Trends in Professional Association Membership and Revenues in the United States: Smaller but Richer?
However, by many qualitative and quantitative indicators (e.g., statistics on employment in the meetings industry), US professional associations remain strong. Using tax filings for a stratified sample of professional associations representing various sectors of the labor market, I find evidence that the overall resources of the association sector have not fallen in direct proportion to membership levels. Revenue from non-dues sources, such as conferences, certification and training programs, and publications, grew to displace some of the revenue lost as professionals left their associations. I argue that the changing demography of membership associations and changes in the revenue sources that such associations rely upon may lead to professional membership associations that are less representative of the professions they serve, which may in turn affect their interest in advancing the professionalization of their fields.