Guest Post: Suzanna Kelley, MBA, FAIA
If you skim through a few 990s, the business model of the association sector becomes quite clear. Member dues, conference registrations, sponsorships, and education and certification fees. For associations, these have been the major — if not the only — sources of revenue, driven by the needs of members and customers.
Today, the balance sheets and overall financial health of the association sector have fundamentally changed. Likewise, the needs of members and customers have shifted dramatically. And while many associations have long recognized the need to evaluate and challenge their legacy business models, few have actually tackled this bold and complex initiative.
I recently sat down with a few association executives from a range of industries and fields to discuss the current climate and its impact on the association business model. We talked about how associations are adapting in the almost real-time pressures of the current crisis and shared our visions for the future.