Associations Evolve

The Associations Evolve research project is bringing together passionate association professionals and thought leaders, to answer burning questions, create practical solutions, and build useful resources.

This project is being run through SMS. It is an extension of popular whitepapers produced by SMS including the Association Apocalypse and Associations Evolve whitepapers. It began in February 2021.

Project Purpose

The purpose of this project is to provide associations with the inspiration, motivation, and insights needed to successfully adapt to the rapidly changing operating landscape.

The output of this project will be useful ideas, concepts, templates, and practical that stimulate useful conversations and drive action.

Project Overview

It is one thing to know your association must evolve to meet the operating landscape of the future. It is quite another to have the practical tools, insights, and resources available to make it possible.

There are many questions association professionals have been asking – big and small. Some of these include:

  • How do we create a compelling purpose?
  • What is the full range of pathways available for us to achieve our purpose that we can choose from?
  • What revenue streams are most appropriate for each membership model?
  • What practical tools and templates are available to assist us to implement the enablers?
  • What does a contemporary Board look like?
  • What data should we collect and report against?

To answer the most burning questions we are calling on passionate association professionals and thought leaders to join the Associations Evolve project team.

Get Involved

We are looking for professionals like yourself to be on our project team. As a member of the team, you can contribute as much – or as little – as you like. You can also join – or leave – the project at any time.

Project team members will be offered opportunities to participate as they arise. When you see one that’s of interest, you can jump in. Your participation is entirely based on the time you have available and the way you wish to contribute.

Ways people have already gotten involved include:

  • Building the list of questions that need to be answered – Contribute your questions for consideration for inclusion in the project. This could be something as broad as “Understand how to make membership appealing for a purely representative body” to something as specific as “A template for a Board Meeting Report and Agenda”.
  • Narrowing down the list of questions – Help us narrow down and prioritise the list of questions and the right pathways to solve the problem.
  • Hackathon Participation – Participate in hackathons where participants will be challenged to come up innovative solutions.
  • Resource Development and Feedback – Participate in the development practical tools and resources.
  • Additional Research – The survey may also find there is additional research (whether by survey, interviews, focus groups, or other mechanism).

You can keep up-to-date with upcoming opportunities to be involved by subscribing to our e-news.

Project Outputs

On March 30, 2021, a Hackathon was run that brought association professionals together to answer questions that had been nominated as important. We are collating the outcomes and these will be posted here shortly.