Using Research to Develop and Implement a Five-Year Membership Enhancement Plan

Using Research to Develop and Implement a Five-Year Membership Enhancement Plan
Society for Neuroscience logo on a blue background


The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) first sought McKinley’s expertise in 2006 to conduct a comprehensive research project and create a five-year Membership Enhancement Plan. The nearly year-long research project included a series of eight focus groups, an electronic survey achieving a 27% response rate, a comprehensive environmental scan and a benchmarking study. In total, more than 9,300 neuroscientists participated in the research.


McKinley developed an actionable plan revolving around five primary goal areas, which SfN has implemented and credited in large measure for its growth from 36,000 to over 42,000 members.

In 2010, SfN asked McKinley to refresh, update and validate their research and the five-year plan that began in 2006. McKinley was selected in a competitive RFP process and again worked collaboratively with SfN’s volunteer Member Survey Advisory Group to gather actionable insight from its growing base of current and prospective members. Response rates eclipsed the 2007 study and SfN was able to identify how actions implemented in the Membership Enhancement Plan impacted member satisfaction and value.

“What ensured the success of this project was McKinley’s willingness to immerse themselves in our field to the point where they were comfortable interacting with volunteers and staff at a high level. This commitment to detail ensured that the research was tailored to our field. The result was a plan with recommendations that were actionable and grounded in reality.”
Marty Saggese
Executive Director