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Jessica Bryant Posted by Jessica Bryant on July 20, 2012

Why Chasing Non-Dues Revenue Is a Mistake

Why Chasing Non-Dues Revenue Is a Mistake

Are you focusing too much on non-dues revenue and not enough on your members?home_builder_email_marketing.jpg

Many chambers of commerce are strapped for cash and are looking for alternative revenue streams besides membership dues. While generating non-dues revenue can certainly be beneficial, many chambers of commerce expend far too much time, energy, and resources promoting non-dues revenue-generating programs that achieve lackluster results. Some popular non-dues revenue streams include travel programs, affinity programs, and resale programs.

The problem with focusing on non-dues revenue is that it drives chambers of commerce away from their critical competency. A chamber of commerce is in the business of selling memberships and anything else that supports that goal. After all, memberships make up the majority of a chamber of commerce's revenue. While it's true that a chamber of commerce engages in a diversity of activities like marketing and event planning in order to serve its members, it can become a problem if a chamber of commerce spreads itself too thin. The key to achieving success as a chamber of commerce is to maintain your focus on the goal of growing membership.

Strengthen the Benefits of Membership

If your chamber of commerce is struggling to make ends meet, don't look for ways to generate non-dues revenue – explore why you aren't signing up enough new members and retaining existing members. The first step in growing a chamber of commerce's membership is to strengthen the benefits of membership. The more compelling the benefits, the more likely people are to join your chamber and recommend it to others. The most successful chambers of commerce are the ones that make a marked difference in the careers and businesses of members.

Create Valuable Content

Create valuable content that is targeted and relevant. If you regularly provide the most up-to-date industry information to your chamber's members, they'll have a good reason to remain members. The business climate is constantly evolving, so for many business owners, it's vital to stay on top of what's happening. If you position your chamber of commerce as a valuable source of cutting-edge information, you'll be able to attract and retain more members.

Sell Advertising

Although focusing most of your time and resources on generating non-dues revenue is a mistake, it is still a good idea to look at other potential sources of revenue that are relevant to the goal of growing your membership, such as advertising sales. You could generate up to thousands of dollars in additional revenue each month by selling ad space on your website to members. Offering online advertising is highly relevant to the goal of providing greater value to members because it allows them to promote their businesses and get more out of their membership while adding to your chamber's bottom line.

Get a Chamber of Commerce Website by efelle

efelle offers a website platform for chambers of commerce called ChamberFusion. ChamberFusion reduces your staff's workload, greatly enhances the value of membership, and creates additional revenue for your chamber of commerce. ChamberFusion helps you generate non-dues revenue without losing focus of your core competency. You can use ChamberFusion to sell members advertising, enhanced member profiles, coupons and tickets, and sponsored email newsletters. For more information about ChamberFusion and how it could benefit your chamber of commerce, call 206.384.4909 or fill out our online contact form!

See also:

5 Key Components of Website Design for Chambers of Commerce
How to Boost Your Chamber of Commerce's Retention Rates