When your association’s member dues just aren’t cutting it in terms of a revenue stream, it’s always nice to have other sources of non-dues revenue to keep things afloat for your organization.
But what can you do when your non-dues revenue sources seem to run dry?
With dues revenue only making up about 39% of an association’s total revenue, there’s a large chunk of revenue that needs to be made up in donations, event fees, registration fees, and any other source of non-dues revenue your association uses. And when those revenue sources fall flat, your association may start to worry.
When your typical sources of non-dues revenue aren’t seeming to drive the same amount of money to your association, it isn’t cause for your association to give up on them completely. Yes, introducing new streams of non-dues revenue is always great, but there are ways to refresh and revive your current sources as well.
Let’s take a look at some tips to help give your non-dues revenue streams a kickstart and save your association some stress in the long run.
Tip #1: Start with an audit
Aren’t sure which revenue streams are the cause of your association’s headache? Before you start making any rash moves, it’s best you sit down and assess your options.
It can be dangerous to assume what the problem is with your non-dues revenue strategy. If you don’t take the time to do the proper research, you could be switching up methods that are actually working well for your association, and in turn leave behind the problem areas that need fine tuning.
In order to make sure this doesn’t happen, your association’s team should work on auditing each and every non-dues revenue stream in order to fully analyze what’s functioning and what isn’t.
Using your past revenue data, you can track your revenue streams and look for any dips in revenue. You can also look at other outside factors that may have a play in your revenue trouble, like member engagement, event attendance, member retention, or anything else your association sees fit.
Tip #2: Freshen up events
If your association’s annual events and conferences are a large portion of your non-dues revenue, it’s vital that you keep members interested in attending them.
But if you find your event attendance just isn’t what it used to be, you’ll also find your revenue suffering in direct relation. In order to make sure your events are able to pull in the same amount of income as you’re used to, you’ll have to work to freshen up your events.
There are many simple steps your association can take in order to do so. Proper email marketing and automation is one of them. If members aren’t getting the word about your events until it’s too late to schedule travel plans, they may be deterred from trying to attend. A proper promotional schedule can make sure members are aware of events well before they need to make plans to attend.
Similarly, you can also make events more interactive for members. People come to your association to be apart of something bigger and to feel like their voice matters. Give them the chance to make that happen by inviting them to partake in event activities.
In addition to inviting your event attendees to share opinions, questions, and comments with your association’s staff during events, you can also make events available online to those out of reach member who cannot attend. You can even monetize this stream, allow members to make donations for streaming, or collect revenue any way you see fit. Events have a lot more potential to bring in revenue than just registration fees and ticket prices.
Tip #3: Leverage your tech tools
Don’t let the stress of increasing your non-dues revenue let you forget about one of your biggest advantages: Technology.
Technology allows your association to open so many doors in terms of member management, communication, organization, and so much more. It’s a multipurpose powerhouse that can help you leverage much more non-dues revenue than you may expect. So, don’t forget to turn to your technology tools in times of a struggle.
For example, perhaps your non-dues revenue is declining because members find registering for paid services difficult through your association’s website. But by doing some research and utilizing better tech tools, you can create a registration form that is easy to understand and use, hopefully increasing the amount of members using this new technology.
Your association can implement updated technology into almost any pre-existing source of non-dues revenue. If you charge members for online services, try bringing in paid video seminars or 24 hour support chat. If you collect revenue through advertising on your website, offer companies a host of spots to advertise on a newly updated website that drives more audience traffic.
Tip #4: Listen to your members
Unsure why your non-dues revenue sources are failing? You may want to turn to your members for the answer.
Members are the key to success for your association. They’re the individuals who invest their time, energy, and money into your organization in hopes to gain something in return. And if they aren’t happy with what you offer them, they’ll stop funding the revenue sources that keep your association afloat.
With that being said, it’s essential to know your members’ preferences and thoughts when trying to rejuvenate your current sources of non-dues revenue. Making the time to check in with members, survey them on their satisfaction, and ask them how your association is performing can give you a better sense of where things need to be tweaked in order to appeal to your members and make more non-dues revenue.
Communication with members can also help your association come up with possible new sources of non-dues revenue to give a shot in the future. Never underestimate what you can come up with with just better communication!
Don’t let your current sources of non-dues revenue become dried up for good. Use our tips to bring them back to life, and possibly bring in more non-dues revenue than ever before.