January 31, 2017

Focusing on the Wrong Generation for your Association’s growth?

Millennials- are they ready?

Associations and organization’s are terrified that their actions won?t appeal to millennials- and still today they are focusing on the baby boomers, but who are we missing?

The Association Make up

Less than 1% of organization’s members are aged 18-24 years old, another 1% are aged between 25-34 years old- that is the entire millennial generation. 57% of associations claim the average age of members are between 45-54 years old and 23% say members are 55-64 years old (1)- mostly baby boomers. Identifying baby boomers as the largest member base and clarifying that millennials make up less than 3% of associations, who is being focused on? Millennials?Why Millennials?

Limited amount of Disposable income

Millennials are ages 18-34, 40% of millennials are still in school (2), the rest, entering the career world or searching for a job, with some exceptions. 36% of millennials still live at home (3). More and more millennials are living at home- saving money, paying off student debt, looking for a job, whatever the reason may be it is obvious that they aren?t overflowing with disposable income. They are not in the stage of their life to be joining a professional association or organization because they simply don?t have the funds.

Generation X- Full Force

Today in associations we are engaging baby boomers and trying to entice the millennials- there is an entire generation that we skipped. Generation X, holding an average of 17% in associations make-up aging 35-54 (1), yet everyone is skimming over them when they are proven to be the next members. Engage and entice Gen X early, demonstrate the value, capture their attention and encourage them to become a member today!

Stop stressing about the lack of millennial interest and focus on those with a higher disposable income, who don?t live with their parents, and will in turn, find value being a part of an organization. Member management and member engagement are important- make sure you’re engaging and managing and attracting the right audience for your assoication.


(1) 2016 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report Available. (2016). The Membership Management Report, 12(10), 8-8. doi:10.1002/mmr.30508

(2) Beaton, C. (2016, June 29). The Oldest Millennials Just Turned 35: How Gen Y Is Growing Up, Getting Wise And Beating The Odds. Retrieved January 25, 2017, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinebeaton/2016/02/29/the-oldest-millennials-just-turned-35-this-is-how-gen-y-ages/#5a3a49a26258

(3) Hoak, A. (2013, August 14). How long is too long to live with your parents? Retrieved January 25, 2017, from http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-long-is-too-long-to-live-at-home-2013-08-13

Share This Story...

Subscribe to the Member365 Newsletter

Get the latest from Member365 delivered directly to your inbox subscribe today!