Why Every Organization Should Consistently Ask Demographic Questions

Jennifer Traer Best Practices Leave a Comment

While we feel like we may know our organization and its members, the reality is, unless you consistently ask the right questions, you likely don’t have a clue.

What is demographic data?
Demographics include a collection of information, including breakdown by gender, age, ethnicity, income, employment status; just to name a few. Demographics offer a snapshot of a particular group based on a sample. Of course, not everyone fits a given demographic profile, as demographics only provide a combined picture of your organization.

Why is demographic data important?
This data only captures a moment in time, such as 2020 or July of 2020, but it is still essential to understanding your stakeholders. By examining data at different points in time, one can see historical changes; such as whether the population in your organization is aging or new members are typically more engaged immediately after the renewal cycle.

What kind of questions should you ask?
Age
Knowing the age of your members allows you to track and follow their membership from the instant they join. With Baby Boomers retiring at high rates and millennials typically less engaged in associations, maintaining a constant pulse on the age of your membership should be of high priority. 

Education
Understanding education allows you to deliver professional development based on past learnings as well as gauge members’ appetites for future learnings.

Employment Status
Maintaining a grasp on your member’s employment status allows you forecast renewal cycles, create new programming or benefits to maintain membership, and track companies within the industry.

Preferred mailing address
Postal mail may seem to be of the past, but knowing your members’ city and province can help you deliver targeted programming and track the geographical layout of your membership.

It is important to continuously ask demographic questions when surveying your membership. Bonus: if possible, include questions through your association management system by allowing members to seamlessly update their profile. By consistently monitoring your demographics, you’ll be able to direct your efforts effectively and increase long-term member retention.

Need help adding data to your association’s operations? Redstone can help! Email us here.

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Jennifer Traer

Having ventured into the not for profit space over 14 years ago, Jennifer believes in the power of relationship building and nothing gives her more professional pleasure than seeing a project through from inception to execution. With a breadth of experience in stakeholder services, engagement, operation management as well as business development, Jennifer has the tools necessary to create tailored solutions to the most common or unique challenges facing associations in today’s ever evolving marketplace. Jennifer became a Certified Association Executive (CAE) nine years ago. For the past two years she has volunteered as a council member on the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) Trillium Network and Vice Chair of CSAE Trillium Network Young Professional and Membership Committee’s.

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