New research released by association insurance specialist broker, Gallagher, has highlighted the key reasons why people join associations and retain their membership - with some unexpected findings revealed.
Featuring input from nearly 750 members across 41 associations, the report, entitled The Benefits of Belonging, explores overall levels of engagement and satisfaction, and sought opinions on the most pressing cost concerns members face in the running of their businesses, and the services they would most like their associations to offer.
Gallagher Head of Agency Andrew Whittle discusses these key findings
As part of the research, members were asked to rate their top three reasons to join and maintain membership of their association from a list of 15 commonly perceived benefits, with three reasons well ahead of the rest:-
1. To maintain mandatory certifications / accreditation
47% of members placed this in top 3 reasons to belong
2. To obtain quality insurance at preferential rates
39% of members placed this in top 3 reasons to belong
3. For the credibility of belonging to an association representing my sector’s interests
34% of members placed this in top 3 reasons to belong
John Apter, Relationships Manager at Gallagher Professional Associations, said: “The fact that many members see great value in retaining association membership to underscore their credibility and maintain essential qualifications is good news on two fronts.
"Firstly it shows that affiliation with a respected body is still regarded as desirable and an essential part of highlighting a members’ professionalism and dedication to their chosen sector. Secondly it underscores how important associations are in providing the qualifications / accreditation that prove that professionalism. That’s a strong recipe for sustainability."
An unexpected outcome was how much importance members place on being able to source quality insurance at preferential rates through their association - a finding that offers associations a great opportunity to provide additional value to members.
"Association members need insurance in the running of their business," added Apter. "If they can get it via an association partnership and save money in the process, that’s a great value-add to membership.
"If you're part of an association that does not currently have a member insurance scheme in place, it’s worth exploring how to implement one as soon as possible, paying particular attention that the policy arranged must meet the needs of an association’s entire membership base."
Another surprising finding is the relatively low level of importance members place on networking opportunities provided by their associations, and on the advocacy work undertaken by associations on behalf of members.
These findings are discussed in more detail in the full research research, which is available to access as an interactive online publication or a downloadable PDF.
You can view a brief overview of some of the research's other key findings below.