Non-Dues Revenue Strategies: Leveraging Content for Association Growth

By Marbella Miller • December 20, 2023

For associations and membership-based organizations, sustaining financial health often relies on diversifying revenue streams beyond traditional membership dues. Non-dues revenue (NDR) has become a critical aspect of financial sustainability, and an effective strategy heavily involves intentional and preplanned content development. In this article, we’ll uncover how associations can leverage content to boost NDR and ensure long-term success. 

Understanding Non-Dues Revenue (NDR): 

NDR is when income is generated by an association that is separate from membership dues. While membership fees and event revenue form the core of an association’s financial support, relying solely on those dues can limit growth, hinder the ability to adapt to changing market dynamics, and pigeon-hole organizations to other sources of revenue. NDR allows associations to supplement their budgets through various channels, reducing their dependence on membership dues. 

How Content Plays a Role in NDR: 

1. Educational Content and Webinars: 

Associations often own a wealth of industry-specific knowledge. By creating and monetizing educational content such as webinars, podcasts, online courses, and professional development workshops, associations can tap into a broader audience, including non-members willing to pay for valuable insights. 

2. Membership Communication Channels: 

Associations can generate NDR by offering exclusive content through publications, journals, webinars and podcasts. This may include research reports, industry insights, and thought leadership articles. Subscriptions or one-time purchases of these publications can contribute significantly to the revenue stream. 

3. Sponsored Content and Partnerships: 

Collaborating with industry partners and long-time, loyal members to create sponsored content is an effective way to generate revenue. Associations can offer sponsored webinars, podcasts, articles, or whitepapers, providing valuable exposure to partners while earning NDR. 

4. Virtual Events and Conferences: 

In the digital era we live in, virtual events and conferences have gained popularity. Associations can monetize these events by charging registration fees and offering virtual booths, premium content access, and securing sponsors for enhanced visibility. 

5. Online Marketplaces and Resource Libraries: 

Establishing an online marketplace or resource library where members and non-members can access premium content, like recorded webinars and podcasts, templates, and toolkits for a fee can be a sustainable source of NDR. 

Implementation Strategies: 

1. Member Segmentation: 

Tailor content offerings based on member segments, ensuring that each group of your membership  receives content relevant to their needs. This targeted approach enhances the value proposition, increasing the likelihood of NDR generation. 

2. Technology Integration: 

Invest in user-friendly platforms and technology solutions to facilitate easy access to premium content. A seamless user experience encourages higher engagement and increases the potential for revenue generation. 

3. Marketing and Promotion: 

Effectively and intentionally market and promote content through various channels, including social media, email newsletters, and association websites that is beneficial and valuable to both members and non-members. 


Incorporating content into non-dues revenue strategies is a dynamic and forward-thinking approach for associations. By leveraging expertise and industry insights, associations can create valuable content that not only engages members but also attracts a wider audience, driving sustainable financial growth in an ever-evolving landscape. 

About The Author

Marbella Miller, is a Director, Partner Development at Naylor Association Solutions and President of the Gainesville Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA). Email her at [email protected].