The past year and a half has been a roller coaster ride for most organizations including associations. While we have analyzed our membership dues, reserves, and tried to ensure ways to keep our staff on board, one item that sometimes gets overlooked is sponsors and non-dues revenue.
As part of our ASAE Annual Conference initiative, we conducted a short 4 question sponsorship stats survey to gain insight into the landscape of what associations have experienced during the pandemic and are expecting in 2022 when it comes to sponsors.
One finding that stood out of the over 100 people surveyed, was that there was a direct correlation between those that did modify their sponsorship offerings and those that expect to see an increase in sponsorship dollars in 2022. Of those that responded yes to, “Has your organization modified their partnership/affiliate offerings in response to the pandemic,” 68% said they expect their 2022 sponsorships to increase. Of those that answered no to the same question, only 50% said they expect their 2022 sponsorships to increase.
*This chart is filtered on those that responded “yes” to modifying their sponsorship offerings.
As our landscape changes and more virtual offerings are the norm, a holistic approach to sponsorships is going to prove to be more beneficial for associations. Organizations will have to work with sponsors to have more flexible offerings that truly add value. And why not? With 47% of associations reporting a decrease in membership year over year according to the 2021 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, and this trend is expected to continue. A focus on sponsors may not be a bad idea to supplement your revenue. In our survey, 42% responded that sponsorships make up less than 10% of their revenue, with 82% stating it’s 30% or less.
Sponsors offer a huge benefit in providing education to your members, which is always top of the list when it comes to most valued member benefits. As associations struggle to find new non-dues revenue ideas, don’t be so hasty to forget the value your sponsors add.
If you’d like to conduct a study like this at your organization, please reach out to our team.