Association Revenue Growth in 3 Actionable Steps

Association Revenue Growth in 3 Actionable Steps | MCI Group | EN

Calendar icon June, 18 2020

Revenues are crucial for associations to keep their communities vibrant. With traditional membership fee structures already under renovation, there’s an urgent need for alternative sources. Are you capitalising on new sources of revenues? The time to review new business models is now.

The purpose of a community is reflected in the way it approaches its people, content and progress. As such, these elements can also deliver various sources of revenue. To define the best tactics in establishing revenue growth, a solid strategy is key. How to best serve your community starts with understanding the people in it.

The power of small communities

One-size-fits-all models no longer represent an adequate approach to community membership. Thanks to tendencies like globalisation and individualisation, the diversification into smaller, like-minded groups within a community has become essential. Within these smaller communities, obtaining, organising and managing data – within the scope of GDPR-regulations – delivers excellent opportunities: providing relevant content, interactions, and valuable sources for revenue streams.

How to harness those opportunities?

1. Make sure to regularly review, assess and validate your data collection process. There’s always room for improvement.

2. Adjust your marketing and offerings to the community you’re serving.

3. Market the value of this data to commercial partners for their lead generation’s efforts.

The advantage of year-round interactions

Trendsetters amongst professional organisations started developing a 365 days-approach to their communities a few years ago. These organisations have been able to engage with existing and potential members year-round thanks to relevant online content. Thanks to this approach, they could offer more bespoke – and thus more valuable – offline interactions with peers and partners. Undoubtedly, this development has given those organisations an advantage in the last few months, when meeting in-person was impossible and the need for online engagement platforms was high.

How can I move in the right direction?

1. If not in place, consider the value of an online educational platform for your community.

2. Diversify content and format offerings throughout the year – bite-size works best!

3. Use data and online interactions to better deliver in the face-to-face environment.

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The value of right content in front of the right people

Understand your members and your partners through dedicated and detailed profiling, and you are on your way to progress. Connect relevant content to the right profiles, facilitate interactions and secure the data. Now, you have built a model where you can offer specific information relevant to smaller groups of peers and partners, and thus have created a source of monetary value. This structure allows for add-on opportunities and supports revenue growth in a sustainable way.

Where do I start?

1. Understand and deliver on the specific advantages of online content for your community.

2. Realise and market the benefits for (commercial) partners to interact with your community.

An important note before you start: it is not about the hardware! The actual online and offline platforms, i.e. the technical and/or logistical lay-out of the model, comes after the analysis. It starts with a strategy focused on achieving set goals. A detailed analysis of the community and its (commercial) partners delivers the elements to define the tactics. Then, the implementation of the action plan is created around tools and available funding.

And guess what? You are not alone – support is available along the way, bespoke to your particular situation. Get in touch with us to learn how to maximise your association’s revenue.


michel neijmann

michel neijmann
Michel Neijmann

Director of Association Relations

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