August 17, 2015
Keeping your client in the green financially is an important task of every trade association and professional society executive. To meet this goal, a logical source of revenue is membership dues, but it’s good to think outside the box and look for other revenue streams. Non-dues revenue sources can generate additional income on top of what your association or professional society is bringing in from membership dues.
A recent survey of Kellen employees indicated that an overwhelming majority of our clients look to meeting registration fees and sponsorships as sources of non-dues revenue. In fact, 88% of those surveyed indicated that they collect meeting registration fees as a revenue generator for their client, and over 86% indicated they collect meeting sponsorships for the same purpose. While these are the more traditional means of non-dues revenue, there are other ways to increase profits for your client. Offering educational webinars, developing digital app sponsorships, and pursuing electronic book (eBook) publishing are just a few options that associations and professional societies can employ to boost revenue.
Webinars can be offered as a free benefit of membership and at a fee to non-members. Any associated administration fees can be further offset by offering member companies the opportunity to sponsor the webinars. In addition to being a potential source of revenue for your client, webinars can serve as a way to build credibility and visibility within your industry and can help foster new membership leads.
Digital App Sponsorships
Converting an association or professional society’s publications onto a digital app is becoming more in demand for a few reasons. First, the apps are portable, and allow for technical publications, manuals, or other resources to be easily brought to a job site via a smartphone or tablet. Also, these apps allow for the inclusion of features that printed publications cannot offer, such as embedded videos or readily-available updates. Digital apps can generate extra funds for your client, either through charging per download or selling sponsorships on the app platform.
Use of Kindle, Nook, and other e-reader devices is becoming more common, so converting your association or professional society’s publications to an eBook can prove valuable to your members and your client’s bottom line. Making publications available in an electronic format eliminates storage and inventory costs, frees up staff time previously spent on fulfilling orders, and provides the convenience of allowing publications to be downloaded instantly.
Because dues from new members and sponsorship fees are not guaranteed, finding new sources for revenue requires looking at what your client has to offer and getting creative. There are many ways to increase revenue for your client; you just need to look at what your capabilities are and determine what’s going to work best.