Association Polls

How Will Your Association Earn Non-Dues Revenue?

By Association Adviser staff • October 6, 2014

What is your association’s fastest-growing source of non-dues revenue?

Non-dues revenue (NDR) is both a blessing and a worry for association leaders. In 2013, more than five out of six readers told us that NDR accounts for at least 25 percent of their annual revenue stream. For 22 percent of our readers, NDR makes up more than half of their overall revenue. NDR provides needed funds for operating expenses and special projects, but it can be a fickle source of income whose margin and origin changes year to year.

In 2012, a plurality of readers told Association Adviser that conferences and events account for the largest chunk of their non-dues revenue, followed by corporate partnerships and affinity programs, and education and training. Checking in again via reader poll last fall, we learned that events and corporate partnerships had both declined in importance as a revenue source for many respondents, while advertising dollars from publications had increased in prominence. And this past spring, association leaders from varied industries told us that sources such as annual conferences, industry certification programs, and online classes are becoming more reliable sources of extra association income.

We’re curious if these sources of income are still the top revenue generators, or if other sources, perhaps boosted by forward strides in technology, have taken on more importance for association income. What is your association’s fastest-growing source of non-dues revenue? Contribute to our poll on our website.