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For Associations: The Value of Non-Dues Revenue Programs

Non-dues revenue programs can greatly enhance the value of an association to its members in several ways:

- They provide tailored products & services that members cannot get on their own.
- By combining the buying power of association members, they can often offer products
  at a lower cost than the members could get on their own.
- Participating in more of the association’ products deepens the member’s relationship.
- The revenue generated by these programs enables an association to invest in other
  high-priority initiatives without having to raise dues.

Non-dues revenue programs are most effective when:

- They are based on a strategy of fulfilling the highest priority needs of the members.
- The products are specific to the needs of the members.
- The association proactively selects product providers based on the providers’ ability
  to meet member needs with the best product at the best price.
- The association is better able to get the best price by selecting one “exclusive” or a
  few “preferred” vendors in each category and delivering “plus” business to these

These programs are less effective when:

- There is no strategy to prioritize member needs before selecting the products.
- The products provided are more generic or less tailored to specific member needs.
- Selected products and vendors are based on “whatever comes in the door.”

Examples of more effective programs:

- Educational seminars on topics specific to the association members.
- Products specific to the association’s industry:

  • Online FNMA mortgage screen for an association of small banks.
  • Preferred airline sales program for a franchise network of travel agencies.
  • Export promotion programs on the association’s specific industry.

- Cross industry products:

  • Exclusive shipping programs for an association of manufacturers.
  • Exclusive payroll processing service for a network of B2B service firms.
  • Exclusive online security check product for a rental association.

Examples of less effective programs:

- Credit card with the association’s name on it.
- Shipping services with multiple vendors without preference, so minor discounts.

Sample economics of a non-dues revenue program:

- Online security check product:

  • “Retail price” - $15.00/check
  • “Member price” - $7.50/check
  • Of $7.50 price: $1.50 goes to association, $6.00 to vendor.

Contact us for keys to designing more effective non-dues revenue programs and other ways Van Allen Associates can help your association grow.

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