Predicting Your Association’s Future and Driving Growth with Data

Categories: Association Leadership, Association Operations, Association Technology

When I started WebLink 21 years ago, one of the first things I learned quickly was that I had to use data to really understand and grow my business.

Running the business by instinct wasn’t going to cut it. Cash flow, sales, lead analysis, costs, customer satisfaction – everything related to running a business successfully could be measured.

One of my favorite sayings is –
It’s very important that you get into the habit of measuring as many aspects of your association as you can. It seems overwhelming at first…you are doing so many different things that provide value, where do you even begin?

Most CEOs will focus (correctly) on the lagging data that shows up in your P&L. This is required for the board, but doesn’t really help the staff know what to focus on, on a day to day basis to grow membership and increase retention.

So where do you start? You should start with a good cash flow model and measuring all the things that go into this model to make it predictive. No CEO or board likes to be surprised by cash flow issues. More than likely, if your organization is growing, and is in good financial standing, you probably already have this nailed.

After you have a good cash flow model, you should identify the leading indicators that will help you grow and retain members. Most CEOs (including myself) will tell their staff “If we have engaged members, that are receiving value, they will be good references, and will likely renew, participate in events, buy more stuff and pay on time.”

This statement sounds great but what data goes into measuring “engagement”? Well, it will be different depending upon the value you are providing.

Data-driven decision making is all about being able to focus on the right information.

Think about your members.

What is important to them?

What creates value in membership?

What are the things you do to help provide that value?

How can you measure them?

Don’t be overwhelmed…just start! Our newest eBook breaks these ideas down into a few simple membership growth strategies that you can apply to your association quickly. I hope you find it to be helpful. Get your free download here – and please, let me know what you think!  Send me an email at


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