A series of benchmarking mini-surveys was launched in 2007, with topics based on the priorities of members. Those completed to date have been combined in a single report that includes the following topics:

  • Commercial and membership services
  • Financial Indicators and Ratios
  • Staff management and compensation
  • Events and sponsorship
  • Membership and recruitment

TAF Benchmarking 2009 – your priorities

Topics from the original list of priorities that have not yet been surveyed are as follows:

  • Strategy and Governance
  • Technology and working practices
  • Policy and representation
  • Outsourcing

We would like to know from members whether these are still of interest and in particular whether there are any additional priority topics that they would like covered. Please e-mail Richard Fairclough


Benchmarking enables trade associations to compare themselves on a variety of measures against peers in other associations and has been a core activity since the earliest days of the Forum.

Comprehensive benchmarking studies were conducted in 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2005/06 and involved measures based on standards such as the DTI ‘Model Trade Association’ document of 1996.

Benchmarking against these standards and the practices of other organisations meant that associations were able to identify areas for improvement and encouraged exchange of best practice with other associations. Over the years this has led to a considerable levelling up of standards.

Comprehensive benchmarking studies can be onerous and time consuming for members to complete and as members increasingly take on board best practice, they can be subject to diminishing returns. More important than comparing numbers is that trade associations should continue to exchange best practice ideas. The mini-surveys on single topics provide greater scope for open ended questions, comments and practical suggestions than is possible in a more structured questionnaire.

Download the Combined Report in pdf format below.

Subscribe To Our Monthly Newsletter

Get notified about the latest TAF news, invites to events and exclusive offers.