For associations, the recurring revenue that comes from dues is invaluable. However, relying solely on those dues can be a costly mistake. In fact, on average, half of an association’s revenue comes from non-dues sources. That means if you haven’t found a way to supplement those monthly payments, you may be missing out.
It can be easy to think of spammy sales tactics when you consider generating revenue. However, there are many ways to make money while also benefiting the members you already have. Here are a few tips for generating non-dues revenue for your association.
Host Sponsored Events
An event can be a fun way to bring your members together, while also including other community members. Local business owners will likely love the networking opportunities available at a fundraising event. Have fun with it by turning it into a dancing stars fundraiser or hosting a game tournament.
If you feel you’d have more luck networking with others in your industry, a conference might be a better option. Make sure you pack it with informative sessions that people will be eager to attend. If it’s a success, you can make it an annual event.
One great way to bring in revenue without inconveniencing your members is to sell sponsorships. If you have directories or program guides, you can easily sell space to local businesses. The businesses will be glad to get in front of your members and your members will likely get access to special discounts offered by your advertisers.
You can even utilize sponsorships for your digital advertising efforts. Sell sponsorships for your email newsletters, podcasts, or YouTube videos. It may be more beneficial to sell space on your association’s blog or website to relevant businesses, both locally and outside your area.
Sell Branded Merchandise
If your association has a logo, you can monetize it on products like T-shirts and coffee mugs. Not only do these items help you generate revenue, but they also serve as great promotion for your association, especially if your members buy and wear them.
After an initial test run, have your items printed in bulk. You’ll find you can sell them at all of your events, as well as having them on hand to give out as prizes. You can even have your nonprofit logo on bottled water and sell it at events for a small profit.
Host Training Seminars
The most valuable asset you have is your own experience and knowledge. Host training seminars to teach others how other associations can improve their own processes. Lunch and learns are great for gathering professionals in an informal setting.
Don’t feel that you have to line up speakers and workshops. You can simply invite other experts to share their own experiences for a small fee that includes lunch. If you set these up as monthly sessions, you can even charge a higher fee to pay expert speakers to come in.
As you work to boost your association’s annual revenue, think of ways beyond membership dues. Although expanding your membership and bringing in more money that way is an option, sponsorships and events can give you the breathing room you need as you grow.