Data: Membership Dues Aren't the Only Revenue Stream

rolls of American one dollar bills Associations Now November/December 2016 Issue

Membership dues compose the largest chunk of revenue for associations, but over the years they've been making an increasingly lower percentage of the association's overall revenue.

1953 Total revenue: 95.7%

2016 Trade associations: 45.4%
Professional associations: 30%

On average, membership dues are the single largest revenue stream for associations, but over the years the current has slowed. According to the ASAE Foundation’s Association Operating Ratio Report, 15th Edition, an average of 45.4 percent of trade association revenue flows from membership dues, while professional associations report an average of just 30 percent. Back in 1953, when the report was first published, membership dues brought in an average of 95.7 percent of an association’s total revenue. These days, tradeshow booth fees and meeting and convention registration fees are making up increasingly large shares of total association revenue.

Source: ASAE Foundation, Association Operating Ratio Report, 15th Edition

[This article was originally published in the Associations Now print edition, titled, "Data Nugget: Dues Downsizing."]