Associations, and other non-profits, sometimes don’t think of themselves as corporations. But, by definition of 501(c)3 status, they are in fact, corporations. A for-profit corporation would never proceed without a business plan, and an association should not either. Non-dues revenue is an important part of any associations bottom line, and when determining the source of this revenue stream, a business plan absolutely should be implemented. Our blog post about maintaining an association business plan is here.
The mission of your association is a driving force behind your business plan for increasing non-dues revenue. As stated in this Association Now article, “ By keeping mission top of mind, organizations can weed through potential areas of opportunity and focus on those that are most relevant to their members and other customers.”
Ask yourself, and your board, a few pointed questions as you develop a new or updated non-dues revenue plan.
- What do we do well?
- What industry knowledge do we have that we can share?
- What do we know about our membership?
As you fully answer these questions you will be able to define a plan. As you map this plan, don’t forget to think creatively! Offering career centers, licensing programs, or, affinity programs can be a great place to start. Remember, members will “pay more for commodities that satisfy discernible needs”.