Abila Predicts Key Association Trends to Watch in 2015
Focus on engagement, alternative revenue sources and mobile adoption critical
January 8, 2015 – AUSTIN, Texas – Abila, the leading provider of software and services to associations and nonprofits, today shared its predictions that will have the biggest impact on associations in 2015: Member and customer engagement will continue to be crucial; non-dues revenue streams will become vitally important; attracting Millennials will be a priority; both mobile/responsive design and apps will be an essential part of every association’s toolkit; and new Congressional leadership will drive advocacy.
“2015 will be a year of both opportunity and challenge for associations as Millennials continue to move into the workforce and organizations look for alternative revenue sources,” said Darryl Hopkins, senior product manager for Abila netFORUM Enterprise. “Many organizations will need to adapt their approach to engagement and look more closely at mobile technology, responsive design and apps to stay relevant. 2015 in particular will be interesting from an advocacy perspective as new Congressional leadership begins their terms.”
Key Predictions for 2015:
- Member and Customer Engagement: Associations will continue to focus on engagement, but we will see a shift to focusing on both customers and members. Customer retention will become more important than member retention. This will drive diversified revenue streams, micro-volunteerism and message amplification, three core activities that will ensure association success in the future.
- Alternative Revenue Sources: With the proliferation of free education resources across the Internet, associations will need to explore non-dues revenue sources and alternative ways to add value to its membership. Variations on education, certification, and training will become more popular. Associations will have to improve, enhance and increase their continuing education and certification offerings, not only in an effort to stay relevant but to ultimately increase non-dues revenue.
- Millennials and Shifting Demographics: Millennials are entering the workforce in greater numbers. According to Brookings, 75 percent of the 2025 workforce will be Millennials. Associations need to begin paying attention to, and planning for, the increasing importance of Millennials in society and understand their behavior and engagement patterns in order to stay relevant in the future. Organizations will be challenged to strike a balance between engaging existing members and future members. Associations will also start to see a shift in their own workforce toward Millennials. Providing the technology and work environment to keep them will be key.
- Cloud and Responsive Design: The ongoing importance of the cloud will continue into 2015, especially for organizations that are looking to do more with mobile and social. Cloud platforms provide an open and extensible way for organizations to take advantage of mobile and single-purpose apps to be more efficient and effective. Additionally, Responsive Design will be essential to allow members – especially younger members – access to information on websites from any type of device when and where the member wants to engage.
- New Congress and Advocacy: For 2015 in particular, we will likely see a rise in advocacy among organizations as a new Congress settles in. Typically as a new party takes control of Congress, there is a need for education among the new members of Congress to help shape and drive important issues now and into the future.
“This is really an exciting time for associations,” said Hopkins. “The organizations that begin to fully comprehend the demographic shift in our country, understand the power and reach of the Internet, and embrace the evolution of technology at our disposal will position themselves for success in meaningful and verifiable ways.”
Abila is the leading provider of software and services to associations and nonprofit organizations that help them make better decisions, execute with greater precision, increase engagement, and generate more revenue. With Abila solutions association and nonprofit professionals can use data and personal insight to make better financial and strategic decisions, enhance member and donor engagement and value, operate more efficiently and effectively, and increase revenue to better activate their mission. Abila combines decades of industry insight with technology know-how to serve more than 8,000 customers across North America. For more information, please visit www.abila.com.