Guest Author: Katie Bascuas, Associations Now
As associations face pressure to develop new and innovative revenue-generating products and services, the most successful ones are leveraging what they already know and do well—starting by keeping their missions and industry know-how in mind.
Associations have never relied on dues as their sole source of income. But with increased competition for their members’ attention from other associations and for-profit organizations, associations not only need to find the best avenues for recruitment and retention but also to think creatively about new programs, products, and services that will serve as additional revenue streams.
People are more willing to pay for commodities that satisfy discernable needs, such as books or conferences, says Steven Worth, consultant and president of Plexus Consulting Group. “In other words, if there’s a tangible relevancy to the service or product you want, you’re willing to pay,” he says.
Career centers, licensing programs, and affinity programs are some of the services associations are increasingly turning to for generating nondues revenue. One thing they have in common is their ability to leverage institutional knowledge about members and the industries the organizations represent.