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Survey reveals associations not prepared for the future

Findings from the Australian Associations National Survey revealed 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 threats. 48 per cent of associations reported the extent of disruption they faced as either high or extreme, with another 42 per cent reporting moderate disruption.

The online survey also identified the challenges currently holding associations back from peak performance. Insufficient resources ranked highest, but the next three challenges were all controllable factors around skill sets, capacity and culture: board capability (41 per cent), traditional mindsets (40 per cent) and resistance to change (39 per cent).

80 per cent of associations ranked themselves as poor or mediocre on commercial growth.

“This survey is the first of its kind to benchmark the challenges and opportunities facing Australian associations,” said Omer Soker, CEO of The Ethics of Success Corporation and author of The Future of Associations. “There is no specific research to date on Australian associations. This research makes clear the changes that have to be made.”

Soker said results show disruption is real and should act as a wake up call for orgainsations. He described associations as “lonely thinkers” and said the industry needs a platform to share ideas.

“I can’t say I was surprised at the results,” said Soker. “We need to ignite a debate among boardrooms – put this all out in the open in order to address the issues and make changes.”

A total of 1,000 associations were contacted with emails sent to CEOs, board directors and department heads of large, medium and small member serving associations across 60 sectors. Replies were tallied after the first 100 responses had been received.

Omer Soker will be speaking at the Third Sector expo on the 18th and 19th of August- https://thirdsectorexpo.com/ 

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