2021 Research Committee

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Signup Deadline: 11-01-2020
Starts: 01-01-2021
Ends: 12-31-2021
Location: Online Opportunity


The 2021 Research Committee is seeking association professionals who have a serious interest in association research advancement and development. Applicants are not required to have a background in association research, however, experience of 10+ years in associations is strongly encouraged. Below is more of an in-depth look into the committee’s charge, committee expectations/roles, and a peek into the projects/workgroups.   



The Research Committee is a standing committee of the ASAE Research Foundation.  It provides insights, guidance, and expertise to staff in the conceptualization, development, and implementation of the Research Foundation’s multi-year research agenda. The committee works to identify critical issues in the changing nonprofit environment and identifies research opportunities to develop and promote organizational success. The committee is focused on enhancing the association management profession through the contribution of high value, data-driven content to the industry. The committee works closely with staff in the areas of research and knowledge dissemination, engagement, and translation 



The Research Committee generally holds 2 to 3 in-person meetings each year, however, due to current health and safety guidelines all in-person ASAE volunteer group meetings are being held virtually, until further notice. Conference calls with the full committee are typically held on a quarterly basis, or as needed. However, there may be monthly conference calls scheduled by small working groups and task forces.   

A New Member Orientation (virtual) will be held on December 14, 2020 at 2:00pm ET/ 1:00pm CTThe year begins with the “Kick-Off” meeting in January 2021. This meeting is required and is held in conjunction with an Annual Joint Development Committee-Research Committee Meeting on January 2021. Though typically held at ASAE Headquarters in Washington, DCthe 2021 meetings will be held virtually.  


The second in-person Research Committee meeting occurs in May/June; and the third in Sept/Oct (dates to be determined).  The latter two meetings may be held virtually and/or in locations other than Washington, DC, depending on the preferences and travel restrictions of the committee members.   


Volunteers are required to join one or more Task Forces each year, upholding committee and taskforce roles and responsibilities. Current Task Forces include: 



  • Research Tools for Nimble Response to Association Community This task force will explore and identify specific ways that the Research Committee can assist association leaders in taking existing research and leveraging it to their association’s needs.  
  • Association Leadership Awareness This task force will explore and identify techniques that association leaders can use to maximize their utility of established ASAE research initiatives. 
  • Journal Club/Research Lab Task Force  This task force develops a plan for events that engage association executives with Foundation Research for the purpose of solving problems.  


Research Projects 

  • Association Business Ventures Task Force –This ASAE Research Foundation study, conducted in collaboration with Association Ventures, examined healthcare associations’ business-venture innovation strategies and resulted in a validated maturity model for assessment of strengths in eight domains that are critical to business-venture innovation. 
  • Diversity & Inclusion Task Force – This research investigates how associations define “underrepresented groups” for diversity and inclusion purposes; the extent to which associations have services, resources, and products that address recruitment and retention of those underrepresented groups into their profession; the presence and nature of partnerships or collaborations that facilitate the association’s ability to accomplish established goals; the presence and nature of success metrics; and the extent to which the association’s goals are aligned with organizational strategies around diversity and inclusion. 
  • Innovation Task Force – This research initiative is designed to determine and define the culture and practices established by associations that are successful in fostering and sustaining external-industry focused innovation. The task force hopes to help association CEOs, boards, and innovation staff examine their own organizations, identify factors that correlate with associations that have been more and less successful in this kind of innovation, and further work to shift their culture and operations to be set up for success 
  • Interim CEO  This research study will focus on a specific aspect of association executive transitions and succession – the use of an interim CEO. 
  • Volunteer Management Models  The objective of this research initiative is to determine and define effective holistic models of volunteer management in trade and professional associations. The outcomes of the research should provide data to identify actions that inform the development of holistic models to effectively manage volunteers within trade and professional associations and to identify barriers that prevent effective volunteer management across the organization. 



  • Sal Martino Legacy Grant for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Research – The grant provides up to $7,500 to a meritorious proposal addressing DEI in nonprofit membership and member-serving organizations management and is intended to support the research activities of those working (or matriculating) in an academic community, association management professionals, and consultants/private contractors in association management. 
  • Scholarly Research in Association Management Grants Program (SGRP) Task Force – This research grant program is intended to foster collaborations with the academic community to further advance the body of knowledge in association management. Funds have been awarded (up to $7,500 each) to academic scholar research teams that are pursuing research in cross-sectional areas of association management. 
  • Innovation Grants Program (IGP)  This research grant awards up to $10,000 for one year or $30,000 for two years to meritorious proposals exploring, implementing, or learning more about innovation in association management. The program is intended for the creative individual working within and for the association community; individuals from professional or trade associations, nonprofits, association industry partners, and consulting companies that serve the association community are eligible to apply. 


The commitment(s) required of the task force(s) is in addition to those required of the Research Committee. 


Desired skills 

Committee members should have a familiarity with the association operating environmentThis committee requires a very active commitment and frequent contributions to the work of the ASAE Foundation research agenda, including a significant amount of writing, secondary research, presenting, and product viability assessment. The committee desires volunteers with a diverse set of skills, experiences, areas of professional expertise, from all career levels. Prior research experience is not necessary but is welcome. 

Volunteers Needed:

5 (0 open slots)

Experience Required:

7 - 10 Years Industry Experience


Myisha Headen