- How can associations build membership and program their events to attract younger generations while retaining baby boomers? This is the central question explored in a report being developed by SmithBucklin Corp.'s William E. Smith Institute for Association Research.
"A Generational Profile of Association Participation" is being written by Arthur C. Brooks, an associate professor of public administration and director of the Nonprofit Studies Program at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. The study looks at how different age groups participate (or do not) in association activities, and it suggests appropriate messages for reaching these groups.
Initial findings show that Generation X'ers (those born between 1965-1975) are just as likely as baby boomers (1946-1964) to join associations. The primary challenge for associations is that there are simply fewer Generation X'ers. To retain current membership levels, associations will have to adjust their membership acquisition strategies to recruit a higher percentage of the younger generation, according to Brooks.
I'm looking forward to reading the full study when it's released later this year.