Thursday, January 12, 2012

Is deflation impacting associations and nonprofits?

Over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed association members “pushing back” on the cost of membership, the cost of conferences and overall costs of belonging to the associations I’ve managed.

USA Today’s Money section (Monday) ran a lengthy piece on the negative impact of deflation ... makes me wonder if this is what is influencing our member attitudes?

Here are a couple of key quotes from the article:

  • “A growing number of economists and money managers are starting to worry about the opposite of inflation: deflation, a period of falling prices and declining incomes.”
  • “Other prices have been moving relentlessly downward, from refrigerators to stocks to houses and salaries. Economist A. Gary Shilling argues that many of the factors for deflation are already in place, and that people overlook falling prices because they are so focused on the items they use the most.”
  • “ In the meantime, everyone's looking for lower prices, either from one of dozens of deal sites, such as LivingSocial and Groupon, to low-price specialists such as Walmart, Target and Costco. "We have become obsessive to chase the lowest low prices," says Marian Salzman, trend-spotter and CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide.
Here's an analysis from Chris Kuehl of Armada's Business Intelligence Brief regarding the $20 billion increase in credit card debt in 2011:
  • "We know some things already. The most important for the retailer is that consumers are driven by discounts and sales and most now expect that there will always be another one right around the corner. It is going to be very hard to wean the consumer back to anything approaching full priced items."

Are  you seeing member push back on the cost of belonging to and/or engaging in your association?

How are you addressing member concerns about your pricing?

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