As the place where your members gather virtually, your online member community is a great place to generate revenue.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
By Christine Bergeron, Marketing Coordinator, Community Brands
Your association’s online member community is a powerful tool. You might think of it first and foremost as a tool to increase member engagement. And it certainly is. But you can also use it to simplify member support, give your members a place to problem-solve, and more.
And here’s one more thing your online community can do that you might not have thought about: generate more non-dues revenue.
TIP: If you haven’t launched an online member community yet, no problem. YourMembership association management software includes online community functionality to help you set up a vibrant virtual community for your members.
How to drive revenue through your online member community
As the virtual gathering place for your members, your online member community is an ideal place to generate revenue. Here are some effective ideas to get you started:
- Offer sponsorships and advertisements – As with a website or event, you can get sponsors for your online community. For example, offer opportunities for businesses in your industry or profession to purchase ads that are displayed within your online member community via text links, posts within groups, and in the announcements area.
You can also offer online community sponsorships as an added benefit for sponsors when they purchase sponsorships in other areas of your organization. For example, offer event sponsors and employers who post their job opportunities in your online career center the opportunity to share content with a targeted group of members. This will help make your sponsorship packages even more appealing to potential sponsors.
- Promote add-on products and services – Your online member community is a great place to market your association’s products and services that are offered as add-ons to membership. These might include:
- Learning opportunities, such as continuing education courses
- Special events, such as career fairs
- Opportunities for corporate members to pay to post job openings on your online job board
- Industry research
- Branded merchandise in your online store
This approach gives your products and services greater exposure that can drive more revenue. It also allows you to promote opportunities to purchase your members-only products and services as a valuable member benefit, which can drive member loyalty.
- Ask for donations – Your online member community is a valuable resource for your members, so why not ask them for support while they’re in the process of enjoying it? For example, if your organization can accept charitable donations, use the announcements area of your online community to promote a fundraising campaign.
TIP: By using the “Quick Announcement” area in YourMembership’s online community functionality, you can improve visibility of fundraising campaigns, sponsorships, products, and services.
Your online member community is an ideal place to generate non-dues revenue so your association can continue to thrive, even if membership growth is flat or declining. Learn more about how to generate non-dues revenue!