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Research and Information Services

ASAE & the Center for Association Leadership


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Associations Matter

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) retained Content First to produce an independent study to quantify the economic contribution of the association community to the U.S. economy. This first-of-its kind study compiles impartial U.S. government data examining key metrics such as employment, wages, revenues to quantify what the vibrant association industry means to America's economy.

Associations Matter: Associations by the Numbers, was released by ASAE & the Center for Association Leadership in November 2007 to provide policymakers, the press, and the public with objective statistics on the importance of the association industry to each state.  The data, based on the most recently released U.S. government statistics, reveals that associations created more than 1 million jobs, generating employment in every state. 

California, New York, Illinois, Florida, and Pennsylvania are the nation's leaders in association employment

The nation's association industry pays an annual average wage of more than $40,000 for associations overall and $58,500 for business and professional organizations. Together, the association industry generated a payroll of over $30 billion.

Nationwide, associations bring in some $33 billion in revenue and hold an estimated $40.6 billion in assets.



Media Coverage

Association Matters key findings were presented in the December 2007 Associations Now magazine.


Benefits of Associations:  A Snapshot

Employment & Wages




  • More than 1 million jobs in 2006, up by 11 percent from 1997
  • Associations bring in some $33 billion in revenue
  • Nearly 100,000 jobs added since 1997
  • Associations hold an estimated $40.6 billion in assets
  • Associations create jobs in every state
  • The District of Columbia, Illinois, Virginia, California, and New York lead in association revenue
  • Association employment highest in California, New York, Illinois, Florida,  and Pennsylvania
  • Michigan, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Virginia, and New York are the leading states in assets held by trade and professional associations
  • Associations are projected to add 75,000 jobs by 2014
  • Nearly 20 percent of associations' operating budgets devoted to education programs for members
  • Average wage of $40,250 for associations overall and $58,500 for business and professional organizations in 2006
  • Over 60 percent of associations plan to spend more on education
  • Associations generate a payroll of over $30 billion
  • Association members gave an average of 71,255 volunteer hours in 2005 -- or more than $1.3 million in service


Client Benefits

This project illustrates how Content First created a user-friendly report for the nation's association industry to educate key audiences, including:

  • National, state, and local policymakers

  • The Press

  • The Public










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