New ASAE Foundation Report Reveals Current State, Future Technology Needs for Associations

January 26, 2017

WASHINGTON—A new ASAE Foundation report, Tech Success for Associations: Balancing IT maturity, readiness, and expectation for a satisfying, sustainable future, paints a picture of association performance against effective technology application, as well as insights into member and staff technology abilities and expectations. It also provides a vision of what associations need to do for the future. ASAE Foundation, in partnership with DelCor Technology Solutions and in collaboration with research firm Rockbridge Associates, worked on the comprehensive study.

“One of the goals for this report is getting executives and senior staff to think about how they are using technology to serve their mission, whether or not they are meeting member expectations, and how they can improve their systems to be successful,” said ASAE Executive Vice President and ASAE Foundation President Susan Robertson, CAE. “The data provided gives insight on the current state of technology within the industry, and how they can better integrate technology into their organizations, so they can create a better member experience.”

The research looked at metrics from three conceptual areas: IT maturity, technology readiness, and member satisfaction with technology, so that the community can not only understand where associations are but also where they need to be in the future. These metrics were developed from DelCor’s IT Maturity Model and Rockbridge’s Technology Readiness Index.
Here are key results of the study:

  • The majority of associations that participated in the research are effective, which means they do a good job managing data, have solid processes, maintain sound infrastructure, and engage in long-range planning.
  • Only nine percent of associations manage technology and tech integration in ways that can be considered innovative, which is the highest level of IT maturity.
  • Most members of participating organizations said that there is room for organizations to expand their technology capabilities.
  • Members want easy access to relevant content, online learning, professional networks, and self-service systems. The majority of associations are making some content available, but 20 percent of the association respondents reported they offered limited mobile capability.
  • The greatest areas of opportunity for associations in technology are the ability to produce a complete view of the constituent engagement; data integrations; process for understanding business objectives and requirements; investment in infrastructure; digital content; and training IT professionals. 

“The maturity model gives any association insight into how their technology aligns with their mission, vision, and business objectives. Once that level of alignment is known, it’s much easier to plot the IT roadmap and project portfolio with respect to resources, constraints, and organizational priorities, then communicate that throughout the organization,” said David A. Coriale, President, DelCor Technology Solutions, Inc. “Importantly, tying each roadmap initiative back to the organization’s objectives helps ensure the value of such initiatives is clear to the membership.”

As a result of the study, the ASAE Foundation is working to develop a rigorous tool that will measure and assess IT maturity for individual associations. Launching this fall, the IT maturity assessment tool will include a series of 31 diagnostic indicators organized around four maturity component areas: association data, management and strategy, infrastructure, and digital presence. It will be part of a suite of products ASAE plans to bring to the community that will allow organizations to assess the health, readiness, and/or effectiveness in a number of dimensions (e.g., technology, diversity, global).

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, APR, CAE, 202-326-9505.

About ASAE and the ASAE Foundation
ASAE is a membership organization of more than 28,000 association executives and industry partners representing more than 7,500 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual 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