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9 Tips to Ensure Affinity Program Success

October 11, 2010

In the current economy, the non-profit sector is having to fight harder than ever for membership dues, sponsorship funds and traditional sources of income. I talk to many of my association colleagues who want to start generating more non-dues revenue for their organization and often times they are not sure exactly where to start. This post addresses some of the things that should be considered when developing affinity programs. It should provide you food for thought as you look for opportunities to better serve your members and provide additional financial resources for your organization.

9 Issues to Address in Developing New Affinity Programs

1- Concept. Do you have a solid product or service you are looking to offer to your members?

2- Market Analysis. Is there a demand among your members for the product/service? Have you done the research necessary to assure a successful launch?

3- Competition. What is the competitive landscape? Are there others who offer something similar? How can you differentiate your product? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?

4- Capital Investment. What type of capital/seed money is needed to develop and launch a program? Do you need outside help to develop the program or evaluate proposals? Is there IT infrastructure that needs to be built out to accommodate the venture? What type of resources do you need effectively market the program?

5- Procurement Process. Is this type of effort that warrants a formal process with multiple proposals/bids or will you sole source it?

6- Profitability. Are the margins wide enough to allow for highly competitive pricing and still provide a revenue stream for your organization?

7- Contracts. How many and what types of agreements need to be developed? You will need contracts with your vendor, other organizations (if you are collaborating on the venture), consultants, etc.

8- Risk. Are there any inherent risks or liabilities created for your organization by undertaking the program?

9- Conflicts. Are there any legal impediments or conflicts with other endorsed vendors, major donors or business partners of your organization?

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