For more than three decades, Baby Boomers were the workforce majority, and this generation remains the largest percentage of members in associations, as well. Then, in 2015, the Millennial generation became the workforce majority, and as the largest generation in history, they became the most studied generation. But what about X?  

Generation X is the sandwiched-in-the-middle, smaller generation that is often overlooked and remains one of the most difficult-to-engage generations. Their arrival marked the end of membership as we know it, becoming the first generation to question the relevance of associations and ask, ‘what’s in it for me?’ 

Raised to be self-sufficient, Xers didn’t have the same influences as Boomers and Millennials — two generations raised with community-building and networking influences, experiences, and mindsets.

As a result, the way Xers engage as members differs from Boomers and Millennials. They are more likely to need direct outreach to engage, to want short-term volunteer opportunities, and need to clearly understand how membership benefits and fits into their lives.

For too long, associations have assumed Xers are exactly like Boomers and will follow suit and join associations. This hasn’t been the case, and as the generation now moving into leadership roles, associations need to seriously consider how to engage X.