I learned in one of my finance or economics classes (can’t really remember which) that economic and stock market growth can sometimes be as much a psychological exercise as it is a physical or fundamental exercise. Meaning, when people feel good or positive about something, it can have a strong impact on the performance of that activity. This is true in many areas of our lives. I know that when I stand over a golf ball on the tee box that my confidence meter is never completely neutral, it leans one way or another and typically my tee shot follows.
So why am I talking about the psychological impacts on growth? The reason is that I speak to many association execs and the mood has done a complete "one-eighty" since this time last year. The numbers back that up as well. In our recent Pulse Points survey, seventy five percent (75%) of associations reported that their 2022 budgets would increase over their 2021 budget. That is encouraging because when budgets increase it is supported by an increase in revenue. Round 2 of the PPP that included 503 c-6 most likely plays a role in this as well. More to come on that as Pulse Points will dive into that in the coming weeks.
2020 ushered in many changes and high on the list of changes for associations was dealing with remote learning, working and collaboration as well as the challenges of ensuring that we are dealing with Diversity Equity and Inclusion. It is my view that these and other changes are giving associations new missions in the member benefit area. Just like us, our members are dealing with issues and challenges that none could have even considered twenty four months ago. Another lesson learned from the latest Pulse Point is that member retention/relevance is the number one priority. Fifty eight percent (58%) of respondents stated so. This is not surprising and certainly nothing new as a result of the pandemic. However, we need to embrace it as we have been given an entirely new playing field in which we can help our members navigate. It is our chance to lead and use this moment in time to elevate our relevance by rising to the challenge with the new trending needs of our members.
Dynamic Benchmarking has spent the last eleven years helping our clients fulfill one of the core functions of an association (data collection and comparison). We have tried to rise to the challenge and create new products like our Data Builder, DEI Maturity Model and Cultural Assessment Tool. These are products that almost every association can use. To learn more about our offerings please visit www.dynamicbenchmarking.com.
by Ray McDonald, President of Dynamic Benchmarking