Business » New Report Suggests Prioritizing Non-Dues Revenue for Associations

New Report Suggests Prioritizing Non-Dues Revenue for Associations

New Report Suggests Prioritizing Non-Dues Revenue for Associations

In 2023, associations are grappling with a significant paradigm shift, as revealed by the Naylor and Association Adviser’s 2023 Association Benchmarking Report. For the first time in its 12-year history, survey respondents identified “generating non-dues revenue” as their foremost challenge, signifying a pivotal moment in how associations prioritize their daily hurdles. This shift underscores the growing recognition of the crucial role non-dues revenue plays in ensuring the financial stability and future growth of associations, allowing them to deliver ongoing value to their members.

Non-dues revenue has transformed from supplementary financial support to a fundamental component of associations’ financial strategies. It not only covers essential costs like operational expenses and staff salaries but also facilitates investments in new programs and technologies. Conversely, a deficit in non-dues revenue can lead to budget shortfalls, compelling associations to make tough decisions such as cutting back on educational programs, networking events, advocacy efforts, or industry research, ultimately impacting member satisfaction.

The primary obstacles hindering associations from generating more non-dues revenue include being understaffed and having limited resources, with 55% of respondents expressing understaffing in advertising and sponsorship sales teams. To overcome these barriers, associations are increasingly turning to strategic partnerships and outsourcing. Notably, 23% of respondents reported outsourcing advertising sales, indicating a growing trend.

While human resources are critical, the report emphasizes the importance of leveraging technology for customization. Platforms such as data management, marketing automation, and content management are being adopted to provide personalized experiences for member subgroups. However, the potential of customization for financial supporters is largely untapped, with only one in 10 associations offering fully customized packages for advertisers.

The 2023 Association Benchmarking Report reflects a crucial shift in association priorities, highlighting the newfound emphasis on non-dues revenue generation. This underscores the importance of financial diversification and stability for associations as they navigate the evolving landscape, demonstrating a commitment to investing in the successful future of their organizations and industries.

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