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McKinley: Optimism, membership performance at highs

Latest Economic Impact on Associations study reveals record lows in reported membership declines, internal optimism trending up

July 26, 2019
By William Ehart

Optimism is up. Member retention is up.

Associations are looking up, though the good vibes are not felt evenly throughout the sector, according to the 2019 Economic Impact on Associations Study from McKinley Advisors.

Forty-seven percent of association executive respondents reported a member retention rate of 90% or higher. Only 17% reported a 12-month decline in membership, a record low, according to McKinley Advisors CEO Jay Younger.

“Optimism and membership performance have hit all-time records,” Younger wrote in the study’s executive summary. McKinley conducted its first EIA study in 2008.

The report is based on responses from nearly 150 association executives.

Results varied among sectors, with long-depressed industries like architecture and construction rebounding strongly while associations serving retail, manufacturing and transportation reported relatively more challenging conditions.