At this point, I think we all understand the importance of non-dues revenue. But NDR isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of plan. What works well for some associations might not work as well for others.
If your organization is creating a brand new non-dues revenue program, or even refining an existing one, here are three questions to keep in mind:
1. How much will it cost me?
The whole point of non-dues revenue is to generate a profit. Sure, sometimes it takes money to make money, but the money you make should always be greater than the money it takes.
When putting together a non-dues revenue strategy, start by highlighting the amount of money you’re willing and able to spend. If your budget is low, perhaps you’ll want to start with something simple, such as a social media advertising plan or a sponsorship package. On the flip side, if your budget is high, perhaps you can afford to host a big event or create/sell some branded merchandise. Often, your budget will dictate the direction of your non-dues revenue strategy.
2. Will my members find it valuable?
We can’t emphasize this point enough. You may have spent hours putting together a brand new webinar, but if the topic doesn’t appeal to your members and/or potential members, registrations (and consequently, revenue) will fall by the wayside. So before you spend countless time and dollars executing a particular non-dues revenue technique, make sure it’s something your members will find valuable, and more importantly, won’t mind paying for.
3. Who will do the work?
Small-staff associations, take note. You may have the best non-dues revenue idea, and even the budget to support that idea, but if you don’t have the manpower needed to execute that idea, then it’s ultimately a no-go.
Now we don’t say this to discourage you. You can ALWAYS come back to that idea when you have more staff and/or volunteers. We only say this so that you’re aware of your resources and don’t get too deep in over your head.
That being said, if you really want to execute your idea now – even without the proper manpower – try scaling it down a little and giving it somewhat of a test-run. Who knows, this could make the real thing 10 times better down the road!
Want some more concrete ideas for generating non-dues revenue for your association? Check out our free non-dues revenue guide below!