How to Make Your AMS a Revenue Generator, not a Cost Center

by Joanna Pineda Posted on March 25, 2024

I attend a lot of webinars and conferences about non-dues revenue, including Non Dues-A-Palooza. At all of these events, there are presentations and discussions about new products and new partnerships that associations can invest in and offer to their members.

I realized recently that hardly anyone is talking about AMS (association management system) as a revenue generator; this makes no sense to me! Yes, nearly every association uses their AMS to manage and process dues payments. But associations also use their AMS to track event registrations, purchases, advertising, subscriptions, and sponsorships. So why isn’t your AMS part of YOUR association’s non-dues revenue strategy?

Historically, associations view their AMS as merely a cost center: technology with a fancy price tag to track what the association and members are doing. This is a mistake. We assume that the market for a product or service is influenced by marketing alone, i.e., once a member or customer gets past the marketing email or landing page to convert, the software will take care of the rest and it’s marketing moving the needle. 

In my experience, however, a great online store will increase sales and therefore revenue. A user-friendly event registration system will encourage more registrations. Why? Because while there are highly motivated customers who will manage to get past even the crappiest of online ordering systems, a lot of customers will abandon when they encounter friction (e.g., confusing directions, bad login page). Sure, they have every intention of coming back or calling the association, but a percentage abandons for good. Does this audience represent an additional 1%, 10% or 20% of what could be your total sales? Hard to know.

If your association or nonprofit is looking to increase non-dues revenue, be sure to include someone from the AMS team and ask these questions:

Once you have some answers, work with your team and/or digital partner to make your customer journeys better. Track progress, celebrate results. Keep tweaking. And keep including the AMS in all discussions about non-dues revenue! 

Looking for an Association Management System packed with features to help you increase membership, increase revenue, and become more high-performing? We’d love to show you MatrixMaxx, Matrix Group’s AMS. Request a Demo today!

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