Tips to Diversify Non-Dues Revenue

Associations have long found innovative ways to do less. Yet the economic impact from the pandemic has put unprecedented pressure on finding new sources to continue to deliver value to members. With traditional centers like dues, events, and sponsorships facing notable decreases, where can new resources be tapped?


1. Rethinking data around your member profile
How well do you define your member personas in terms of demographics (e.g. age,  education, geographic region, professional focus) and psychographic/behavioral (key motivators, preferred social channels, content consumption)? The deeper the understanding of your members the stronger the insight that will drive translate to both interest and action for new products and services. Make a commitment to develop 1 or 2 new offerings that you can launch with.

2. Expand digital advertising
Time to take a page from successful for-profit companies – email marketing and retargeting. Most associations have a built-in advantage – you have an email list of individuals that have chosen to hear from you. Once you have identified a new product or service to launch, promote it through an email, and through your website. Research shows it takes an average of eight exposures to a message to grab attention. The next step is to retarget visitors to your site and put your message in front of them on other social channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. This can be particularly effective in motivating members to reconsider registering for that can’t miss webinar or online networking event. It will also provide meaningful analytics to…

3. Open new conversations with current and potential sponsors
Armed with a greater understanding of your member's priorities, interests, and needs as well as your association-owned communications channels will help you evolve from conventional sponsorships to providing true brand partnerships. As a team, conduct a brainstorming session that identifies who your members are, what content motivates the strongest response, and blue-sky who may be interested in reaching them. Then filter by those most closely aligned with your brand and begin a dialogue where you develop the opportunity together. These partnerships can be an excellent source to develop premium content that can be marketed to non-members for an additional fee through…

4. Offering content subscriptions
This is the next-gen alternative to publication mailing lists. Creating tiered subscriptions via a password-protected website allows members an all-access pass where non-members can customize their choice of content. It also creates a more engaged pool of potential members. Especially in today’s environment access to highly relevant education, training, and networks is critical for professionals in every sector as is…

5. Developing and diversifying your workforce through a robust career center
One of the most popular searches is consistently related to employment, careers, and mentoring. Too often associations set up the career center, and except for posting new jobs, do little to update and create compelling content around what a career path looks like and requires. Do you showcase your mentoring program? Have you created a webinar series with leading experts? Are there other paid services you can provide to give job seekers an insider’s perspective?

Leverage expertise
Association Management Companies (AMCs) provide a wealth of knowledge, access to shared services, and innovative approaches that can augment and enhance your organization’s ability and capacity to increase revenue through added services and benefits to your members. Find out more here.