3 Ways to Put the Pep Back in Your Non-Dues Revenue Step

Tirrah Switzer

October 12, 2018

    Member dues are the foundation of your association’s finances, but a diversified revenue portfolio is a vital part of any growth strategy. You probably kissed a lot of non-dues program frogs before you found what programs worked for your association. But, now the challenge is to keep the dollars coming in. Here are three ideas to keep your non-dues revenue from going flat.

    #1. Implement flexible payments.

    Today, consumers have a variety of payment options for most of the items we use daily. We can easily schedule our monthly bills to be paid online and can even make installment payments on Amazon orders. Everywhere around us, vendors offer flexible payment options. So, why shouldn’t your association?

    With flexible payment options, your association most certainly should see an increase in non-dues revenue, while your members have easier options to engage with your organization. Let’s touch on two flexible payment options:

    Installment payments can make product offerings seem more affordable to members. An immediate investment of $1,000 versus $250 a month for four months could be exactly what your member needs to register for that education course.

    Scheduled payments enable your association to receive a payment commitment from members when you have their attention. Scheduled payments offer your members the flexibility to make a commitment to an event sponsorship when you ask in Q1, but schedule the payment for Q2 when their accounting department is expecting the expense.

    #2. Ask your members.

    Your members are most likely your main contributors to your non-dues revenue steam. When was the last time you asked them about your offerings? What do your members love? What do they wish was different? The Community Brands Digital Member Study found that what members said they wanted and what organization staff thought members wanted was significantly different.

    An easy start to finding out what your members think is a survey. Of course, you don’t have to go the route of a traditional survey. Has your association used social media for feedback? Try a Facebook Poll, Twitter Poll or message through Facebook Messenger. Posting in your online community is another communication avenue you can easily execute through your AMS. Maybe you have an event or annual meeting approaching at which you can gather feedback. Whatever avenue you use, the most important thing is to not assume – ask your members. What met members’ expectations last year or the year before might not be what they expect now.

    #3. Re-evaluate and refresh.

    Take an audit of your non-dues revenue sources and see what your trends are. What are your highest grossing non-dues revenue sources? Is it your job board, event attendance or maybe continuing education courses? When do your sources of non-dues revenue occur? Are they all clumped together in a part of the year or are they spread out throughout the year? Don’t forget to also review your lowest grossing non-dues revenue sources and their schedule.

    After you pull together this data, you’ll be able to map out your non-dues revenue sources, timeline and trends over time. Layer member feedback on your grid. Armed with your evaluation and feedback, you’ll be able to begin refreshing your non-dues revenue stream. You can do more of what’s working in a month without a source of non-dues revenue or maybe even start something new that your members just told you they desired.

    Continuing to boost non-dues revenue is an ongoing opportunity for most associations. Trying these three tips can put the pep back in the step of your non-dues revenue.

    Learn how Nimble AMS supports flexible payments and more to help improve your association’s revenue stream.

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