Revenue Generating Ideas for Your Membership Association

Updated: Mar. 28, 2017  

Association Management Tools

As the leader of your association, you may have wonderful ideas about valuable events and training to provide for your members – great! But no matter how exciting your plans are, you won’t be able to implement them without money.

Your membership organization may already collects dues to cover some expenses, but just like in our personal lives, it always seems things cost more than anticipated. Even if you are within your budget, generating revenue for your association allows you the flexibility to add programs mid-year, take advantage of a last minute speaker, or invest in association management tools.

In addition to collecting dues, raffles and auctions are tried and true ways to generate revenue for your membership association.

Below are some fundraising events you can put together to increase your organization's revenue.

50/50 Raffle

Like the name suggests, in a 50/50 raffle 50% of the ticket sales go to a winner and 50% to the association. For example, if you sell 80 tickets for $1 each, the winner would take home $40 and the remaining $40 would be revenue for the organization.

This type of raffle is easy to administer, and doesn’t require up-front investment. However, you will need to sell lots of tickets to make substantial money.

Silent Auction

A silent auction can be a fun event for your organization and allowing guests can bring in even more income.

Prizes are placed on tables with a bid sheet in front of the items. Participants write the amount they will spend for the item, and the person with the highest bid gets to take the item home.

To make this a revenue generating event, however, you will need to get the prizes donated. The association then keeps the winning bidder’s payment.

Often, your local Mary Kay, Avon, and other independent sales reps will provide a prize for the exposure generated by the auction. Allow them to provide a stack of business cards next to the prize so all attendees can take home the sales person’s contact information.

Big Ticket Item Raffle

A raffle with a large prize, such as an iPad or a spa day, may get more interest and buzz within your organization. If you don’t want to purchase the item from your association, you can look for local or industry relevant sponsors to donate the item.

If you purchase the prize, be confident you can sell enough tickets to at least cover the cost so you do not lose any money; but of course your organization’s goal is to sell as many tickets as possible.

To make your membership organization’s fundraising as successful as possible, secure your prizes well in advance and take time to promote the raffle or auction prior to the event. Additionally, be sure to check with your state for any restrictions on holding raffles.

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