Partnership + Innovation = Non-Dues Revenue Success: New Solutions to Non-Dues Revenue Challenges with Teri Carden and Bruce Rosenthal

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There’s no going back to non-dues revenue strategies of the pre-pandemic past. Members have different needs, sponsors, have different goals, and the ways we do business have changed for good. And while association leaders have a lot of ideas, securing the resources to transform these ideas into reality is a challenge but you don’t have to do it alone. By teaming up with industry suppliers to develop mutually beneficial programs, association leaders can deliver more non-dues revenue. 

We spoke with Teri Carden, founder of 100Reviews and creator of Non Dues-a-Palooza, and Bruce Rosenthal, strategic advisor and consultant to associations and nonprofits to share insights with us around ideas that deliver value for associations. Here’s what they said: 

How did the pandemic change the way associations have events?

In this clip, Bruce Rosenthal goes into detail about the benefits of virtual and hybrid events and how associations can learn and embrace these valuable changes moving forward.  

He said: “There were a lot of challenges, and we also learned a lot. And I was talking to an association exec a couple hours ago. She just finished her virtual conference yesterday. She's in charge of member engagement. And I said, how did it go? And I'm thinking, she's in charge of member engagement. She's going to say this just wasn't the same thing as in person. And she said, you know there were a lot of things that worked really well. I got to talk to different people. We had more people involved than we have ever had before. There were more opportunities to involve sponsors than ever before. So I think we want to look at... What I started talking about with folks a few weeks ago was I think when we think about COVID, we need to mitigate, accommodate, and embrace.”

How can associations embrace the “new normal” and what are some of the strategies to be implemented? 

In order to stay afloat associations have been just creative enough to get the job done, but as of now associations MUST remain innovative if they want to stay ahead of the curve in the association space, and so we asked Teri Carden her thoughts. 

In this clip, Teri said: “Competition is more fierce than it's ever been. But to go back to kind of the beginning of that part of the conversation is that associations that were risk averse now learned how to be risk friendly. Right. And they didn't have a choice. Their backs were against the wall. The revenue was out the door. I think of it as I often will tell people it's kind of like your own personal portfolio. If you only have one investment in one thing, and you're depending on that one kind of investment and that investment tanks, you're lost. You don't have retirement waiting for you, right. You've got to diversify your portfolio.”

What do you think is the most efficient way to widen your audience? 

In this clip, Bruce Rosenthal shares the effectiveness of reaching out, connecting and outsourcing when it comes to executing big projects in an attempt to spread more awareness to your organization. Here’s what he had to say:  

“It can also be, it occurs to me, Mike, when you say that, it can also be access to a wider audience. And I was on a call last year with an association client and one of their corporate partners. And the association was saying to the company, would you like to be part of our webinars? We get 250 people at our webinars. And the company said, well, that's interesting. We get two to 3000 at our corporate webinars. And I'm thinking, oh, we're in trouble here. But the company said, however, what we are lacking on our webinars, all of our webinars are taught by our corporate staff. We need some outside expertise, some credible expertise. As part of the sponsorship arrangement, could somebody from your association staff, or board or committee chair be on our corporate webinar?

And these webinars are not sales pitches, they're educational. That would help our company a lot, help, okay dollars, increase sponsor fee. And all of a sudden the association is reaching an audience of two to 3000 people, many of whom are not members yet. So to your point, Michael, prospective members are hearing a message [00:30:00] they never heard of from the association. That audience of 200 people.”


For more insights on Non-Dues Revenue, access the free on-demand replay of our conversation with Teri Carden and Bruce Rosenthal.

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