Taking Care of Association Business



Revenue is your certificate for performance, whether you like it or not.

If your revenue has been lagging, your approach to organizational growth may have hit a wall. Chances are you need a candid evaluation and new tactics or strategies..
I’ve found the best associations are successfully growing based on the alignment of its mission and what’s truly valued by the member.  The most successful organizations are thinking from the outside (members) – in (sustaining the association).   For some this breaks the legacy model of revenue growth to keep the association alive.  That’s just not enough.
It’s probably been overstated over the years, but associations should run more like a business.  Here are several reasons why.

  1. Member focused – if the members engage, join, renew, participate, etc. You will have more customers.  That’s kind of like a business.
  2. Innovative approach – to maintain relevance new products will be launched; customers will be asked about which services resonate.
  3. Bottom-line focused – programs which don’t resonate or are not popular will be eliminated…whether the chairwoman likes them or not.

So, who are your members? What do they truly value? Advocacy? Continuing Education? Research? What products and services garner the most revenue? Which members are the most engaged and, why? How do you stack up against organizations competing for your membership dollars?
If your association is not sure about the answers to these questions, then it is likely not being run like a business.  Check that – like a successful business.


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