Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Potential non-dues revenue streams

If I were to offer you a 24 carat diamond ring for $5 what would you think? My guess is you would wonder what was wrong with it. Your members will do the same thing when you offer a quality product as a ridiculously low price.If you want to create a strong, sustainable association then you need to be generating income from as many sources as possible.
Consider revenue sources such as:
  • Training courses and workshops
  • Conferences and trade shows
  • Networking events and services
  • Third party programs (such as insurance deals that give your members a discount and you an income stream)
  • Online and hardcopy publications (including magazine advertising, directory listings, etc)
  • Consultancy services (including industrial relations advice)
  • Sales and marketing assistance
  • Merchandise
  • Referral fees
  • Sponsorship of your events and other activities
  • Advertising in your online and hardcopy publications
  • Fundraising
  • Grants
The key consideration when adding non-dues income streams is to ask the question – will this product or service help our members to be successful in their careers or businesses. If that link isn’t immediately obvious then you may wish to consider other services.Also, you need to leverage from each thing you do.
For example, if you run a conference you can generate income through delegate registrations, trade booths, sponsorship, sales of conference materials to those who didn’t attend, merchandise, sale of publications through a bookshop at the event, etc.

And don't forget to market your income producing products and services to non-members. It's a great way to get them engaged with your organisation with a view to becoming members. Of course, for any product or services being offered to non-members they should always be charged at a higher rate so they offer another opportunity to generate the surplus that enables you to deliver even higher levels of service!

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