Survey Research for Associations

Clarus Research Group specializes in customized research, branding, and message development for associations. We understand the complexities and sensitivities of membership organizations, large and small. Our aim is to support and assist association staff and volunteer leaders with powerful research, fresh perspective, and broad experience. Our services include:

  • In-depth, one-on-one interviews with board members and key leadership.
  • Surveys of current, lapsed, and potential members based on representative, scientific samples.
  • Surveys of external audiences, including hard-to-reach decision-makers and market influencers.
  • Facilitation of the message development process.
  • Analysis of words and phrases to use –– and avoid –– in public communications.

Member Surveys

Associations have unique dynamics. Cookie-cutter “one size fits all” strategies won’t work. Associations must balance interests and bridge gaps among members, volunteer leaders, and coalition partners. Scientific polling by Clarus can help association executives find new members and better serve existing ones. We can test messages, initiatives, and policies. In-depth, one-on-one interviewing by Clarus taps into the knowledge of key staff, board members, and coalition partners. Our quantitative surveys produce clear, practical, and usable conclusions. Focus and dial groups by Clarus tell you which words and themes to use –– and which to avoid.

Association Branding and Market Positioning 

Branding research isn’t an academic exercise. It’s a dollars and cents imperative. How internal and external audiences perceive an association is critical to its success. That’s truer than ever as more groups compete for revenue streams and share-of-voice. Clarus Research is the starting point for successful branding. Our finely honed branding process is an opportunity for associations to implement strategic goals by developing coherent messages. Most importantly, Clarus branding is based on an open, participatory process that secures internal buy-in and builds trust among members, volunteer leaders, and staff.

Message Development Facilitation

Message development is a process –– and step one is research. Clarus has developed a rigorous and disciplined messaging process that cuts across organizational silos, builds consensus, and produces powerful core messages that work. Our message research and facilitation is based on varied experience with a strong track record of success in the association marketplace. We know how to collaborate with marketing, communications, and advocacy teams –– and how to bring staff and volunteer leaders together to craft and test the most effective messages for every possible situation. When it comes to association message development, nobody does it better than Clarus. Nobody.

Communication Audits

Are you sure your advertising works? Your website delivers? Your media messages break through? Are your materials, seminars, and conferences reaching the right audiences? Our communication audits are based on scientific surveys, one-on-one interviewing, and multidimensional media evaluations. They answer these questions with fresh objectivity and insight. A Clarus communications audit not only shows you how to reach members, media, and outside constituencies, they also save you money by identifying ineffective expenditures and ways to streamline your communications vehicles.

Grassroots Advocacy

There’s power in numbers –– and in your grassroots reach. Clarus helps organizations build strong political action programs by identifying messages that motivate members and by targeting members who are most likely to take action. We do Beltway Opinion Leader surveys to measure your association’s awareness and favorability among influential players. We conduct voter polls to test the public appeal of your group’s policy proposals. Clarus surveys are widely reported by major news outlets. Results from our nonpartisan voter polling on a range of issues are distributed among elected officials and political elites in Washington and state capitals across the nation.

Start Now

Contact Clarus for an initial discussion on how we can help you grow your membership, increase revenue streams, expand your influence, and strengthen advocacy impact.