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Top Non-Dues Revenue Takeaways from 2022’s Non-Due$-a-Palooza

If the pandemic taught association professionals anything, it’s that there’s a growing need to diversify revenue by staying on top of new and creative non-dues revenue tactics and strategies.

What Exactly is Non-Due$-a-Palooza?

Formed about two years ago, Non-Due$-a-Palooza is the only community of content and events for the association industry that focuses specifically on non-dues revenue (NDR) generation. Today, it’s less practical to rely on events alone for NDR, which is why there’s such a need to explore and share new ways to generate this increasingly important source of income.    

A recent survey by the group asked association professionals just how effective their organization is at driving NDR: 55% said they were actively looking for new ideas to diversify their association revenue streams. In other words, it’s a hot topic.   

In addition to case studies and interactive pod exercises, the live Non-Due$-a-Palooza event recently held in Nashville offered such sessions as:  

  • Change Your Pricing Strategy 
  • Finding, Engaging, and Persuading the Right Corporate Decision Makers for Corporate Non-Dues Revenue 
  • Accelerating Digital Engagement and Monetization 
  • Creating Business Models as a Strategy for Sustainable Non-Dues Revenue  
  • Bringing on Business Development for your Association
The Take from One NDR Expert  

Higher Logic connected with member engagement strategist and NDR advisor Frank Humada to get his impressions of the meetup and see what he thought were the top takeaways our blog readers might benefit from as they too seek to expand their non-dues-revenue efforts.  

  1. Get Creative 

Which means taking a look at some of the assets you already have and viewing them with a new eye toward monetization. Speaker Deedre Daniel gave the creatively put analogy of her inner thigh fat as a metaphor for revenue. While she might not see value in it, Deedre mentioned others may find this as a valuable source of stem cells. What she’s saying is there’s probably content, areas on your site, or webinars you aren’t currently seeing as a source of revenue that could be offered as a sponsor opportunity. Advertisers want to be in front of your audience, and you can benefit from facilitating opportunities for them to connect with your audience and share thought leadership.  

  1. Just Ask

Since advertisers do want to get in front of your members, why not engage potential sponsors in a conversation and ask them what they want, what they would find valuable, and what fits in with their current marketing strategy? If you’re looking for new opportunities for sponsors, see what they’re interested in.   

  1. Sell Thought Leadership

Thought leadership is an opportunity for a sponsor to not necessarily pitch something, but to show your audience they have expertise and can provide value, as well as earn trust. From there, members can explore on their own if that sponsor can be of help. Even something as simple as changing the wording of “sponsor” to “partner” indicates they are more than advertisers, they’re an authentic part of and contributor to the community.    

  1. Don’t Book Conferences Too Far Out

A lot of associations have their host cities and facilities set for the next five years. Do you know what the future of meetings is going to look like in five years? Will that space be right to accommodate the kinds of experiences that may come along in the meantime? Yes, there’s the fear of having no place to go if we don’t book facilities early, but there will always be cities and convention centers that would love your business.   

  1. Think about Younger Memberships and Sponsorship Buyers

Gen Z is coming into the fold. They don’t do things the way they’ve always been done or see things the way they’ve always been seen. That means we can’t afford to resist change. Their expectations, especially where digital experiences are concerned, are much higher. Their preferences are different. Again, this is an opportunity to just ask them. Find out what they want a conference to be. What would make sponsors useful to them?    

There’s Safety in Revenue Diversification 

Having a high association membership is great. Dues-paying members are great. But sourcing NDR is absolutely critical to: 

  • Keeping the financial burden on members low 
  • Fully leveraging association assets with untapped value 
  • Attracting quality partnerships 
  • Powering even better events and content 
  • Generating the revenue to maintain effective association staff size 

We should always be looking out for new NDR opportunities, thinking creatively, and being bold enough to ask for larger shares of marketing budgets. In the end, this is just another way to better serve our members. 

Want more on NDR? Click here for more from Higher Logic

Beth Arritt

Beth’s marketing experience encompasses more than twenty-five years of marketing strategy and member/customer engagement in various industries, including puzzles and games, training, education and aviation.

In addition to marketing, Beth has worked in event management and web development, wearing a variety of hats in different positions. She has also been an adjunct professor of marketing at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia.

Beth received a Bachelor of Science degree in Merchandising from James Madison University, a Certificate in Event Management from The George Washington University, and a Masters of Business Administration/Marketing from the University of Phoenix. She has earned numerous awards for her marketing, including two Top Digital Marketer of the Year awards.