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Three Ideas for Non-dues Revenue About Which You Probably Haven't Considered

Associations have learned they can no longer rely solely on membership dues

Relying on membership dues as the primary source of revenue is no longer a viable option for most associations. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, associations were finding it a challenge to grow membership and retain current members.

In 1953, when the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) first published its Association Operating Ratio Report, membership dues accounted for a whopping 96 percent of average total association revenues. By 2016, dues revenue dropped to just 3 percent of total revenue for professional associations, with event revenue comprising the lion's share of the difference. But this data was collected before COVID, which has only accelerated the decline in membership and event revenue streams.

Yes, there are ways to pandemic-proof your events, but most event planners do not expect their meetings to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023. Many companies are also restricting employee travel so, even if you are able to have your event, you're unlikely to attract the same numbers. Since members perceive an associations' annual meeting as one of the main benefits of membership, some are not renewing their membership, creating a vicious cycle from which associations are struggling to break free.

Please select this link to read the blog post from OSAP member Lead Marvels.

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