Associations in the 2020s: Looking Back in Order to Look Ahead


Hard to believe, but it’s the end of another year. Perhaps harder to believe, it’s the end of another decade. (Or another way to look at it, is that it’s the beginning of a new decade.) Ten years ago, we were optimistically heading out of the Great Recession and wondering how all these potential new online competitors (LinkedIn) might impact our associations. Over the last decade we’ve watched social networks come (Instagram) and go (Google+). We’ve watched data take control of business decisions. We’ve watched smartphones become permanent attachments to our hands. We’ve watched “innovation” become a driver of business models.

Through it all, however, membership organizations still have the same old concerns at their core. Membership recruitment and retention, non-dues revenue … you can change the decade, but you can’t change the role these concerns take in survival of our associations. In some respects, you could say “meet the new decade, same as the old decade.” But we also know that’s not completely true.

The 2020s are sure to bring challenges and opportunities for our organizations that we haven’t seen, or to this point, haven’t even thought of. We’ll have to find new ways of demonstrating value to our members – giving them reasons to join and keep renewing.

If we learned anything over the past decade, perhaps the most important is the need for associations to become more nimble and agile. The world is moving at a much higher RPM than in the past. We must be able to adapt more quickly. If we don’t keep up, our members will leave us behind.

In the spirit of capping this year and this decade, we’ve assembled a collection of our blog posts from 2019. They range in subject matter from membership concerns to data to marketing and social media. This collection offers a snapshot of some 2019 concerns as we turn our attention to meeting the challenges of 2020. It’s interesting to imagine how relevant these posts might be in 2029.

The Association’s Most Valuable Asset

Identify Members on the Verge of Lapsing

Benchmarking Digital Marketing: Where Associations Are Spending, Hitting and Missing

How to Use Site Retargeting to Gain Registrants

The Benefits of Using Your Association’s Members as Influencers

How Personalization Is Key for Your Membership (and Your Organization)

How Taking Members “Behind-The-Scenes” Can Benefit Your Association’s Social Media Presence

With that, the entire staff at MultiView would also like to say thank you for being a part of our 2019 and our 2010s. We wish you the best of success in the new year and the new decade.

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