Finding the Funds You Need to Flourish— Part II
As we explained in our previous article, it can take a lot of time and effort for associations, chambers of commerce and other nonprofits (NPOs) to find ways to generate additional revenue. But the financial health and long-term viability of your organization depends on it.
This second article in our series will explore several proactive strategies that will help you tap into new revenue streams. This time around, we’ll be taking a closer look at member outreach and recruitment, as well as sponsorship development and management.
Member-based associations and other nonprofits generally fund their activities through membership dues, event fees, sponsorships, grants and, in some cases, individual and corporate donations. Our Membri 365 software makes CRM for associations more intuitive and streamlined, using a Microsoft 365 PowerApps platform, so you can grow your revenue and secure your future.
Member recruitment and outreach
Your relationship with your members plays a vital role in the financial well-being of your association, chamber of commerce or other NPO. Our Membri 365 CRM solution brings you a wealth of features you can use to encourage existing members to renew their membership, thereby guaranteeing your organization a steady source of revenue.
1. Keep a close eye on membership renewals: One of the biggest advantages of a member management system is being able to automatically send renewal notices 30 to 60 days before memberships are due to expire. All your members have to do is click the notice and renew online in a few easy steps. We strongly recommend you follow up personally with any members whose renewal status remains pending after the specified grace period. With Membri 365, you can bring up a list of all those who have yet to complete their membership renewal or have not even started the process. In fact, this is one of the handy indicators you’ll find in one of the Membri 365 dashboards. You’ll know right away who you need to follow up with. You can also records notes directly in Membri 365 to keep track of your efforts. Use this at-a-glance list to determine which members you should be checking in with sooner rather than later! This 360-degree approach to membership management gives you the information you need to boost member retention.
2. Target former members: A group you really shouldn’t ignore when you’re looking to drive up your membership numbers is your past members. You may want to reach out directly to them and, for example, point out new features or services that might prompt them to reconsider rejoining your organization. With Membri 365, you can generate a list of lapsed members to send out a series of strategically worded “we miss you” emails or make one-on-one phone calls. Note that, under federal anti-spam legislation, you have a two-year window after someone’s membership has expired to send them unsolicited electronic messages. Yet another reason why Membri 365 can be extremely useful in taking advantage of this often-underutilized source of potential members.
3. Reach out to newly established companies: Systematic recruiting of new members is an effective strategy that frequently goes overlooked. Most associations do not keep a clear, comprehensive and up-to-date list of companies that might be interested in membership but have yet to take the plunge. There are nevertheless excellent opportunities to be had through a wide range of sources, such as news articles or announcements in the paper or online, or a conversation with a business contact during an event. It is important to take note of this kind of information and act on it promptly to turn these prospects into members. Membri 365’s CRM function can be used to keep track of these potential converts and put a structured plan in place to approach them. Some of these efforts can even be automated, such as sending out emails or generating weekly lists of follow-up calls to make.
Sponsors play a key role in an association’s funding ecosystem, hence the importance of making the most of this source of revenue. Membri 365 offers an optional module to help you manage your current and potential sponsorships, so you don’t miss out on any opportunities. It’s an investment that will pay for itself in no time.
1. Develop a robust sponsorship strategy: Recruiting and retaining annual or event sponsors takes a well-thought-out sponsorship plan. Be creative! Start by asking yourself these questions:
What kind of visibility can you provide your sponsors?
This is where you may need to think outside the box. We’ve all seen napkins bearing a corporate logo on the table of a lunch event. There are a thousand and one other ideas you can explore to give your partners the targeted visibility they crave. Put yourself in their shoes to come up with solutions that will appeal to them, then build your sponsorship strategy around that. And don’t forget relatively simple yet effective techniques, like incorporating a sponsor’s logo into your email signature.
What’s the added value for your sponsors?
Companies typically partner with events to raise their profile with a specific group and/or achieve their corporate social responsibility goals. Use your imagination to find ways to meet these objectives: you may want to offer your top sponsors free membership for a year, for example. All of this (and more!) can be managed with ease in the CRM module of Membri 365.
2. Follow up, follow up, follow up!: When it comes to managing potential sponsorships, persistence and diligence are the key.
Start by making a list of the organizations that are a good fit with your sponsorship strategy.
Don’t limit yourself to businesses within your existing membership circles. Potential members can also be an excellent source of new sponsorships.
Most of the people you contact will either turn you down or say they have to discuss the matter with their partner or boss. In the latter case, be sure to flag these contacts for a timely follow-up call.
Membri 365’s CRM capabilities make the process of finding and approaching partners easier and more efficient. You can use Membri 365 throughout the entire process, from developing a list of initial prospects to sending out invoices, and every point in between — delivering an ROI that can’t be beat.
We hope you find these articles helpful as you seek out innovative new ways to grow and diversify your revenue streams. Be sure to check back regularly for more tips and ideas on how to optimize your organization’s practices.
Questions? Comments? Want to learn more?
We look forward to hearing from you.
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