Engage more members and deliver more value than ever before.

An engaged member is the best growth strategy of all


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!)
We at Sarah Sladek & Co have a proprietary process to scale growth and engage members. 
Here are a few of the many ways our approach to membership growth differs from any other consulting firm out there:


We leverage your association’s assets and uncover opportunities to increase relevance via new deliverables and expansion into new markets.


We identify obstacles to engagement and recommend strategies to foster member-centric cultures and deliver must-have membership value propositions.


We create a Next-Gen Engagement Diagnostic and cross-reference engagement behaviors with demographic, industry, and economic trends.


We take a ‘by the members for the members’ approach, engaging a diverse group of members to inspire buy-in and community-building.


Is your association using the right strategy?

Here’s how to tell. The following table explains the difference between an association relying on outdated membership engagement strategies, and an association incorporating a diversified growth strategy. 

Outdated Strategy

Diversified Strategy

Struggling to engage the participation of younger generations

Engaged, multi-generational membership

Largest percentage of revenue is generated
by events

Revenue streams are diversified with largest percentage from membership

Board of directors is not a visual representation of the community the association represents

All decision-making entities feature a cross-section of people with varying backgrounds, skills, experiences 

Leadership roles are reserved only for those people with considerable experience and credentials

Systems in place to actively engage the participation of new people and new ideas

Value proposition is unclear

Clear value and return on investment

Tradition and hierarchy

Innovation and collaboration

The association's mission isn't considered "must have" or critical to the betterment of an important purpose, cause, or call to action

Members consider the mission and a membership in the association valuable, relevant, necessary, and important

Learn more about Membership & Workplace Strategy.

Creating diversified membership growth is our firm's area of expertise. 

To stay relevant and valuable, associations must know with absolute certainty:


  • What their community needs and values; and 
  • What behaviors and deliverables will drive the organization’s future success. 

Our proprietary process delivers a strategy within three months, followed by nine months of coaching and accountability partnership. This ensures both immediate and long-term results.

Month 1

how do I engage members in my trade association
Project Kick-Off
Research Deep-Dive

Month 2

association members
Stakeholder Engagement
Strategy Development

Month 3

Strategy Reveal!

Months 4-12

association members
Group Guided Implementation and Coaching

This research deep-dive and diversification strategy development is ideal for those associations that want game-changing, member-centric strategies capable of drawing in new people and new ideas.

If your team wants to move forward quickly and grow a stronger, more relevant association, we're the best partner for the journey.

Membership Growth Coaching for Teams 

Give your team the tools to succeed  

For the associations seeking an opportunity to collectively develop a membership strategy and train their team on our proven approach, we offer two guided coaching options. 

Membership Growth Accelerator for Chapters

No two chapters are alike. In this team training experience, I guide 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 me 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, I guide 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 me 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

A Member Benefit With a Meaningful Mission

Help your members retain workforce talent

Proud partner of Associated General Contractors of California Center

Proud partner of the next gen workforce development initiative founded by Associated General Contractors of California Center

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.

Our Workforce Partner Program is ideally suited for those associations that have identified an urgent need to help members navigate change, retain talent, and eliminate turnover. At Sarah Sladek & Co, we offer a turn-key, customized training experience for your members. As a result, your association can deliver a much-needed member benefit and generate non-dues revenue!

Here’s how it works:


Our proprietary Workforce Assessment is sent to members. This helps us identify workforce gaps, trends, and challenges common among your membership. 


We develop a customized training experience based on Assessment results and the 6 pillars key to employee engagement outlined in Sarah’s book, Talent Generation.


The program is rolled out in three stages, engaging groups of executives, managers, and employees for the ultimate change-making, team-building experience. 

360-Degrees of Engagement

We research membership engagement trends, membership value, and what motivates a member’s decision to join.
We also research employee engagement trends, social shifts, and generational behaviors.
As a result, we’ve identified the traits common among organizations which successfully manage change and continue to engage people.
Our clients benefit from this people-first, future-focused perspective and next-gen intelligence

We have the unique ability to deliver the growth strategies organizations need now and to anticipate where and when their future growth opportunities are most likely to emerge.

In addition, we help our clients deliver a valuable benefit to their members via our workforce training programs.

It’s 360-degrees of value, relevance, and membership engagement. That’s the Sarah Sladek & Co difference.

Did You Know?

Our expertise spans engagement in membership organizations and workplaces. This is our firm’s unique skillset. Our services are based on my ground-breaking research and thought leadership in both categories: 



  • Authored the first book exploring the decline in membership and changing membership engagement behaviors titled The New Recruit.
  • Authored the best-selling book, The End of Membership As We Know It and Knowing Y, both which explored changing membership models and trends in membership engagement.
  • Consultant to boards of directors and associations worldwide.
  • Keynote presenter for the Association World Congress and leading association events throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia.
  • Founder and host of the web show, Save the Associations, which has been streamed in 34 countries.
  • Founder of Membership University, the first online curriculum entirely dedicated to delivering membership strategies and training.
  • Founded the nation’s first future-focused consulting, generational and employee engagement research firm, XYZ University.
  • Consultant and trainer to universities, hospitals, law firms, construction companies, and Fortune 500 companies including Ecolab, 3M, Kellogg, and Dyson.
  • Hosted the first talent development conference featuring best practices shared by 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).
  • Lead researcher and author of Why They Quit, Ready or Not Here Comes Z, and other employee engagement whitepapers.