In our more than three decades of working with trade associations we have yet to see one that always had adequate resources to fulfill their mission. The gap between member expectations and financial resources realities is generally fairly wide.
Our associations managed to drive reliance on dues income to below 40% and dramatically increase non-does income. Every association wants more members, and in the associations we led we managed to increase membership in one by more than 125% and in the other by more than 75%. However, drilling down into the business an association can do with its members in the area of non-dues income has and will become a more important element of revenue growth.
The most successful association in America has only 52% penetration into its potential membership. 48% are non-members! However, this association is substantially funded by non-dues income across a broad range of areas that help members reduce costs, makes their lives easier and earns income for the association. Everyone wins.
The partners of the gbac Association Practice Group have managed two 501 [c] and two 501 [c] organizations for 28 consecutive years of growth and profitability. None of our companies has ever lost a dime - returning net income to the associations and foundations we have led each and every year.
This record of extraordinary success doesn't just happen by chance, as every trade association and chamber knows the same thing every for-profit business knows, it requires careful financial management. We can bring the same lessons of 28 consecutive years of financial success our companies have had to your group or association.