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Apr 4, 2024

Driving Non-Dues Revenue Growth Through Member Engagement


In today's competitive landscape, associations are continually seeking new ways to generate revenue beyond traditional dues.  With evolving member needs and the need for consistent cash flow, non-dues revenue has become a key focus for many associations. A great way to drive this revenue growth is through enhanced member engagement. 

By fostering strong member engagement, associations can unlock a powerful avenue for generating non-dues revenue, offering stability and flexibility. But how can associations effectively achieve this? Read on to find out.

Why Prioritise Member Engagement?

What exactly constitutes 'engagement'? Simply put, it's the extent to which members are actively involved in the association's activities and initiatives. This involvement can range from attending events and webinars to participating in forums or contributing to publications.

Beyond the immediate benefits of enhanced member satisfaction and loyalty - strong member engagement fosters a resilient and reliable revenue stream. Here's why:

  • Streamlined cash flow: Non-dues revenue generated through engagement isn't limited to peak periods like conferences. This provides a consistent cash flow, mitigating dips during off-season periods and ensuring smoother financial management.
  • Diversification and resilience: Reliance on a single income source can be risky. By diversifying through member-driven offerings, associations build resilience against external factors and unforeseen circumstances.

What fuels this Non-Dues Revenue Growth?

A successful strategy for increasing member engagement involves providing services or benefits that genuinely meet their needs. For offerings to succeed, they must deliver tangible value. This could include specialised training programs, industry-specific resources, or networking opportunities. As members recognise the value of these offerings, it becomes more likely that non-dues revenue will follow suit.

Providing value can be in the form of:

  • Developing educational content, webinars, or workshops that address specific challenges and interests of your members. This can be delivered online or in-person, catering to diverse preferences.
  • Facilitating networking events, job boards, or mentoring programs that support your members' professional growth. These services can be offered as paid services or bundled with membership packages.
  • Offering curated reports, research, or data analysis relevant to your members' industry. This valuable information can be offered as subscriptions, downloads, or bundled with other services.

Understanding Member Needs is the Key to Success

The foundation of successful member engagement and non-dues revenue generation lies in understanding your members' needs. Conduct surveys to gather insights into your members' needs, preferences, and challenges. This can be done through online surveys or even open-ended questions within your communication channels.

Then, utilise the collected data to identify gaps in existing offerings and unmet needs. This will help you tailor your non-dues revenue initiatives to directly address these gaps, ensuring they resonate with your members.

Challenges with Surveys

Be aware that associations struggling with engagement might face challenges with survey responses. Marketing departments, typically responsible for member communication and outreach, are best equipped to administer surveys and ensure effective engagement.

Alternatively, consider methods such as focus groups or online forums to gather valuable insights. While engaging all members is vital, associations with lower engagement rates can benefit significantly from this approach.

Delivering Value unlocks Revenue in Engagement

Driving non-dues revenue growth through member engagement is a win-win for associations and their members. By consistently delivering value and addressing members' needs, associations can foster a loyal and engaged community, paving the path for sustainable growth and long-term success.

Interested in seeing how online education might assist your member engagement? Take a look at our resources for helping associations embrace online education, and meet with us today to discuss your needs!

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