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July 11, 2008

Note to prospective affinity partners

Yesterday I received a nice hand addressed envelope from a prospective affinity partner. Seeing that it was addressed in ink, and not by lasers, naturally I opened it. There was a nice hand-signed letter from a nice sales manager stating that he would be in attendance at an upcoming conference we were both planning to attend. Up to this point, I was warm to the idea of meeting the sales manager.

Then I opened up the enclosed brochure. Headline: Increase Non-Dues Revenue!

Straight to the recycle bin.

If any affinity partner types are reading this blog, understand this: Affinity partners exist first to meet the needs of the membership and secondarily (even optionally) produce non-dues income. Headlining your brochures with Increase Non-Dues Revenue is a not so subtle clue that you don't have a clue about how associations are supposed to operate.

Tell me how you meet a member need. Then talk about money. But don't lead with how much non-dues income you can generate.

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