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3 Association Trends That Will Help Your Organization Grow

Planning for the future isn’t always easy. You want to grow your association, but after years of ups, downs, twists, and turns, how do you know what to do next? And how do you know if you have the right plans in place for association growth?

Each year, Community Brands conducts association trends research to dive into questions about how members feel about their professional organization, what’s most important to members, what’s happening inside associations, and more. Let’s look at three association trends from this research and how they can help position your association for growth.

2023 Association Trends Study: Redefining the Association Experience

Are you offering your members career advancement resources? Check out the results of our 2023 Association Trends research study to learn more about what association pros can offer and what members expect.

Three association trends to help your organization grow

1. Member loyalty and engagement remain strong, but associations lack a cohesive strategy.

In the 2023 Association Trends Study, metrics for member loyalty and engagement remain solid, with members’ intent to renew up slightly from the 2022 study and a third of members reporting that they engage with their professional organization at least weekly. Meanwhile, as association professionals report using a variety of engagement tactics with their members, only a quarter say they have an organization-wide engagement strategy, and few rate their organization’s use of engagement channels as excellent.

These findings suggest that associations have an opportunity to build a stronger member engagement strategy to keep member engagement and loyalty high.

Have a member engagement strategy

2. Associations have significant opportunities to bridge gaps in member value.

In the 2023 study, multiple areas have risen in importance to members that association professionals (Pros) under-value, including training, certifications, job opportunities, and help with career advancement. These and other findings in the study suggest an opportunity for associations to invest in and elevate these benefits in their value proposition.

3. It’s time for associations to offer more career development resources.

The 2023 study shows that help with career growth has increased in importance for members since the 2022 study. Members also place higher value on the quality of job opportunities from their professional organization over LinkedIn and Indeed.

And while about two-thirds of Pros say their organization offers an online job board, fewer provide other impactful career development options members seek, including career advice and insights, mentoring, peer data, and résumé reviews. Gen Z and Millennial Members are especially interested in these options and are more likely to say that organizations will no longer be a preferred source for career assistance if they fail to innovate in this area.

These findings point to the need for associations to provide a greater breadth of career resources to become a go-to career destination for their members and their industry.

How to grow your organization using association trends

So, how can you put these association trends to work to grow your association? Here are some tips:

Give members more of the career help they want.

2023 member priorities based on career stage

It’s clear from the latest association trends that members want job opportunities and help with career advancement. So, to attract more members and strengthen member loyalty, give them more of what they want:

  • If you don’t offer an online job board, it’s time to provide this valuable member benefit. An online job board, or online career center, is a highly effective way to keep members more engaged by connecting members with job opportunities and career advancement resources throughout the year.
  • If you do offer an online career center, make it more than just a place for members to view job openings. Provide members (and non-members) with a wealth of career development resources to help them in every stage of their careers. These resources can include everything from helpful articles and tips to career data and access to career coaches.
  • Host career events throughout the year.  
    You can also use your career center as a vehicle for events throughout the year to grow your members’ careers and drive revenue for your organization. For example, here are a few events you can host through your career center to give your members and other job seekers more value while driving revenue (these can be hosted as in-person, virtual, or hybrid events): 
    • Career fairs – With association career fairs, employers purchase booths where they spotlight their open jobs, company information, and other related materials. Job candidates can visit these booths during the event to chat with prospective employers.
    • Résumé reviews – Offer your members and industry job seekers free résumé reviews given by expert résumé writers and career coaches.
    • Mentoring events – Plan an event that connects mentors and mentees by offering times and spaces where the two groups can engage one-on-one

Find the right job board software for your association.

AAFP career center

Using the right job board software and career center solutions can help you provide a great online career center that delivers member value and drives revenue for your organization without a lot of added work. YM Careers by Community Brands provides easy-to-use job board software plus career development solutions to help you build the ultimate career center for your industry. It includes: 

  • Powerful job posting and distribution tools with these capabilities:
    • Job postings – Employers can pay a fee to easily post and promote job opportunities; job seekers can search and apply for these highly relevant jobs online.
    • Candidate screening and management – Provide employers with functionality to screen and manage applicants.
  • Features to maximize exposure of employers’ job postings and drive more revenue for your organization:
    • Job alert email – Introduce a job email to your members. Employers are often willing to pay extra for this distribution of their jobs to candidates. 
    • Jobs feed or widget – Add one of these to your member and prospective member e-newsletters with recently posted jobs that employers pay extra to promote.
    • Banner advertising – Give employers the opportunity to place banner ads on your job board, directing job seekers from your career center to the employers’ job posting(s).
  • Unmatched career-building tools to help job seekers land jobs and grow their careers:
    • AdviceProvide career advice, with professional resources and coaching, including articles, tips, best practices, résumé reviews, and access to career coaches.
    • Coaching – Match members with career experts who will guide member in career planning, interview preparation, negotiation, and more.
    • InsightsGive members detailed career data, including salary, education and skills requirements, activities performed, outlooks for job growth, and related jobs, to help members make informed career decisions.
    • Pathing – Give your members a clear roadmap to reach their professional goals with an online tool to visualize the steps from the job they have today to their career goals.
    • Mentoring Help members connect with mentors who can provide them with ongoing professional guidance and support.
Career Planning Portal

Career Planning Portal by YM Careers offering Career Insights, Career Advice, Career Coaching, Career Paths, and MentorBoard

Learn more about how to grow your association using association trends.

YM Careers can help your association to grow by becoming a career destination for your members and generating unmatched revenue – without requiring a lot of extra effort from your staff. Investing in an online career center as part of a long-term technology strategy will provide a strong foundation to prepare your organization for growth – no matter what the future might bring. 

Discover how YM Careers helps associations stay ahead of trends year after year.

Request a personalized demo today.

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