Now is the Time to Map Out a Plan for Non-Dues Revenue


Membership dues are a big part of your association’s revenue, but it is important to keep those dues down if you want to attract more members. Utilizing non-dues revenue not only helps you to keep your membership costs attractive to potential new members, but it gives you the revenue you need to update your site and expand your staff.

Now is the time to start planning your non-dues revenue for the coming year and for well into the future. A good plan will help you to explore all of your revenue options and make certain that your association remains profitable and, more importantly, open for business.

SEE ALSO: How Recruitment Advertising Generates Non-Dues Revenue for Your Trade Association

Non-dues revenue can make your association profitable.

Why Use Non-Dues Revenue Methods In The First Place?

As your costs increase, you must find a way to offset those costs and keep membership dues down. You do not want to give current members a reason to consider leaving the association and you want to keep your dues competitive to bring in future members. Non-dues revenue allows you to maintain competitive dues, while still being able to meet the economic challenges that come with running a trade association.

Test Your Options

According to, some non-dues revenue generating ideas may not work equally as well for every association. For example, you may try webinars as a way of generating income because you read that it worked for other organizations, but they do not turn out to be profitable for yours. The key is to not be afraid to try new revenue generating ideas, but always test them and track the results to make sure that you are only using the most profitable methods.


With a little work and by leveraging the credibility of your association, you can generate revenue by offering certifications. goes as far as to say that offering certifications can contribute to making your association recession proof because of the consistent revenue it will generate. Along with charging for certifications, you can also charge for industry training and accreditations as well.

Holding Events is a trade association resource that recommends creating association events as a way of driving revenue. For example, your association could hold trade shows on the east and west coasts and charge for groups to present at your trade shows, along with charging attendees admission.


Your membership dues cover access to a large majority of your website, but you do not need to give all of your content away to your members for an annual fee. Time-sensitive content, for example, can be put behind a paywall and cost your members extra to access. Paywalls for premium content can be developed into significant income over time as the need for that type of content increases.

Your overall revenue will grow as you cultivate your non-dues money generating ideas.

Insurance Sales

Does your association offer life insurance to your members? If you partner with an insurance company to give your members access to insurance at discounted rates, then you can get a percentage of the sales revenue for your organization. suggests that the average trade association only takes in 39 percent of required revenue through membership fees. If you get creative, you can establish long-term, successful ways to exceed the remaining 61 percent and make your organization successful.

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