Beyond membership dues: 3 ways to boost your association’s revenue

Great ideas to take to your board today

What do you do when your association’s revenue goes flat? Here are three revenue-boosting ideas you can take to your board today.

What do you do when the same old approaches just aren’t growing your earnings the way they used to? It may be time to consider some new ways to boost your revenue stream beyond membership dues.

Here are three ideas to breathe new life into your association’s earnings:

1. Beef up your job board.

In the Member Loyalty Study, Community Brands found that job opportunities top the list as one of the most valued member benefits. Consider upgrading up your job board software so you can not only attract more members and improve member retention, but also increase non-dues revenue.

Keep in mind that job seekers often search for opportunities on more than one website. That means the people who use your job board also use other sites such as Google, Indeed, Glass Door, Zip Recruiter, and LinkedIn.

You need a competitive advantage over those sites to maximize your revenue from employers who need access to talent. This requires having a career center that is a source of engagement and help for your members and employers.

Providing access to talent is a valuable way to serve the needs of your industry while driving revenue for your organization.

Look for career center technology that offers the following capabilities:

  • Email job matching – Automatically send jobs to relevant job seekers via email when they are posted, and allow your members to quickly apply to jobs from their mobile devices.
  • Personalized search and recommendations – Increase engagement and job views by recommending opportunities to job seekers based on their prior searches.
  • High ROI employer products – Offer hiring managers sophisticated options that maximize exposure of their job postings to improve their return on investment.
  • Candidate screening and management – Provide employers with functionality to attract, screen, and manage applicants, including an anonymous resume bank that safeguards job seekers’ identities.
  • SEO and job distribution – Optimize every job for search engines, and reach candidates through social media, email, mobile channels, and sophisticated programmatic advertising.
  • Mobile responsiveness – Allow your members to quickly apply to jobs from their mobile devices.
    Advanced data, reporting, and analytics – Empower your staff with deep knowledge of job board sales, performance, and user behavior to grow membership and revenue.

Once you have the right technology in place, here are some tips for driving revenue from your enhanced career center:

  • Offer employers the opportunity to promote their jobs on your home page, your Twitter feed, and Facebook page. Employers have no better way to promote their jobs to such a targeted group of qualified potential employees, and they’ll pay for that access.
  • Introduce a job email to your members. Employers are often willing to pay extra for this distribution of their jobs to additional potential candidates.
  • Include a jobs feed or widget in your member and prospective member e-newsletters with recently posted jobs that sponsors have paid extra to promote. It might just become one of the most viewed/clicked-upon sections of your newsletter.

2. Deliver the offline learning experience online.

Your members look to you throughout their careers for learning opportunities. They seek everything from continuing education to certification. And you likely spend a lot of effort creating in-person learning events with great content, quality speakers, and valuable social and networking opportunities.

Now take the great content you’ve already pulled together for in-person events a step further. Extend it online to provide a convenient, affordable option that many of your members may be seeking.

  • Some benefits of taking your in-person event content online:
    Bring in revenue that you otherwise would not capture from members who are unable to attend your in-person events due to schedule, budget, learning preferences, or other factors.
  • Stretch your investment in on-site content further by repurposing it online – through livestreaming your on-site event or offering it on-demand after the event.
  • Incorporate sponsors and exhibitors into the online experience – via online session sponsorships, sponsor logos, and a virtual exhibit hall – to generate additional revenue.

The Community Brands 2018 Member Education and Career Development Report shows that newer learning formats – such as short videos and webcasts, on-demand learning courses, and mobile learning opportunities are growing in popularity among members.

It’s important to choose a learning management system (LMS) that helps you create an engaging online learning experience that attracts members and keeps them coming back. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Flexibility – Look for an LMS that allows you to grow your online learning program. For example, you might offer only on-demand learning now, but as your program evolves, you might want to offer livestreaming of your events. Select a system that can support both options
  • Interactivity – One of the elements that makes an on-site event unique is interactivity: talking with other attendees, asking questions, making comments. Look for a system that supports networking and interaction opportunities in your online experience.
  • Ease of use – If yours is like most organizations, you likely have a small learning staff. Be sure the system you select makes it easy for your team to re-purpose your in-person content on-demand or as a re-broadcast.

3. Connect your career center and LMS with your association management system (AMS).

To drive even more goodness for your association, optimize your technology to drive both membership and non-dues revenue. One highly effective way to achieve this is by integrating your career center and LMS with your AMS.

With connected technology, you can drive greater revenue for your association.

Here are a few examples of what you can do when your systems are connected:

  • Non-members who visit your job board and sign up as job seekers via job alerts or account registration are automatically delivered to your AMS as a list of new member prospects for your use in new member marketing and acquisition efforts.
  • Members and non-members can opt in to receive intelligent job recommendations based on their AMS member profile data, such as job title and location, giving them the ability to passively search for new career opportunities. This creates an even richer talent pool for employers to market to through your career center.
  • Member and non-member activity on your job board is captured and stored within each person’s AMS record. This gives you additional data and insights to drive more informed member marketing efforts.
  • Create an enhanced shopping experience that allows members and non-members to purchase your association’s store products and learning products from either your association’s e-commerce store or LMS storefront. This allows you to put your products in front of more people while capturing data to drive future marketing efforts.
  • Automatically track learner progress through quizzes, assessments, checkpoints, attendance, scores, and completions along with credits earned. The data is shared with both your LMS and AMS, giving you insights for marketing efforts to drive them to the next level of learning.

Ready to drive new revenue for your association?

With the right technology solutions, you can. Community Brands offers career center, LMS, and AMS solutions that are part of their integrated software suite for associations. That means they work better together to help you support the complete member journey while boosting your revenue stream.

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