Are you willing to pay? The challenge facing non-profit Associations

Posted on August 19, 2015


Editor’s Note: I think that this is an important post by IACCM’s Tim Cummins, because it not only demonstrates that he recognizes the challenges ahead, but that he has – as one associate put it, the courage to openly discuss it. It is through an open dialogue such as this, that real and lasting solutions can be both identified and implemented.

Commitment Matters

Last week, Jon Hansen wrote a blog in which he observed that people are increasingly unwilling to pay for content. I responded to him regarding the challenges this represents for organizations that seek to remain objective in the advice they offer – and how it means they must increasingly consider how to package their insights or knowledge into fee- based services, rather than traditional models such s charging for membership.

Jon picked up on my comments in a further blog and expands the question of whether, in a fee-based world, objectivity and independence can be maintained. Is it inevitable (he asks) that Associations will become ‘for sale to the highest bidder’?

In the past, the value of Associations tended to rely very heavily on being a point of focused content and professional networking. Some also offered training and / or professional accreditation, essentially seeking to make membership a dependency for…

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