The natural course of life is that when people reach 30, they potentially are married, maybe have kids, a mortgage payment, and life circumstances that lead them to the point of thinking, "I might need some help from others who know more than me." Gen X is currently that generation in the 31 to 51 age bracket. Gen Y is just getting there.
Given this data, Gen X is who associations should be putting a lot of effort into recruiting. If you just look at raw numbers, membership should be stagnant, or dropping like many corporations, due to the fact that there are 9 million fewer Gen Xers than Baby Boomers. So of course, there should be a dip in growth given that there is an 11.5% drop in the raw number of potential members as a population. See the chart below with the various demographic groups (provided by KGC Direct, a nationally known demographic research company).
- Make a more aggressive push to provide value to the Gen X generation NOW, to recruit a larger portion of them, thus making up the shortfall from there being 9 million fewer of them than the "Baby Boomers" demographic.
- Build an awareness campaign towards the Gen Y generation, so that as they begin to enter the executive workforce in their 30's, they see value in joining the association.