Did You Know? Associations Rely on Conferences, Partnerships and Continuing Ed Programs for Revenue

By Association Adviser staff • October 25, 2017

This month, we asked readers what their most valuable sources of non-dues revenue are. The results were predictable but also surprising:

Most Valuable Source of NonDues Revenue

Based on live events holding the No. 1 communication channel spot in our Association Communications Benchmarking Study since 2011, we were not surprised to see that the largest percentage of respondents (41 percent) said conferences and events are their most valuable source of non-dues revenue. Annual, semi-annual, or regular events throughout the year are not only a solid way for associations to keep in touch with members but to earn money for further programming through event fees.

However, we were surprised to see that no one reported valuing advertising in publications as a solid source of non-dues revenue. Considering that virtually all associations have at least one form of a planned, regular member publication – an eNewsletter, a magazine, a member directory or roster, a website – even paper newsletters distributed through mail or events – there is ample opportunity for associations to reserve some space in those publications for advertisers to pay for the privilege of reaching their membership. If you find your association in this position of publishing member communications but not capitalizing on them revenue-wise, it might be a good time to re-examine their format and reimagine these publications with sponsor messages or display ads that are relevant to your industry and your members’ needs.

Rounding out the slate of poll answers were corporate partnerships and affinity programs (24 percent), continuing education/training (24 percent) and donations (12 percent).

Did we miss a significant revenue source upon which your association relies? Let us know in the comments below.

Interested in learning more about revenue opportunities in your publications? Contact Naylor for a custom assessment and a wide range of non-dues revenue opportunities.