New Report: Using Technology Increases Education Revenue for Associations

Written by Lyn Slater on . Posted in Association, Association Best Practices, Technology

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Chalk up one more win for smart use of technology by associations.

Education services can be an important part of association member retention strategies. Providing industry-specific education to members looking for professional development and training is a huge benefit that will keep members satisfied and eager to renew when the time comes.

Integrating technology to support these types of educational offerings is a smart move, not only from a member reach standpoint, as online and mobile technology now allows for much broader participation in these types of programs, but it can greatly assist in your bottom line, according to a recent survey from Tagoras.

A new report has found that associations using technology platforms as a part of their education programs are seeing increased revenue as a result. The Tagoras report (PDF), Association Learning + Technology 2014, shows that more than half of associations using technology in their education services demonstrated an increase in revenue from these services. Of those groups who placed an emphasis on using technology for learning services, an even bigger percentage reported seeing revenue increases, close to 70 percent.

Tagoras acknowledges that due to widespread individual adoption of technology, even small steps can improve an association’s financial bottom line. This is important to consider: even if your association doesn’t have a huge staff of online communications and technology experts, even including a minimum of online or mobile capability in your education and learning opportunities to members can make a real difference. It’s something to consider if you are among the small percentage still solely relying on “old school” methods.

Among the most interesting findings of the report were the promising signs that adoption of technology is widespread, even among groups who do not make it a big priority. This is encouraging news, particularly in light of the impact that online and mobile learning resources can have on member growth and revenue.

The survey found that while a relatively low number (less than a quarter) of associations have a specific, dedicated plan in place for how best to integrate technology into their overall learning programs, the vast majority are at least using some form of tech to enhance their offerings. Indeed, almost all of the associations responding reported including tech in their learning plans, which is an increase from previous surveys conducted in recent years, according to coverage on Associations Now.

From the Associations Now post: 

“The report also found that most associations, almost 90 percent of those surveyed, are offering some kind of technology-enabled or technology-enhanced learning. This marks a steady increase from 2008 and 2010, when Tagoras conducted similar surveys. About 60 percent of respondents reported using technology for learning in 2008, and 77 percent reported using it in 2010. Other areas of growth include virtual conferences and mobile learning options, or what the report authors termed “m-learning.” From 2010, there was an almost 50 percent increase in associations using technology to offer virtual conferences, and a 300 percent increase in the number of associations providing a mobile version of at least some of their content.”

How does your association use technology to enhance your educational offerings to members? Give us some examples in the comments!

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Lyn Slater

Carolyn (Lyn) is taking a walk on the wild side after spending nearly 20 years in the nonprofit/association world. She likes to refer to herself as a Wordsmith or, sometimes, Wordsmythe – when she’s feeling artisanal. Lyn truly believes in the magic of words and puts that belief to work every day, writing, editing, and sometimes indulging in social media at Abila. Originally from Oxford in the UK, but now a long-time resident of the U.S. she has retained that delightfully (or so she thinks) annoying habit of finding humor in every situation. Off-duty habits and interests include gardening, reading, recreational writing, baking and pretty much whatever her two dogs tell her to do.


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