Is Your Association Really Maximizing Its Non-Dues Revenue?

By Association Adviser staff • March 5, 2016

Five key questions to ask

Feb 2016 Webinar ImageIn our first webinar of 2016, Naylor’s Jon Meurlott, group vice president, and Laura Taylor, director of online solutions, discuss why working to preserve and increase non-dues revenue is important for associations. Throughout the webinar, Jon and Laura explain the importance of increasing your association’s non-dues revenue because many associations supplement their mission, finance lobbying efforts and fund certification programs, scholarships and student outreach from NDR. Non-dues revenue also provides a way for businesses to give back to the association members that support them, and to keep membership dues affordable.




Non-dues revenue (NDR) is about more than just advertising and sponsorships—it supports your mission, lobbying, continuing education and outreach. RealLilTweetables

Know the true value of your communications assets and the business objectives each advertiser is trying to accomplish. RealLilTweetables

Ask yourself five key questions about your association’s readiness to earn more NDR. RealLilTweetables


Jon and Laura walk viewers through these five key questions for maximizing non-dues revenue from multiple association communications:

Question #1: How does advertising support your association’s relevance?

  • NDR Relevance TriangleIt helps members stay on top of market changes and the latest products and services available.
  • Associations help bring advertisers and members together.
  • Advertisers want to be an active part of your association’s content (niche opportunity).
  • It creates a desirable opportunity for their business to reach your specific industry (target market).
  • The association, advertisers and members have an interest in fighting for their industry (all are equal).

Question #2: What’s your association’s worth?

To understand your association’s worth, begin by evaluating your current program:

  • Your association is the product, not the medium by which you communicate with members (magazine, website, etc.).
  • Identify gaps and opportunities with a communications gap analysis. Conduct research with surveys to uncover these gaps. (Survey your staff, board of directors, members and advertisers).
  • Build and develop a sales story in a competitive way that showcases why your association is a great investment.

Association Communications Strategy

Question #3: What do advertisers want, and how can your association deliver that?

How can your association address the needs of advertisers? How can you answer these needs successfully?

  • Define your advertiser’s goals and help them develop a plan.
  • Know what your readers are consuming by conducting research and by finding ways to incorporate suppliers into your content.
  • Use competitive analysis to determine how your association can help position advertisers to deliver the right content at the right price, on the right vehicles to the right audience.

Question #4: On which resources should your association focus its attention to increase non-dues revenue?

  • Association Non-Dues Revenue SourcesA passionate, hard-working team.
  • Quality lead sourcing.
  • Networking opportunities with sponsors and vendors at events.
  • Social media networking for lead sourcing and an opportunity to interact with members via a new medium.
  • Marketing and promotion of your association’s advertising opportunities, including the media kit.

Question #5: Is my sales team armed with the right tools?

Now that you’ve invested your resources, arm your team with additional tools, such as:

  • A sales story: Your association is the product.
  • Key selling points to answer, “What’s in it for the advertisers?” or, “What’s in it for me?” Associations produce a very niche communications product.
  • Sales essentials: Presentation, performance management, incentive programs, coaching and more.

By answering these five key questions above, you and your team will be well on your way to increasing NDR and supplementing your mission, lobbying efforts, certification programs, scholarships and student outreach.

Dive deeper into each of these tips by watching the full recording of our webinar and/or downloading the slides.