2017-2018 Research Committee

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Signup Deadline: 10-31-2017
Starts: 11-01-2017
Ends: 10-31-2018
Location: Kick Off Meeting- 1575 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20005 volunteer opportunity location



The Research Committee is a standing committee of the ASAE Foundation.  Its members provide insight, guidance and expertise to staff on the conceptualization, development, and implementation of the 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.

Time Commitment

The Research Committee generally holds three in-person meetings each year. Conference calls are conducted on an as-needed basis to facilitate the work of the committee, but typically occur no more than quarterly. Meeting commitments are as follows:

1. The new member orientation conference call will be held on Friday, December 8th from 11:00am-12:00pm ET.

2. The first in-person (“Kick-Off”) meeting for 2018 will be held on
January 4-5th in Washington, DC.

3. The second and third in-person meeting are typically held in May/June and in Sept/Oct, respectively. The latter two meetings may be held in locations other than Washington, DC, depending on the preferences and travel limitations of the committee members.

Desired skills

Committee members should have a strong grasp of the association operating environment. This 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, and areas of professional expertise at all career levels. Prior research experience is not necessary, but is welcome

Volunteers are also required to join at least one task force, but are encouraged not to exceed three task forces. Current Task Forces include*:

(*If applying to this position, please read all of the Task Force descriptions, prior to applying.  In the application you will be asked to select up to three Task Force groups you are willing to work on)

Procedural Task Forces

  • Dissemination & Advocacy Task Force – This task force has been formed to advocate for the use and practice of research and data within associations, and explore possible methods of disseminating ASAE Foundation research and third-party research (from the academic community and association consultants) to the broader association community.

Research Project Task Forces

  • Decision To…Task Force – This task force was created in order to assess the relevance of the research in four books from the Decision To…Series: Decision to Join, Decision to Volunteer, Decision to Give, and Decision to Learn. The task force will participate in a regular review process to evaluate and offer recommendations to update the publications and survey questions so that the information remains current and relevant.

  • Organizational Content Strategies Task ForceResearch that is underwritten by the Stratton-Angerosa Research Grant Program is being conducted in the area of publishing, communication, and media strategies and practices in the association community.

  • Diversity & Inclusion Task ForceThis 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.

  • Association Business Ventures Task ForceThis potential research initiative, representing a collaboration with Association Ventures, will examine the strategies and models health care associations apply when considering new business-oriented solutions, services, and products to meet changing member needs and to generate new revenue streams. This research will address key questions of interest to the association community, provide customized strategic insights to participating associations, and provide strategic insights for ASAE.

  • Trends/Foresight Task ForceThe purpose of this initiative is to establish and execute an ongoing process of environmental scanning to identify change drivers and their potential implications as well as what actions associations might take to respond to challenges and opportunities. This research will be fully integrated across ASAE’s content channels, and the member community will be actively engaged in analyzing the research findings and identifying potential actions and responses.

  • Workforce Development Task ForceThis multi-year initiative is designed to assess the perceived roles and responsibilities that associations play in providing ongoing professional development for the members and constituents they serve. The research looks beyond technical training and general skills development that may typically be encompassed in professional development offerings.

  • Governance Task Force – This research explores effective strategies for managing change, including an examination of the internal and external factors that influence board selection.

  • Drivers of Innovation Task ForceThis research is designed to examine the organizational factors and motivators that compel innovating practices for associations and the processes through which they implement services and programs around innovation.

  • Volunteerism Task ForceThe research (completed in December 2016) examined the assumption that associations rely on volunteer engagement for knowledge creation, infusion, and action—and that many associations face challenges identifying and retaining effective volunteers, and managing (and disengaging) dissatisfied volunteers who drain association resources and do not fully contribute. The research team is in the process of developing a second proposal to integrate the findings of this initial body of work, along with a series of case studies, into development of an organizational assessment tool.

In principle and in practice, ASAE values and seeks diversity and inclusive practices within the association management industry.
ASAE promotes involvement, innovation, and expanded access to leadership opportunities that maximize engagement across identity groups and professional levels. Identity groups include and are not limited to age, appearance, disability, ethnicity, gender, geographic location, nationality, professional level, race, religion, and sexual orientation.
ASAE will provide leadership and commit time and resources to accomplish this objective while serving as a model to other associations engaged in D+I endeavors.


AMC (Association Management Company)
Assn CEO / Executive Director
Association Foundations
Chief Staff Officer (#1)
C-Level, Exec Team, VP
Combined Trade & Professional Association
Education Institution
Federation of Associations
Philanthropic/Non-Profit/Charitable/Foundation Org
Professional Association
Trade Association
US and some International

Volunteers Needed:

7 (0 open slots)

Experience Required:

4 - 6 Years Industry Experience


Wanda Little-Coffey, MBA, CAE