How to boost non-dues revenue through sponsorships and advertising

Here are some effective ways to drive non-dues revenue by offering sponsorship and advertising opportunities.

Producing non-dues revenue helps your membership-based organization continue to provide great member value even when membership growth flattens out or dips. 

Producing non-dues revenue is an important driver in the financial health of trade associations, labor unions, and other membership-based organizations. This supplement to membership dues revenue gives you the financial resources you need to continue to provide members with great value – even when your membership levels out or drops. 

Two effective ways to drive non-dues revenue are to offer sponsorships and advertising. Here are some ideas for both of these approaches to boosting non-dues revenue:

Offering sponsorships to drive non-dues revenue 

Sponsorships can produce a wealth of non-dues revenue. Here are three ideas for offering sponsorships that produce non-dues revenue: 

  • Conference sponsorships – Offer conference sponsorship packages that include multiple levels of benefits and sponsorship fees to meet a variety of companies’ needs. For example, packages might include a booth and signage at the tradeshow, advertising in conference materials, special presentation sessions, meals or entertainment sponsorships, and more. Host virtual events, such as virtual tradeshows and conferences, for members who can’t travel to in-person events, and offer online sponsorships for those events as well. For example, offer sponsorships in your online events through rotating slides, a customized event interface, spotlight videos, and commercial breaks.
  • Research sponsorship – Offer sponsorship of any research you’re conducting. Companies will often pay to expose their brand to your members through industry research. Drop the sponsor’s logo on the research, include a company boilerplate, offer to include a commentary article, and include the company name in promotions as a research sponsor or partner.
  • Annual sponsorships – Provide integrated sponsorship packages, complete with year-round opportunities to meet your corporate sponsors’ needs. These packages could include conference sponsorships as well as advertising opportunities through:
  • Publications 
  • Job boards and online career centers 
  • Educational events 
  • Online member community 

TIP: Your sponsorships should offer relevant products or services for your members. So, be selective about the companies that you approach for sponsorships so that you can maintain your brand integrity.  

 Offering advertising opportunities to produce non-dues revenue 

For many trade associations and labor unions, publications and online resources are considered the go-to source for information related to their industry. For your organization, these resources reach a highly specialized and engaged audience: your members and prospective members. Here are some ideas for selling advertising for your organization’s resources to drive non-dues revenue: 

  • Website banner advertising – Your organization probably has a website, so you can start generating revenue quickly by selling banner advertisements. Because your website is an important tool for recruiting new members, be sure to protect your professional image by soliciting ads from companies that are relevant to your members. Work closely with your website designer to come up with design specifications for the banners and ensure that the site continues to look professional.
  • Advertising and premium publications – Does your organization send out publications, such as an email newsletter or a magazine? Help support those publications by offering advertising opportunities. Also, consider placing a classifieds section in your publications to sell recruitment advertising or ads for relevant products and services for your members.
  • Job board advertising – If you haven’t already done so, make an online career center part of your organization’s website to help your members find jobs that are perfect for their specialization. Then, keep in mind that your membership base offers valuable, skilled candidates for recruiters; employers will pay to advertise job openings on your job board. You can also offer advertising opportunities on the job board, allowing hiring managers to promote their companies. And a bonus: A job board helps your organization make connections and develop relationships with companies that might be good prospects for other sponsorships and advertising packages in the future. 

Learn more.
Discover more great ideas for driving non-dues revenue: Read the guide, How to Boost Your Non-Dues Revenue: 7 Great ideas for Membership-based Organizations 

Free whitepaper: 7 Ways to Increase Your Non-dues Revenue

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