Getting Started on Changing Your Trade’s Dues Model

Getting Started on Changing Your Trade’s Dues Model
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Comparative Dues Progressions – One of the first steps we routinely take when analyzing a dues structure is to look at dues paid versus a member company’s annual revenue to understand if the dues structure is equitable across all revenue tiers. Here is an example of this type of analysis. Each line represents a different organization.

How do you ensure your dues model is set to ensure financial viability for the organization without alienating current and prospective members? Do wide variances in perceived value exist between different-sized member companies? Does your current dues structure involve inconsistencies and does it lack uniformity making it difficult to explain? How does your association’s dues compare to similar associations’ structures and prices? Has the time finally come to change your trade association’s dues model?

If so, or if you’re considering changing your model down the road, here are two elements to keep in mind:

Market Changes. Changes by companies and organizations within your market can have a drastic effect on your dues revenue and/or member composition. The usual cause of such changes comes in the form of mergers or acquisitions, which can significantly alter how much members owe in dues or whether they still fit within a particular category. Using market changes as opportunities to explore adjustments to your dues model can be a very useful strategy to repeatedly revisit.

Comparative Benchmarking. As trade associations often face similar challenges and opportunities around restructuring their dues models, conducting comparative benchmarking with your peers can be a great way to gain new ideas and incorporate best practices for your next project. Whether by conducting a study or participating in one of our RoundTables, using your peers as a soundboard can significantly improve your dues model. Our sample comparative dues progression chart below represents one way we help clients visually compare their dues structures with others.

With thoughts of market changes and comparative benchmarking fresh on your mind, why stop there? Read more if you’re interested in diving into the key elements of a successful dues model change and how to get started.

Interested on our take for professional associations? Read our recent blog post.