|4 Steps to a Sustainable Nondues Revenue Program
- 10/15/2014 -
4 Steps to a
Sustainable Nondues Revenue Program
You can think of
numerous ways to increase your bottom line beyond member dues, but the best
ideas are scalable and repeatable.
By DJ Muller
According to The Center for Association Leadership‘s most
recent Operating Ratio Report,
although membership dues remain the largest source of association profit,
associations are actively seeking ways to increase their nondues revenue
streams. Put simply, associations can no longer rely on membership dues, as member
growth and retention challenge their success every day.
The key is to remain relevant, while at the same time
keeping dues down and revenue up. Sounds tricky — however, there are several
ways that publishing associations can design a sustainable nondues revenue
program that increases the bottom line. Here are four steps to help you get
communicate your offerings. Make sure to include information about your
programs in new member packets and include statistics, quotes, and testimonials
so that your newest members can envision themselves using the additional benefits
that you are offering. In addition, take the time to target to your tenured
members strategically. You can use your association management software to
segment members and subsequently market specific non-dues programs to each
Typical nondues revenue programs include event sponsorships; magazine and
e-newsletter advertising; hosting conferences, seminars, and workshops; and
exclusive members-only online advertising. If you are ever in need of new
program ideas, conduct a survey to ask members what kinds of programs they
would be interested in.
- Plan and
distribute based on analytics. Once you have selected the types of nondues
revenue programs that will create the most value for you and your members, design
a communication plan that appeals to your target audience.
Gather current data to identify your audience’s social demographics and
check your web analytics and AMS system for information. This will help you
identify which communication channels to use when spreading the word about your
nondues programs. If you have the resources available, consider hiring someone
to manage your program communications so that you avoid duplicating content and
keep messaging consistent. If your staff simply does not have the time,
sometimes it is better to outsource your nondues revenue efforts.
on promised value. The single most important element is ensuring that you
deliver on the value promise to those members who invest in your program. Make
sure that your material is top quality, measure and track the savings or value
participants receive on a regular basis, price the program right, always be
grateful, and take the initiative to follow up with members regarding the
perceived value of their program participation.
- Renew or
rethink. Nondues revenue programs that are repeatable and scalable are
generally more profitable in the long run. Each quarter, evaluate your nondues
revenue programs to ensure that they are not only adding value for your
members, but also that they are sustainable for your organization.
Is the program meeting member
needs? Are your members content with the value they are receiving? Is the programing
losing money, breaking even, or increasing revenue? These are the types of
questions that need to be answered when digging in and assessing the
performance of each of your programs.
To continue creating value and enhancing the experience of your
members, think outside the box and find new ways to generate revenue. Remember
to use the information and resources that you have at your fingertips to create
programs that appeal to the interests of your target audience. Take the time to
measure and record the value that these programs deliver to your members, as
well as your association. Nondues revenue programs provide nonprofit
organizations with a great way to increase their bottom line as long as the necessary
implementation and evaluation steps are put into place.
DJ Muller is president
and founder of WebLink International. For more on how to grow your association with nondues revenue, download
WebLink’s free eBook, 4 Easy Steps to Grow Your Association with Non-Dues Revenue.