An engaged member is growth strategy

The Strategy Your Association Needs Now.

For associations of all geographies, types, and sizes, membership has steadily declined for the past 30 years. But why?

Sarah Sladek has researched the significant societal changes which have taken place during this time, and how each shifted the value of membership and what members want and expect from a membership experience.

In addition to membership engagement trends and behaviors, Sarah has researched the leadership and culture traits common among associations which successfully manage change and continued to engage members.

As a result, Sarah Sladek & Co trains and coaches association leaders on the ‘must-have’ areas of strategy development they need to succeed in today’s marketplace.

Whether your association has a small team or a network of leaders globally, Sarah Sladek & Co has training solutions to help you learn and successfully implement these strategies and achieve consistent membership engagement and growth.

A Membership Strategy That Gets Results

Survey and Assessment Tools

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. And you’re definitely not going to get there if the strategies only exist in a three-ring binder stuffed in a drawer somewhere!

Sarah Sladek & Co has a proven process to scale growth and engage members. We use our proprietary process to deliver the game-changing strategy and guidance associations need to achieve immediate and sustainable membership growth.  

Here are a few of the many ways our approach to membership growth differs from any other consulting firm out there:

  • Diversified: We identify ways to leverage different skills, technology, and knowledge to create a member experience that is meaningful and valuable. Our process uncovers opportunities to foster relevance via new deliverables and expansion into new markets.
  • Member-Centric: Many associations unknowingly foster cultures and launch strategies which dilute the value of membership. We identify the gaps and recommend strategies to foster member-centric cultures and must-have membership value propositions.
  • Future-Focused: As associations plan for growth, a critical step is to consider who and what is coming next. We take the additional steps of creating a next-gen engagement diagnostic and cross-referencing membership data with demographic, industry, and economic trends.
  • Grassroots: Our strategic planning efforts engage a diverse representation of people from throughout your membership community. Throughout the process we glean their insights and inspire their participation, then collectively launch a grassroots campaign.

Clients who implement our customed growth strategy can expect membership and revenue growth within 12 months of hiring us. And our strategies continue to yield results because they become part of our client’s organizational cultures.

Our Roadmap to Growth

Month 1

Project Kick-Off
Research Deep-Dive


Month 2

Stakeholder Engagement

Strategy Development

Month 3

Strategy Reveal!


Months 4-12

Group Guided Implementation and Coaching

Membership Growth Coaching for Teams

Membership Growth Accelerator for Chapters

 No two chapters are alike. In this team training experience, Sarah Sladek guides a group of chapter leaders through the membership strategy development process.

Via regularly scheduled coaching calls, video lessons, and tasks to complete prior to the coaching calls, leaders will receive the step-by-step training and tools they need to develop a strategy for their chapter’s growth.

Learn valuable strategies from Sarah and also glean insights and best practices from the other chapters going through the team training at the same time.


For chapter leaders – each representing different chapters affiliated with the same organization – who want to develop a customized growth strategy for their chapters and receive training on membership strategy development.


6 months of coaching calls + online learning + team tasks

Membership Growth Accelerator for Teams

Learning by doing is an effective means for change. In this team training experience, Sarah Sladek guides a team through the membership strategy development process.

Via regularly scheduled coaching calls, video lessons, and tasks to complete prior to the coaching calls, the team will receive the step-by-step training and tools it needs to develop a strategy for the association’s growth.

Learn valuable strategies from Sarah while also team-building and inspiring momentum as you partake in this meaningful change experience together.


For teams – staff, board, volunteers, or a mix of roles – all affiliated with the same organization who want to co-develop a customized growth strategy and receive training on membership strategy development.


6 months of coaching calls + online learning + team tasks

Workforce Training

A Member Benefit With a Meaningful Mission

Long before the pandemic, workforce challenges were apparent. Record-high employee turnover and record-low employee engagement. Skills gaps. Retirement waves. Difficulty engaging younger generations of talent. Managing remote teams.

For the majority of your association’s members and member companies, work just isn’t working anymore. Your members are seeking solutions to these pressing challenges, and they expect your association to help.

We have the answer.

Your association could spend valuable time and resources trying to find viable education and training options or you could use a turn-key, proven education provider and subject matter expert.

Alongside trends in membership engagement, Sarah Sladek has studied trends in employee engagement since 2002 when she founded the nation’s first future-focused consulting firm, XYZ University.

In addition, Sarah’s workforce-related work includes these achievements:

  • Consultant and trainer to universities, hospitals, law firms, construction companies, and Fortune 500 companies including Ecolab, 3M, Kellogg, and Dyson;
  • Founded the nation’s first talent development focused conference, the RockStars@Work Conference featuring speakers from DreamWorks Animation, General Mills, Cargill, Quicken Loans, Best Buy, Target, and more;
  • Named a Talent Economy Influencer by Talent Management magazine;
  • Author of Talent Generation: How Visionary Organizations are Redefining Work and Achieving Greater Success(2017).

We offer two options for getting your members the workforce education and training they so urgently need:

  • Hire Sarah to present on a workforce-related topic


  • Align with us to roll out a workforce training program

Family + School Partnership
Member Benefit + Non-Dues Revenue = A Win-Win Opportunity

The Workforce Partner Program is ideally suited for those associations who have identified an urgent need to solve the industry’s talent crisis and want to help their members navigate change, retain talent, and eliminate turnover.

Sarah Sladek and Co offers a truly turn-key training experience to deliver valuable workforce training to your members.


Here’s how it works:

  • Our proprietary workforce assessment is sent out to members in advance. This is a short survey which helps us successfully measure the workforce gaps prevalent in your industry
  • The assessment and corresponding training is based on the 6-core pillars identified as key to employee engagement and talent retention in Sarah’s book, Talent Generation.
  • Assessment data is referenced when we customize our programming, and cross referenced with additional demographic data points to pinpoint specific gaps within talent segments.
  • The Partner Program is rolled out in three stages over the course of 12 months, engaging leaders, managers, and entire teams in succession, and ending with a celebratory event at the conclusion of the training.


Building the Workforce: Sarah Sladek and XYZ University Announce Training Partnership With Build California


We’re pleased to announce XYZ University is a key partner for the Build California initiative launching this month. Led by Associated General Contractors of California, Build California is a comprehensive workforce development initiative created to inspire, engage, and activate the next generation of California’s construction workforce.




Using the production and technology suite managed by my team, Kaleidoscope is a virtual platform helping your organization lead the conversation and engage with your client base at a much deeper level during the crisis. We chose the name Kaleidoscope, because it is about bringing the diverse group of organization stakeholders together in one space. Allowing members and stakeholders to reflect and share their experiences helps to identify needs, while helping the organization to be more inclusive and transparent.

In this rotating ever-changing environment, Kaleidoscope is a new way for non-profit leaders, members, stakeholders, and your volunteer leadership to come together and discuss specific topics and share best practices to bring leadership and membership voices together in an innovative way that positions Sonabank as leading during this crisis.

We take a turnkey approach to, Leading the conversation for you during the crisis.