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September 12, 2006

Why do we join?

ASAE & The Center are embarking on a new research project, Decision to Join. The intent is to discover why some people join associations and others don't.

This research -- from my understanding -- isn't strictly a question of whether or not the association is providing a good value for the money. Rather, it will also consider sociological and psychological factors (i.e. are some people "programmed" to join?). This project will build upon a nearly identical study performed about 25 years ago by ASAE.

The low-hanging fruit for this study will be generational differences in joining behavior. It will be interesting to see where this research project comes down on the are generations X and Y less likely to join? debate.

I'll be more interested to see if there are any psychological, sociological or geographical factors at play. I have a hunch that people in the Midwest are more likely to be joiners than the general population and that working women are more likely to be joiners than men.

Look for the project to be delivered in April 2007!

UPDATE: Just remembered this interesting article on why people join associations from the Winter 2005 edition of the Journal of Association Leadership. It's a good read.



Fred Simmons said...

More joiners from the Midwest? What's that hunch based on? Just curious.

Ben Martin, CAE said...

The people are friendlier and more social, in my experience. Midwesterners seem to want to be around other people more than the people I live with here on the east coast.