Editor’s Note: UPDATE: Check out our massive, ultimate list of non-dues revenue ideas for chambers in 2021 here.
We’ve shared non-dues revenue ideas before on this blog and some here too. But periodically, it’s good to ask the chamber pros again. Ideas are percolating and community needs change. Some of these ideas might surprise you:
Best Non-Dues Revenue Ideas for Chambers
Think the chamber can’t afford a digital billboard? How about smaller businesses? Think again.
Wendy Eaton-Rackovan shared, “We purchased a slot on a digital billboard and divided that slot into 30 increments and sell to Chamber members for $100 per ad slot. We pay the billboard company $2,000, but sell 30 spaces at $100 each so we make $1,000.
We’ve purchased two spaces (@$4,000) per month and we’re sold out for the year. Our smaller businesses love that they can get advertising on a billboard for such an affordable price.”
Many chambers host some version of a neighborhood sale. For some, that looks like a sidewalk sale on Main Street for others a garage sale that they sell booth space for.
If your area is spread out and not conducive to a single sale location, you could run a virtual sidewalk sale instead.
There are many options when it comes to hosting chamber events that bring in non-dues revenue. These include:
- business expo or trade shows
- health and wellness fairs
- taste of events
- restaurant weeks
- casino night
- gala evening
- awards banquet
- golf tournament
- skeet shooting
- trivia night
- dancing with the chamber stars
T-shirt sales have been extremely successful for the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce. It not only can be great revenue, but a good branding opportunity as well.
Emily Harp at the chamber explained, “We got a co-sponsor (title sponsor) then posted and talked about it for about 2 weeks.
“We got local companies to agree to allow their employees (if they purchased the shirt from us) to wear it on a designated day. We chose 2/14 because it was a ‘show your shirt day – finding love in all the local places’ kinda angle.
“The companies collected the orders and submitted them to us. 2 days before we went to the businesses and delivered the shirts. (Some companies collected the money and wrote us a check, some collected then just gave us the collection, and some we had to have the employees contact us to pay over the phone. Important to note the community could purchase too.
“Then that day of the event any companies with more than 5 employees wearing the shirt were visited and pictures taken of those employees in front of their logo. Community members and smaller groups were encouraged to send us or tag us in their pictures. That night I took all those pictures and made a video we shared.
“This was an amazing hit! It promoted the chamber, the businesses, and the community while giving the employees what they would like, a casual Friday.
“Some of these businesses are still allowing their employees to wear their shirts AND it’s been fun to watch out shirts go all over the country! So far we have seen our small town in Alabama represented in both California and New York!”
What non-dues revenue ideas have worked for your chamber? Share your successes here and learn some other ideas too.