New Book Provides Insight on Changing Membership Models, Effective Strategies to Communicate Value

WASHINGTON — What do emerging member-prospects value and want? How does organizational culture affect recruitment and retention? How do you better resonate with your audience? These and other questions about membership are addressed in a new book, The End of Membership As We Know It: Building the Fortune-Flipping, Must-Have Association of the Next Century, written by Sarah L. Sladek and published by ASAE’s Association Management Press. The new book discusses how the rules of membership have changed and how organizations can move their membership model to the next level.

Membership participation in associations is changing due to a number of factors including technology, social changes, recession-prone economy, and generational shifts in the workforce. By 2030, 2.8 million people will be over the age of 65 and 78 million people will retire, so it’s critical for associations to recruit new members. In order for membership organizations to thrive and engage new members, they need to communicate value in their niche. 

The book offers readers advice on and ample examples of how to grow their membership, and it addresses a variety of topics including:

  • Why and how to focus on member ROI instead of program ROI
  • How to extend your reach
  • Which emerging membership models are taking root and showing promise
  • How niche is the new competitive advantage

Author Sladek is an experienced marketing and media professional and started researching demographic shifts in 2002, Sladek authored two books called The New Recruit: What Your Association Needs to Know About X, Y, & Z (2007) and Rock Stars Incorporated: Hiring the High-Performance, High-Maintenance Hotshots Half Your Age (2008), and she has been featured in local and national media including the Star Tribune, Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, National Public Radio, and Fast Company.

“Our society needs membership associations because they represent millions of voices with policymakers and help people advance careers, build communities, inspire leadership, and further our nation as a whole. I can’t imagine a future without them,” said Sarah L. Sladek.

The End of Membership as We Know It is available for $20.95 for ASAE members and $25.95 to nonmembers. The initial printing sold out when released at ASAE’s annual meeting earlier this month, but more copies will be available at the end of August. For more information, and to purchase a copy, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, [email protected], 202-326-9505.

About ASAE
ASAE is a membership organization of more than 22,000 association executives and industry partners representing more than 11,000 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, inpidual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit