4 proven strategies to increase revenue at your association

Are you looking for tried and true methods to maximize your association revenue? There are myriad options on how to increase profits, however, leveraging successful strategies at your organization guarantees increased revenue and delivers value to the member experience.  

Try out these four proven revenue boosters ​at your association:  

1. Offer more events to boost association non-dues revenue
Providing event opportunities is a fantastic way to improve the member experience and accelerate association non-dues revenue. But it’s not enough to simply add a conference or meeting to your event schedule—you want to ensure it will be a success. Here’s how:

  • Secure sponsorships. To financially support your event, try finding a company to sponsor the conference or meeting. Companies who decide to back your program do so for prearranged benefits, like increased brand exposure, discounted ticket prices, or speaking opportunities at the event. When you find event sponsors, you increase the credibility of your program, and you heighten event exposure through cross-advertising opportunities. 
  • Mobilize your volunteer group. Ask your volunteers if their employer would be a good event sponsor fit—or have them use their professional networks to discover a new sponsorship opportunity. Get your volunteers in on event promotion by providing marketing collateral like premade graphics, videos, brochures, and posters to help them advertise the event within their networks. To further generate interest in upcoming conferences or meetings, give your volunteers an event registration coupon code for promotions with other members.  

TECH TIP: With Nimble AMS, create event registration coupon codes to give to members or event sponsors. Customers apply the coupon code at checkout in the Community Hub to receive their discount. 

  • Invite non-members to your events. The Community Brands Association Trends Study found 57% of association members are more likely to attend in-person events if their friend or co-worker plans on attending. Consider hosting a non-member party to showcase the value of your association. Have your member volunteers personally invite co-workers or industry colleagues​ and follow up with personalized thank you notes. 

TECH TIP: Use Nimble Create to develop email templates to engage existing members and non-members. Easily create personalized and branded email content and automate campaigns to save staff time.  

2. Develop a learning program​ to increase association revenue
The Community Brands study discovered 41% of association members value training opportunities as one of the most important membership benefits. The study also noted that members early in their careers prioritize professional development and training opportunities by 58%. Developing a vibrant learning program will help you deliver value to the member experience and increase association non-dues revenue.  

Follow these tips to leverage your learning program:  

  • Recruit Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). To create industry-specific content for your association’s learning program, you’ll want to attract more SMEs to volunteer. Start by surveying your members to get a sense of their background and trade knowledge. After receiving the survey results, you can consider how best to utilize SMEs in your learning program. During this process, take steps to form a diverse and inclusive SME volunteer group. Recruiting a diverse group of volunteers strengthens your association by providing a wide perspective of opinions on industry matters. A diverse and inclusive SME group will help your association develop learning content to engage all members and positively impact your community.  

TECH TIP: Configure Nimble AMS by browsing from over 5,000 apps in the Salesforce AppExchange and find a survey solution to best fit your association’s needs.  

  • Supply a variety of content types. To take your learning program to the next level, you’ll need to ensure you offer engaging learning courses. Do so, by adding several types of content to your learning management system (LMS). Use videos, charts, games, slide decks, checklists, and interviews within your training courses to engage members and keep them coming back for more. 
  • Offer non-member pricing for training.​ Consider extending your professional development opportunities to non-members. Provide a non-member rate, versus a member rate, and show how non-members can save on training when they join your association. Opening professional development courses to non-members will provide countless revenue opportunities and will also encourage non-members to join your organization.    

3. Leverage a career center​ to generate non-dues revenue 
If you haven’t already, adopt a job board on your association website. Effective career centers attract new members, drive traffic to your website, and increase association non-dues revenue because employers must pay to post job opportunities.​ Further the effectiveness of your career center by following these steps: 

  • Host a career fair. Hold a virtual or in-person career fair for your members to network and interview with employers. Whether a member nails an interview, has their resume reviewed or gains valuable professional networking experience, career fairs add great member benefits. Employers will also pay to attend career fairs and meet with association members, guaranteeing you revenue.
  • Create digital and printed career center guides. Help your members get the most out of your career center by developing a guide. Include a section about career development, employer recruitment, and industry-required training. Allow employers to purchase ads in the guide.  

TECH TIP: Integrate Nimble AMS with Community Brands software, YM Careers, to help launch your members’ careers and increase association revenue.

4. Strategize about the membership cycle ​and auto-renewal options
Your association already has a set membership structure relevant to your members’ needs. However, strategizing about the membership cycle, when individuals renew and the types of memberships your organization offers, is a simple way to drive revenue.  

  • Consider auto-renewal options. Do your members renew on an annual (January 1) or anniversary basis (the month they joined the association)? Whenever your members renew, ensure they don’t lapse by offering an auto-renewal option. Auto-renewal helps with member retention rates and is a guaranteed way to boost association revenue. Also try offering other flexible payment options for members, like paying in installments or recurring payments to increase revenue.  

TECH TIP: When customers renew their memberships in the Community Hub, offer association merchandise, event sponsorships, and donation opportunities with the power of Nimble AMS and the Lightning Store 

  • Try different membership types. Offering different membership options is a simple way to increase association revenue by engaging individuals for longer membership terms. Consider a multi-year membership for individuals who pay their dues upfront. Your association could also try ​a subscription membership where individuals must pay monthly for member benefits and opt-out of the program or otherwise stay enrolled.  

TECH TIP: Nimble AMS offers superior solutions like Express Payments to manage your association’s multi-year or subscription memberships and streamline the billing process.  


Learn more

Do you still have questions about increasing revenue at your association? Look no further for answers— view our on-demand webinar: ​The dues and don’ts of pricing strategies

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