Findings from the Australian Associations National Research Survey announced today reveal that associations are inadequately prepared for the future, but that the threats they face are similar across 60 diverse industry and professional sectors.
Government Funding/Policy and Changing Member Needs ranked as the two biggest future threats, followed closely by Increasing Competition with virtually all associations affected by one of these. 48% of associations reported the extent of disruption they faced as either high or extreme, with another 42% reporting moderate disruption.
The survey also identified the challenges currently holding associations back from peak performance. Unsurprisingly, Insufficient Resources ranked highest but the next three challenges were all controllable factors around skillsets, capacity and culture – Board Capability (41%), Traditional Mindsets (40%) and Resistance to Change (39%).
Australian associations generally perform better on day-to-day operational matters such as immediate Mission Goals and Member Needs than on future focused activities. The worst four traits of association performance are Future Focus, Managing Change, Innovation and Commercial Growth – with 80% of associations self-ranking themselves as poor or mediocre on commercial growth.
The survey also benchmarks staff capability, board capability, performance against objectives and confidence in maintaining relevance and financial sustainability into the future.
Please click here for a copy of the full research findings.
Methodology: The survey was conducted online. A total of 1,000 associations were contacted with emails sent to CEOs, board directors and department heads of member serving associations across 60 sectors. Responses were cut off after the first 100 responses had been received.