3 Ways to Increase Non-Dues Revenue for Associations

Like most businesses working to stay afloat post-COVID-19, three out of five associations have seen revenue decline, especially in non-dues revenue. This is particularly true for the revenue tied to large meetings, travel programs and other events, which were eliminated virtually overnight because of the pandemic. As the limits of your PPP budget run low,  the question remains…

How can my association increase non-dues revenue?

Generally, as an association you can generate revenue outside of a dues structure and can leverage non-dues revenue sources to your benefit. To get the most out of increasing non-dues revenue based on your mission, here’s three ways your association can thrive:

Go Where You are Needed

Listen deeply to your members. From hearing their pain points to observing shifts in their industry, go beyond the typical slicing and dicing of memberships by industry or size. Look for other areas of commonality and their surrounding needs, including skilled labor shortages, family-owned businesses, estate planning and leadership development. How can your association benefit them in their time of need? As you help them cover costs necessary to maintain their businesses, your association will quickly reap the rewards.

Redefine Affinity Plans 

Creating affinity plans, or discount programs that members can use to save money on things like office products or phone services, to increase non-dues revenue for associations is becoming more and more common. The idea is that the dollars saved with these discounts more than covers the cost of the membership. Some affinity programs are set up to bring dollars back to the association as an endorsement fee or sponsorship from the vendor who is offering the discount.

Many of these plans promote a “set it and forget it” mentality for members to encourage participation, but associations may not see revenue with this strategy. To be viable and helpful for your association and members, affinity type plans must be redefined with constant care, feeding and promotion. For your association’s affinity plan to work, it should be broad in its offerings to benefit real and current needs of members, and it must be built to scale so that it can serve every type of member.

Utilize Benefits Technology

One area where associations are finding success is among insurance/financial services and employee benefits. Products such as health insurance, worker’s compensation, professional liability insurance are some examples, but many leading associations are also offering things like home warranties, telemedicine, medical subscription services or pet insurance. With so many moving parts, benefits technology can really help an association. Benefits technology is an electronic platform that allows members — including individuals, business owners, employers or employees — to shop, purchase and enroll in the products and services that they choose. This can provide a broad range of product offerings while allowing the member the freedom of choice and the ease that comes with an online shopping experience, while benefiting your association in the end.

By implementing this powerful trio — listening, redefining and implementing a benefits technology platform — you can create a sustainable model for revenue in your association. This winning combination offers a long-term solution to increase non-dues revenue for associations, and Associated Benefits Consulting is leading the way for your association to thrive. Reach out to us today to schedule a demonstration to determine if this is right for your association.