Measuring Up: 10 Key Post Pandemic Association Membership Statistics


Chart from the 2021 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report published by Marketing General Incorporated


Marketing General Incorporated just released its 13th Membership Marketing Benchmarking Survey Report. The report delivers the low down on how associations are doing with membership and which strategies and tactics have proven to be most useful for recruitment, engagement, renewal, and reinstatement. I consider the report required reading every year but even more so this year. The report's hard data (gleaned from 747 associations) allows association executives to assess how our organizations performed compared to peers during this historic crisis and align precious membership marketing resources for the greatest possible return on our investment. We'll be covering different aspects of the report in future posts but, this week, we're starting with the essential statistics. 

Total Membership

 1) 47% of associations reported declines in total membership. The declines were as follows:

  • 35% report declines ranging from 1% to 5% 
  • 28% report declines ranging from 6% to 10% 
  • 35% report declines ranging from 11% to 50%

2) 26% of associations reported an increase in membership.

3) 45% of associations report increases in membership over the past five years.

4) 32% of associations report a membership decline over the past five years.


5) 45% of associations report declines in renewals

6) 15% of associations report increases in member renewals

7) The median membership renewal rate is 84%

8) For new members, the median renewal rate among associations is 72%

New Member Acquisition

9) 37% of associations report declines in new membership acquisition

10) 29% of associations report increases in new member acquisition

How does your association's performance compare to these statistics?  
Did you over or underperform in a given aspect of membership? 

Having a clear understanding of association performance in each of these areas will result in better-informed strategies for membership growth. A free download of the full report is available at this link. Next week we'll explore behaviors of associations that reported increases in membership.