0.5 Potential effects of online access on society membership  (Page 7/7)

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Some of these benefits may be valued more highly by one class of members (for example, students will especially value scholarships and career services), and, to the extent possible, a society will want to correlate its membership types to the benefits they value.

Quantifying the potential effect of online access on membership

“Assessing Exposure to Online Licenses,” above, describes how a society might estimate the total number of members potentially “exposed” to online institutional site licenses. To refine its estimate of the likely effect of online site licenses on its membership base, a society can apply a successive ratio approach to determine the percentage of exposed members who will be susceptible to cancelling membership.

The table below shows an example analysis that identifies the percentage of a society’s members who value either one or both of two society benefits. This analysis assumes that the society cannot correlate more precisely which members value which benefit—a fairly typical situation.

Example analysis of at-risk membership

In the example, a society with 3,000 members has determined that 60 percent of its membership (that is, 1,800 members) may be exposed to institutional online site licenses. Of those members, the society estimates that 50 percent value a personal print subscription and that 70 percent attend the annual meeting. (This type of analysis can be extended to include all the benefit variables for which the society has meaningful data.)

Under the set of assumptions in the table, if the society assumes that an individual valuing either of the benefits would elect to remain a member, then only 15 percent of the exposed membership That is: (1 - 0.5) * (1 - 0.7) = 0.15 or 15%. —or 270 members—would be at risk of cancelling their membership (that is, only 15 percent of the members value neither of the benefits). If the society were to assume that only members who value both of the benefits would remain members, then 80 percent of the membership exposed to institutional online access—or 1,440 members—might discontinue their membership. That is: (1 - 0.5) + (1 - 0.7) = 0.80 or 80%. (Again, this analysis can be extended to include any number of variables.)

The above analysis ignores the role of professional identity and community affinity, discussed above, as a motivation for society membership. If a society were to assume that its members share the same motivations as those revealed in the ACLS and ASAE surveys (see the Reasons for Society Membership see figure 3), it might reasonably assume that 80 percent of its members would indeed value the intangible, affinity-based benefits of membership. In that case, only about 20 percent of the society’s membership would be “exposed” in the first place.

Although a society could calculate the direct economic benefit of a membership, adding up the financial value of the various discounts and other benefits of membership, a recent study indicates that such a cost-benefit analysis seldom motivates an individual to join a society. Dalton and Dignam (2007), 1. See also Tschirhart (2006), 526-528.

Mitigating the risk

Once a society has estimated the number of members at risk, it should develop a strategy for dealing with the potential member attrition. The society could anticipate a potential loss of members, increasing individual member dues and/or institutional subscription prices to offset loss in individual dues income. The feasibility of increasing dues or subscription prices will depend on the specific circumstances, financial and political, of the society. A society might also compensate for lost member dues revenue by increasing its return from other publication-related revenue streams, such as advertising, sponsorships, licensing, or rights and permissions. Alternatively, the society might explore revenue-generating activities unrelated to its publishing program, such as grant seeking and fundraising.

Rather than (or in addition to) adjusting dues and subscriptions, a society can take several steps to mitigate the risk to individual memberships. These include undertaking a marketing communication program to existing members, stressing the multiple benefits of membership in the society, and strengthening existing member benefits or creating new exclusive benefits of membership.

Obviously, the analyses above will only be as compelling as the data on which they are based. To the extent that the society’s risk assessment is based on analogy and multiple assumptions, it can only approximate the risk it might incur. Still, even such an approximation is preferable to speculation, which often reflects an unsubstantiated extreme of pessimism or optimism.

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brayan
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Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
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Tarell
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
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Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
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