American Society of Association Executives Releases "Associations Matter" Study

March 18, 2012

In support of The Power of A Week and American Associations Day, the American Society of Association Executive’s annual legislative fly-in, the organization released its “Associations Matter” study.

The study indicated associations have a “profound, measurable economic and social impact on the nation,” according to ASAE officials.

The “Associations Matter” study primarily relies on U.S. government statistics and tax-exempt returns (Form 990s) to measure the economic and social benefits derived from association activities.

These statistics mainly focus on employment, wages, revenues and assets. The report also documents the contributions associations make to improve social conditions and Americans’ collective quality of life.

“This report does a wonderful job in providing a bigger picture about the impact associations have in keeping America competitive, improving the economy, providing opportunities for people to volunteer, and preparing our future leaders,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, CAE.

He added during the week highlighted associations, “This week, association professionals are coming together to advocate and raise awareness with policymakers about the role of associations and the issues that matter in our community. “Associations Matter” supports our advocacy goals by quantifying the association sector’s contributions in a very compelling, credible fashion.” 

Here are some of the study’s highlights:

The number of trade and professional associations and charitable organizations has increased 3.4 percent since 2001.

Membership organizations employed more than 1.2 million in 2009.

Membership organizations generated a payroll of nearly $47 billion in 2010.

Associations represent a major piece of the meetings and conventions industry in the United States. The meetings industry supports 1.7 million jobs and accounts for $263 billion in spending.

Of the 63 million people who volunteered in the United States between September 2009 and September 2010, more than 18 million volunteered through a membership organization.

ASAE hosted its annual The Power of A Week to draw attention to the different ways associations are advancing the economy and society, according to ASAE officials.

The highlight of the week was ASAE’s annual legislative fly-in that was held March 14-15 with events throughout the week that showcased the benefits of associations.

More than 500 association professionals were expected to take part in The Power of A Week.

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