Even associations that rely most heavily on dues dollars get more than half of their revenue from other sources.
Associations are often cautioned not to rely heavily on membership dues as a source of revenue. Diversification is essential, especially now that a member's relationship with an organization can be more fluid and resistance to dues increases can be strong.
Associations as a whole are doing well on that front, according to the ASAE Foundation's Association 990 database, which tracks organizations that report a minimum of $200 in membership dues and at least one paid employee. For all such organizations, the median proportion of revenues coming from dues is 31 percent, though there are substantial differences among 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), and 501(c)(6) organizations. For more information on the Association 990 database, visit www.asaefoundation.org.
Median proportion of revenues derived from membership dues: