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.