compilation of results to help understand the role the board plays and what factors make them successful.
By Mary Tschirhart, Ph.D., Chongmyoung Lee, and Gary Travinin
This study, based on surveys of both association leaders and credentialing program managers, explores the various ways in which associations can benefit from administering a credentialing program for their industry or profession. Certifications and accreditations serve as an important source of non-dues revenue for many associations, and this study finds that there are several other benefits as well. Find out the qualities of credentialing programs that bring the greatest value to the associations that administer them, and walk away with some practical tips for your association's own program.
Request for Proposals—Board Selection Processes: Effective Selection and Change Practices for Associations
The ASAE Foundation seeks proposals for research that will help association executives anticipate, manage, or eliminate challenges associated with the board selection process. This research should provide guidance and resources for association leaders to assist with 1) cultivating a pool of highly effective board members; 2) enacting and maintaining election practices that contribute to ensuring effective boards; and 3) modifying selection processes in a timely and efficient manner when internal or external forces dictate change. Submission deadline: July 1, 2016.
ASAE Foundation has established the Scholarly Research in Association Management Grants Program to provide awards of up to $7,500 each to meritorious proposals addressing research questions relevant to nonprofit membership and member-based associations. The program is intended to support research activities of those working (or matriculating) in an academic community, such as academic faculty, students, and research interns, or those association management professionals engaged in collaborative research with individuals in the academy. Please visit this page for more information.
Do you dream of being more innovative in your association? Wish you could observe others who are working in new ways? Know what you want to do, but don't have the seed money to get it started? ASAE Foundation may be able to help you. Each year, the ASAE Foundation awards grants to individuals and organizations who wish to learn more about innovation or explore the implementation of an innovative product, service, or process.
Visit the IGP page to view FAQs, application criteria and tips, and information about past recipients.
To learn more about ASAE's research, please email email@example.com.