With strategies as varied as attracting new sponsors to revamping product development, some associations have found innovations in raising nondues revenue.
The big picture for nondues revenue changed sharply in 2020, for obvious reasons.
Nonetheless, some organizations have made the best of the pandemic’s impact on meetings and revenue and found ways to innovate. Here are just a few associations that are experimenting with nondues revenue in 2020.
Oncology Nursing Society
The revenue strategy: Build an innovation center to generate new product lines.
How they did it: In an effort to improve its field, ONS invested years of research into a new Center for Innovation that it created in 2019. The innovation center is effectively being used as a testing ground to create new products for its members, including education offerings that are easy to consume on mobile devices. Since its launch, the initiative has already helped ONS create multiple new revenue opportunities.
American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
The revenue strategy: Engage sponsors year-round.
How they did it: Like many associations, AAPS canceled its 2020 in-person meeting due to the pandemic. But one thing that helped AAPS was a move to stretch out its sponsorship program year-round. Although planned before the pandemic, it came in handy in minimizing the impact of the revenue loss from meetings, said AAPS Director of Corporate Engagement Erik Burns, Ed.D., MBA. “We were able to retain 73 percent of our revenue between 2020 and roll over to 2021,” he said. “We only had to refund 27 percent for the coming year.”
Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses
The revenue strategy: Tailor the sponsorship program to the brand
How they did it: Much like AAPS, AMSN benefited from groundwork it had put in place before the pandemic to set up a new sponsorship program. The premier partner program has already scored a major brand in its space, the medical technology company Medtronic, by tailoring its offerings to the company’s needs. “The program is designed based on what their needs are,” said AMSN CEO Terri Hinkley, Ed.D., CAE, in a recent Associations Now interview. “We start with an exploratory call and whittle down from there how we can position their organization to achieve those goals with the many products and services [we offer].” Hinkley said the added responsiveness has helped sponsors feel like the association is on their side.
Texas Medical Association
The revenue strategy: Focus on outreach for educational offerings.
How they did it: Sometimes, increasing nondues revenue comes down to making a program more effective, which TMA did with its email-based outreach campaigns for its continuing medical education (CME) course series. According to a Higher Logic case study [PDF], the association changed how it used data from its emails, basing the messages it sends to members on how they responded to the association’s monthly CME Spotlight newsletter. This shift helped expose an important gap: TMA needed a mobile-friendly email template that allowed for easier member interaction. The combination of targeting and better email design helped to increase sales by more than 300 percent.
The revenue strategy: Introduce a job board in collaboration with key industry partners.
How they did it: This relatively new trade group is helping its members find talented employees through the Media Job Board, a collaboration with the Poynter Institute and Editor & Publisher, a trade magazine. The initiative combines traditional job postings with automation tools and targeted ad campaigns that assist even passive job seekers. “The ability to find the right people is a critical part of our members’ success,” America’s Newspapers CEO Dean Ridings said in a news release. “I am glad that we were able to partner with industry leaders Editor & Publisher and the Poynter Institute that can facilitate our members in finding the best talent and access tools to make the process more efficient.”