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11 Non-Dues Revenue Ideas to Use at Your Association

Kelly DixonMarketing Intern

Kelly Dixon,

Marketing Intern

Oct 09, 2019

Membership dues alone are not enough to keep most associations afloat, on average they make up only 39% of an association's total revenue. On the other hand, 61% of an association’s total revenue is non-dues revenue. Non-dues revenue is generated by the association through means other than membership dues. There are many different ways to increase non-dues revenue for your association, but here are 11 different sources that we would recommend you try pursuing.

Quick Reads

Advertisements Events and Fundraising Sponsorships Merchandise Job Board Educational Opportunities Monetize Data Publications Premium Content Discount and Savings Membership Perks


Social Media Advertising

Offering organizations and companies advertising opportunities is a great source of non-dues revenue for your association. According to a report by Avenue M Group in 2017, 49% of associations benefit from revenue from mobile app advertising and 21% from social media advertising.

On Your Website and Mobile App

Your website and mobile app are both great platforms on which you can offer advertising space. Offering digital banners as advertising space is a savvy way for your association to bring in extra revenue.

On Your Social Media

Your social media is another platform on which you can offer organizations advertising space. However, only offer social media advertising if you have a strong following to make the fee you charge worthwhile.

Top Tip. Don’t forget to promote yourself! The most successful associations promote themselves through advertising.

Events and Fundraising

non-dues revenue association

Events and Fundraising are often considered one of the top methods of generating non-dues revenue for your association. Although hosting an event can be expensive, if done well an event will more than break even and with creative fundraising ideas, you are guaranteed to blow past your goal.


Events offer many opportunities to generate non-dues revenue as well as offering a premium membership experience. You can charge for events and make your members feel valued by giving them a discounted rate. You can also charge for advertisements and sponsorships as well as exhibitor booths.


Fundraising ideas will also help your association to generate non-dues revenue. These ideas may include raffles, door prizes or even a tournament. A fundraiser such as a golf tournament allows you to charge an entry fee for those who wish to compete and sell tickets to those who want to attend.

Top Tip. Make sure the events you’re hosting interest your members! Remember your members will be working professionals, so your events should be an opportunity for them to network.



Due to the fact, your members are highly-skilled professionals, businesses will pay a premium to access them. And lucky for you, you can offer them that access while, simultaneously, generating non-dues revenue for your association. Sponsorship opportunities include events, webinars, and scholarships

Event Sponsorships

Companies will be keen to sponsor your events in order to reach your members. You can offer an event sponsor advertising on your event page as well as at the event itself. You can also offer sponsors an exhibitor booth at the event.

Top Tip. When approaching potential sponsors, remember to choose companies that fit with your values and offer your members a legitimate service.


Another great non-dues revenue generator for your association is selling branded merchandise. Whether you choose to produce branded T-shirts, water bottles, or notebooks, make sure your branding and messaging is clear.


Selling your merchandise year-round allows you to generate a consistent stream of non-dues revenue for your association. You could either choose to sell your merchandise online or at events. Even better, you could do both!


Not only is merchandise an effective way of generating non-dues income, it’s also a form of marketing. Merchandise puts an association’s brand out into the world. So, essentially it’s a form of advertising that just keeps on giving.

Top Tip. Don’t just go for the obvious merchandise ideas! Think of what your members use in their business as well as their everyday life, and brand it.

Job Board

Creating a job board on your website not only gives your association another source of non-dues revenue, it also serves as a member benefit. You can use it to position yourself as a trusted source for professional development. Members then have a place they can trust to find tailored and industry-specific job postings.

But how will this increase non-dues revenue for your association? Simple, businesses will pay to list their jobs on your website. With a job board, you can offer companies access to highly qualified, highly motivated candidates.

Top Tip. Make sure your job board has good SEO, attracts advertising from prominent employers and offers advanced user-experience. Click here for more tips on how to launch a successful job board.

Educational Opportunities

event planning degree

Providing education opportunities for your members is the perfect source of non-dues revenue for your association. Remember your members are career-driven professionals who want to further their career and are prepared to take any opportunity to so.

E-Learning Platforms

According to Madgex Labs, the Online Learning Market is predicted to reach $325 billion by 2025. As an association with access to ambitious professionals constantly looking to improve their career, this is something you should take advantage of. Running online courses with a registration fee is a clever way to generate non-dues revenue while at the same time providing value for your members.


With the job market becoming increasingly competitive, professionals in your industry want to ensure they have the best credentials. Therefore, offering certifications and accreditation programs is a great source of non-dues revenue for your association.

Courses, Workshops, and Seminars

Courses, workshops, and seminars are another way of generating non-dues revenue. Not only do they offer your members the chance to improve their industry knowledge, they also give them the opportunity to network.

Top Tip. Use these educational opportunities as a way to keep your members up-to-date about the latest in the industry. This will add even more value to the educational courses you offer and encourage more members to sign-up.

Monetize Data

data analytics

A growing number of associations are monetizing their data to generate non-dues revenue. They are monetizing their data in the form of market intelligence, benchmarking data, data analytics, and custom research.

Market Intelligence

Selling market intelligence is another good source of non-dues revenue for your association. A report by Avenue M Group found that 25% of associations derive revenue from benchmarking data and 19% earn revenue from selling market intelligence.

Data Analytics

Data analytics can also be used to increase non-dues revenue, either from selling them on or using them to improve your association’s marketing. Data such as Members’ past transactions, demographics, and the benefits and content they consume online can give you clues about what your members are interested in and willing to pay for.

Top Tip. All associations already have all their member data, but many don’t know how to organize or use it effectively. The best way to get on top of your data is with membership software. Check out Glue Up’s Event and Membership Management Software to see how we can help you effectively use your data.


Whether you’re trying to generate non-dues revenue or not, producing a monthly newsletter is a must. So, you’re probably already doing this. But if you have the resources, you may also be able to publish a quarterly or yearly magazine for your association.


Having an association magazine is an excellent source of non-dues revenue. You can charge companies for advertising space and, on top of this, you can charge non-members a subscription fee. A magazine is also a key marketing tool for your association as it’s another method through which you can promote yourself.

Top Tip. Although print may be in decline, according to the Association Publishing Survey, 88% of associations still consider publications an important source of revenue.

Premium Content

Event Pitching How to

By posting premium content you can become a go-to source of information for your members. Nowadays, there are many different platforms on which you can post your content and attract new, potential members. However, the platforms that have seen the most popularity in recent years are podcasts and YouTube.


In 2018 at least 112 million Americans were listening to podcasts every month, 11% more than in 2017, with 67 million. Podcasts are an affordable way to drive content and engage members, as well as generate non-dues revenue.

YouTube Channel

YouTube is a great platform that you can use to promote yourself, whether you’re posting interviews with leading experts in your field or how-to videos. Moreover, YouTube allows you to produce a live feed with up to 6 cameras, for little to no cost. This means you can do live telecasts at your events.

Top Tip. Podcasts and YouTube also supply an opportunity to collect new membership leads. End each video or podcast with a way potential members can find out more about your association.

Discount and Savings

Membership Discount

Negotiating special discounts and savings for your members is another way to give more value to your members and generate non-dues revenue for your association. Companies you may want to approach for discounts and savings are office supplies and insurance products like professional liability and health. But these are just suggestions, don’t think you have to limit yourself only to these!


Creating partnerships with companies to provide discounts for your members is a great source of non-dues revenue for your association. With partnerships, your association can earn fees for referrals, a percentage of sales, or revenue from advertising.

Top Tip. Partner up with companies that offer products or services that members need in their business or personal lives.

Membership Perks

membership perks

In addition to included membership benefits, you could offer additional association member services for a fee to boost non-dues revenue. These membership perks can be offered à-la-carte or through a tiered membership.

Tiered Membership

With a tiered membership system, you could offer packages of different prices that include different benefits. Click here for ideas on what tier membership packages could include.

À-La-Carte Membership Perks

With à-la-carte membership perks, certain services might work well as a free membership perk while others could be offered for an additional fee. Moreover, making these perks member-only will act as an extra incentive for potential members to join your association.

Top Tip. Associations offering tiered memberships or more à-la-carte options tend to attract more millennials interested in association membership.

Back to You

Needless to say, you shouldn't implement all of these methods at once! Start small with one or two methods and then build from there. I'd recommend starting with events, sponsorship, and advertising because it's likely that you already host events, so now make the most of them - get sponsors and find companies who want advertising space. With Glue Up's Event and Membership Management Software, you can easily plan, manage, and carry out your events. You can also track attendee and member data and in time, start using data analytics to create another source of non-dues revenue for your association.

Interested in finding new ways to improve your association's ROI? Book a demo with us, and we'll show you how!


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