Research and White Papers

ASAE Reports Increased Number of Associations in America

By Matt Alderton
March 12, 2012

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In honor of American Associations Day, its annual legislative fly-in, the American Society of Association Executives has released an updated version of its "Associations Matter" study, demonstrating the economic impact of associations in the United States, it announced today.

The study, which is based on data from U.S. government statistics and associations' tax-exempt returns, found that the number of trade and professional associations and charitable organizations has increased 3.4 percent since 2001.

Other report highlights:

• Membership organizations employed more than 1.2 million in 2009.
• Membership organizations generated a payroll of nearly $47 billion in 2010.
• The meetings industry — of which associations are a major part — supports 1.7 million jobs and accounts for $263 billion in spending.
• Of the 63 million people who volunteered in the United States between September 2009 and September 2010, more than 18 million volunteered through a membership organization.

"This report does a wonderful job in providing a bigger picture about the impact associations have in keeping America competitive, improving the economy, providing opportunities for people to volunteer and preparing our future leaders," said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV. "This week, association professionals are coming together to advocate and raise awareness with policymakers about the role of associations and the issues that matter in our community. 'Associations Matter' supports our advocacy goals by quantifying the association sector's contributions in a very compelling, credible fashion."

American Associations Day will commence on Wednesday, March 14, with a day of education sessions. It will conclude on Thursday, March 15, with a day of meetings with legislators on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit
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