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Non-Dues Revenue

Our new environment is demanding elasticity and creativity in diversifying income streams for the future.

Fee for Service

Opportunities for entirely new revenue streams are emerging as chambers develop fee for service programs in hybrid and virtual formats. Chambers are using connections in their business community to develop programming such as leadership training and continuing education.

 

STEP 1

Understand your community's needs.

Survey your members and ask how they will develop and train their employees in the new climate of limited business travel. This is an opportunity to build and understand your community and take a snapshot of what employers are doing to adjust. For example, employers may still allocate funds for training, but not travel.

Next, use your data to develop and guide programming.

 

STEP 2

Leverage your members' expertise.

Leverage the capacity of your membership by tapping into their expertise. Use your unique access to your business leaders to develop programing that employers will value in this new climate.

Examples of leveraging expertise, contributed by Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce (NC):

  • Create a Leadership Curriculum task force. Invite potential presenters to assist in developing programing who could also deliver the program. Most will give their services free of charge based on the impact they will create.
  • Give a consultant with expertise in a specific area an honorary title within the Chamber, for example, Executive Chamber Fellow, with the exchange of access to their knowledge free of charge for a year.

 

More Fee for Service Examples

 

Meeting Community Needs in Partnership with Local Organizations

In response to the small business crisis created by the pandemic, the Indy Chamber (IN) launched a Rapid Response Loan Fund to offer immediate, affordable loan options for small businesses and began processing federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. This is a replicable model that could become a non-dues revenue stream for chambers while also providing capital into marginalized communities that have historically been left behind by mainstream finance.

 

Structure of the Loan Fund

The Indy Chamber’s Rapid Response Loans are administered by the Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) in partnership with Bankable, a local nonprofit lender. As the umbrella organization for the Indy Chamber’s Entrepreneurship Division, BOI is a recently certified community development financial institution (CDFI) that provides emergency assistance for small businesses affected by COVID-19 via free one-on-one business coaching and access to lending capital. 

Read more in the article below:

Technology & Event Space

Chambers are revisiting the rental of their physical spaces as meeting areas and even virtual studios. Here are some examples of chambers making their spaces available to members and non-members.

Affinity Programs

Affinity programs are partnerships with companies who offer special rates or services to a chamber’s members in an effort to increase revenue for both organizations. For instance, a chamber may sell discounted prescription cards to its membership and profit share with the card provider. These programs typically provide a small but steady stream of gradually increasing income. In order to be successful, there must be a true price advantage and value for the member. It is important to consider the reputation of the company as well as the revenue potential compared to the time investment of the program before entering into an affinity arrangement.