So Much More Than a Show


Save the Association is a web show featuring interviews with association executives worldwide, sharing their insights and best practices on how to engage members, plan for the future, and remain relevant in a rapidly-changing marketplace.

The show is hosted by Sarah Sladek, a best-selling author and thought leader on the subject of membership.


The featured interviews for the show have included CEOs and senior executives of:
AASA: School Superintendents Association
American Institute of CPAs
American Medical Student Association
American Nurses Association
American School Counselor Association
American Society of Civil Engineers
American Water Works Association
ASAE, The Center for Association Leadership
Associated General Contractors of California
Association of Association Executives
Association of Young Americans
Association for Supply Chain Management
Australian Tourism Export Council
Australasian Society of Association Executives
Automotive Industries Association of Canada
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Canadian Medical Association
Canadian Society of Physician Leaders
College of Family Physicians of Canada
Council of State Restaurant Associations
De Nederlandse Associatie
Dubai Association Centre
European Construction Industry Federation
International Society for Technology in Education
National Association for the Education of Young Children
National Association of College and University Business Officers
National Association of Elementary School Principals
National Association of Home Builders
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Grocers Association
National Honor Society and National Student Council
National Institute of Building Sciences
National Retail Federation
Ohio Society of CPAs
Recruitment, Consulting, and Staffing Association
Society for Human Resource Management
Society of College and University Planners
United Nations Association of the United States
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
World Travel and Tourism Council

Host & Founder, Sarah Sladek

Sarah started researching membership trends in 2002. She has authored three books for the American Society of Association Executives on the membership topic and has been a consultant to associations globally.

Realizing the need for information-sharing and collaboration among membership professionals globally, she founded Save the Associations to encourage community-building and peer learning opportunities. 

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“The future you want for your association is within reach, but you’re not going to get there by using the same strategies that have been used for the past several decades.” - Sarah Sladek

How It All Began

What started out as a campaign to engage younger members has morphed into something larger and more urgent than we ever expected.

Membership decline among younger generations was first identified as a trend in 1994, and gained considerable momentum in 2016. Associations everywhere were questioning their value propositions, relevance, and futures, and some were taking considerable hits in revenue or forced to close their doors.

Emboldened to help the associations struggling to engage the next generation of members and ‘save’ them from continued decline, our team filmed a video in 2017 with a call to ‘save the associations’.

In the years that followed, the effort gained momentum. We released an ebook featuring case studies and best practices, and launched the first episodes of the Save the Association web show.

The show and our audience have expanded considerably since then, but the purpose has remained the same.

Through the sharing of best practices and community-building globally, it is our hope we can fuel meaningful conversations and discoveries, and help associations remain future-focused and relevant and successfully pass their legacies and missions on to the next generation.

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