Associations & Non-Profit Organizations

Limelight Insights by Shugoll is uniquely qualified to help associations and nonprofit organizations optimize their business decisions to address challenges and make the most of opportunities. We have helped numerous trade, consumer, and professional associations identify ways to grow membership and boost satisfaction and involvement among existing members.

Non-profit organizations at the forefront of many important causes and social issues have used our expertise to aid in generating financial support, identifying key audience segments, and testing messages to influence opinion and policy.

We have one of the largest association and non-profit market research divisions in the country. Our expertise in conducting a wide variety of research for our association and non-profit clients includes:

  • Membership Research
  • New Product/Service Development
  • Communications Testing
  • Industry Research
  • Cost/Value Research
  • Diversity Research
  • Advocacy/Policy Research
  • Branding Research
  • Evaluation/Impact Research

Case Study: Association Membership Structure & Needs Assessment Research

The Limelight Insights team partnered with a nurses’ association to test its value proposition to members and assess interest in a revised membership structure. The research also identified reasons for joining, reasons for lapsed membership, reasons for not joining, perceptions of the association, satisfaction with membership, and an evaluation of existing benefits and proposed new benefits.

A multi-phase research study was conducted with current members, lapsed members, and prospective members. The research consisted of telephone in-depth interviews, focus groups, and an online quantitative survey.

The findings of the research helped the association determine:

  • Which membership pillars are most valuable
  • Messaging that resonated with potential members/members and messaging that did not
  • Ideal marketing materials, channels, frequency, and timing of communications
  • Price sensitivity to various membership model options

A large part of our business is answering critical questions
and providing actionable insights that can inform a business’ or organization’s direction.

Here are some of the questions Limelight Insights has helped associations and nonprofit clients answer:

During periods when individuals and companies reduce or cap spending, how can we maintain and grow our membership or donor base?

Maintaining membership is about providing value. Limelight Insights surveys current and lapsed members about their use of, expectations for, and satisfaction with membership. We can assess membership tier offerings, potential new tiers, membership price points, barriers and drivers for maintaining membership, monitor changes in membership and provide correlations for changes with membership pain points, and much more. Your membership numbers don’t have to drop if you are providing your key segments with something of value to them.

How can we improve attendance at our conferences, meetings, and training sessions?

Expanding participation requires understanding the obstacles that prevent non-attendees from participating and determining what would motivate them to attend. Thus, while surveys of attendees are needed to ascertain which current programs are valuable to ensure that proposed new programs or potential changes will not alienate current attendees, Limelight Insights also surveys lapsed attendees and potential attendees to understand what changes must be made to attract a broader or completely different group.

Using this multi-segment approach, Limelight Insights has helped organizations greatly expand attendance by restructuring / reformatting their meetings and addressing issues such as date and duration changes, optimal locations / types of settings, fee structure for different types of attendees and mix of activities, learning formats, and content areas.

How can we increase non-dues revenue?

In many cases, demand for products offered by associations or nonprofits is hindered by a lack of awareness of the product or a lack of understanding about product features, benefits, or means of access. With that in mind, the first step Limelight Insights takes in assessing sales opportunities is to undertake an audit of benefits among members. This process assesses awareness, use, and frequency of use, reasons for nonuse and perceived value of existing products. We also look at unmet needs, including time frame and delivery mechanism requirements, to determine if current products can be repositioned or if new products are needed.

Limelight Insights has helped associations and nonprofits identify their strongest product offerings and make modifications to existing products to broaden their appeal. We have also identified under-utilized products that only needed increased promotion in cases where the products were valued, but not well known or understood.

Is my communication campaign working to increase membership or engagement with my organization?

Membership satisfaction and engagement is best evaluated by taking measures of the target audience’s attitudes and behaviors prior to the introduction of new membership tiers, organizational changes, etc. and at periodic intervals to track member numbers, engagement, and satisfaction throughout the change. Limelight Insights has evaluated the impact of organizational changes for industries, organizations, issues, and policies. This research has been used to develop and refine specific messages, membership models/tiers, test the effectiveness of communication programs, and to fine-tune an organizations’ media mix.

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