Bringing Associations Together To Boost Performance


Survey Reports

Associations Forum undertakes practical surveys every year which are used by the associations and charities sector as standard reference points and are free to members that participate. Members who do not participate in our surveys can purchase the report for a discounted rate. Our surveys include Associations Salary Survey, Board Survey, Membership and Services Survey, and Association Events Survey.

For more information or to purchase a copy of any of our survey reports please call 02 9904 8200 or email


Association Membership and Services Survey 2021

Membership and member services are fundamental to associations and charities, and the main challenge for these organisations is to provide services that members deem essential or highly valuable. All associations changed how they serviced their members during the COVID-19 crisis last year, reflected in the changed statistics in Association Forum's 12th annual membership and services survey.

Key Findings

  • During the COVID-19 crisis, a majority of membership-based organisations offered some sort of financial relief to paying members 
  • Member retention rates remain strong, professional associations were the only group that saw a decrease in member retention rates
  • Emails, phone calls and social media are still considered to be the most effective channels to retain and regain members
  • Budget restraints continue to be the most common reason given as to why members do not renew their membership

The 12 page Association Membership and Services Survey Report 2021 can be purchased for $200 (NFP organisations only).


Associations Salary Survey 2021

Wentworth Advantage and Associations Forum are in the 13th year of producing a dedicated salary resource for professionals and Board members in the association sector. The comprehensive 90-page report highlights salary and employment trends throughout the associations sector and identifies emerging market trends and business changes. There are twelve positions examined in detail in the report.

Key Findings

  • Changes in remuneration were more modest than in previous years, regardless of whether salaries rose or fell. 
  • HR Manager positions received the largest total salary package increase. 
  • Policy Managers recorded the largest total salary package decrease.

The 90-page Associations Salary Survey 2021 can be purchased for $190 (NFP members) and $490 (NFP non-members). 

Association Board Survey 2020

The Association Board Survey, which has been conducted annually since 2008, examines a number of questions including Board composition and association governance. We have observed some interesting trends in association governance over the years relating to Board sizes and the duration Board members are serving.

Key Findings

  • The long-term trend towards smaller Boards seems to have stabilised with the average number of directors sitting at 9.2, a slight decrease from last year’s average of 9.7.
  • The average number of online meetings increased to 4.9 (up from 1.7 in 2019).
  • With 66.8% of organisations currently reviewing or having reviewed their constitution within the last 2 years, there is an encouraging trend towards improving governance structures, which result from regular constitutional reviews.
  • There is a continuation of the trend towards improving Board performance through increased budgets for Board training, with 52.1% of organisations allocating funding for directors’ professional development.
  • 1% of the organisations (down from 20.7 % in 2019) pay directors a fee other than expenses reimbursement.

The 14-page Association Board Survey 2020 can be purchased for $200 (NFP organisations only). 

Association Events Survey 2020 - COVID-19 Special Edition

The Association Events Survey aims to explore the events that associations are running, how they are being produced, and the trends within the association events sector. As associations are considered to be the second largest sector of the events industry, this survey will be of interest to both associations and those working in the events sector. This special edition of the Associations Events Survey sheds light on the impact of COVID-19 on association events. 

Key Findings

  • Almost half of the survey respondents reported a decrease in hours worked on events
  • A majority of the survey respondents utilised Zoom to run their virtual events
  • Over half of the survey respondents reported a shift to running events online. Other respondents stated they were running hybrid events, had canceled their face-to-face events, or had made plans to resume face-to-face events once restrictions had lifted.  

The 10-page Association Events Survey Report 2020 can be purchased for $200 (NFP organisations only).


Higher Logic - May 2021