Got the Non-Dues Revenue Blues?

Association Research Board's Q4 2016 Survey shows only one in four association executives describes her revenue-generating activities as “highly successful.”


With membership and dues revenue dwindling by the day, why do most association executives accept lackluster results from non-dues revenue-generation programs?


Writing for Associations Now, Katie Bascuas says it's in large part because association execs worry about loss of non-profit status. They worry that straying afield of the association's mission might bring down the wrath of the IRS.


But that worry's misplaced, as case studies prove. It hasn't deterred:


AARP, which hawks health, life and auto insurance plans, and now runs a full-service marketing agency, Influent50.


American Nurses Association, which runs a lucrative medical publishing operation.


PMMI, which recently purchased a trade publishing house and now produces magazines and journals for the packaging industry.


Career centers and licensing programs are some of the other non-dues-generation activities associations are embracing, Bascuas says.


But the challenge association execs face is "convincing staff and leadership to try a new approach."


Association execs do themselves no favor when they neglect to discuss non-dues revenue with their boards.


As the Association Research Board's survey shows, one in four executives never discusses non-dues revenue-generation with her board.

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