Posted on Jan 25, 2023

Funding is vital for any organization, especially for member organizations and nonprofits. No matter the size of an organization, member dues alone will only go so far. Non-dues revenue is essential for your success and an important piece of any financial plan you implement.

Member dues are one way to generate revenue, and perhaps is the most obvious one. But there is another option out there to generate revenue for an organization, and that is through non-dues revenue.

Relying solely on members for revenue generation can lead to member burnout. By introducing non-dues revenue, an organization can avoid the pitfalls of a single revenue source, keep members from feeling taken advantage of, and weather fluctuations in the economic cycle.

Non-dues revenue can seem like an intimidating task, especially if an organization is new to the task. But there are some simple solutions for getting started on generating non-dues revenue.

Common Non-Dues Revenue Sources:

  • Donations: Asking for donations is always a simple way to increase revenue. At the same time, this one can often feel intimidating for many organizations. A solid donor engagement pipeline and strategy are vital for relying on donations.
  • Events: Special events can be a great way to increase revenue with ticket sales and other event perks. While there is more upfront work associated with this, those contributing to the financial success will get something in return by attending the event.
  • Sponsorships: A simple way to help boost your non-dues revenue is with sponsors, whether they are sponsors of regular activities or offers (publications, gifts, or sections of meetings) or are sponsors of events. They get more advertising and exposure and the organization gets a boost in funds; it’s a win-win!
  • Partnerships: Building strategic partners is a great way to increase your funding and can also provide many relational benefits as well. While these don’t happen overnight, they can actually be extremely beneficial in the long-term health of your membership organization!

Here are some tips to help organizations launch a successful fundraising campaign.

1. Association Management System Abilities

Collection methods might be one of the biggest hurdles for an organization. Does your association management software (AMS) have the ability to support and collect non-dues revenue through the likes of a storefront or donations module? A great association management platform will allow an organization to set up a storefront for simple “purchase” of any non-dues revenue sources. It should allow organizations to not only collect donations or monies through products in a store, but manage and monitor donors as well. With MemberNova’s platform, organizations can create several different campaigns or initiatives to collect donations. Any time you can remove barriers to payment, your organization can collect funds more efficiently and timely.

2. Target Market

No funding initiative can be successful without an organization thinking about who the best target market is based on a specific initiative. Target market is a term often spoken about in marketing circles, and getting the word out about a fundraising initiative does require marketing. One example of a target market is larger corporations. Organizations can set up sponsorships that these corporations can sign up for. Whether you’re pursuing donors, sponsors, or partners, you’ll want to think through if it’s a good fit within the target market for you - and for them.

3. Website Specific

Everything is online in today’s world. Organizations need to have a website that not only serves their membership, but can also have pages that serve an outward, public-facing need, such as pages about corporate sponsorships, events, and more. Specific landing page links can be helpful not just for your immediate initiative, but also for awareness about your organization at large.

4. Make the Ask

Don’t be afraid to ask for sponsorships or donations. If you don’t ask, you won’t ever receive. Don’t assume that members and the public know they can support your organization with non-dues payments. On top of that, even those you’ve told once will need to be reminded; remember most people are moving in thousands of directions each day. Spell out the opportunity and remind people regularly about this type of non-dues way to support your group.

Key Takeaways

Getting started on raising non-dues revenue can be easy with the right tools, thought, and marketing. Having an association management software that supports non-dues revenue collection is key. Beyond that, organizations have to think about who their target market is, have specific pages for each initiative or storefront on their website, and they must get the word out in other online venues.

We’d love to help you get started with the right tools! Our platform allows organizations to not only manage members and membership dues, but to collect other forms of revenue, ramp up their digital communication strategy, and so much more. Visit our website to learn more or contact us today!



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