GrowthZone, a leading Chamber CRM solution, just released their 2023 Chamber survey results, we found the trends to be very interesting, particularly through the lens of fundraising. You can review the details for yourself at GrowthZone.
The surveyed Chamber leaders’ top 3 concerns were: #1 Member Engagement & Retention, #2 Growing Membership, and #3 Revenue. Functionally, if you consider member retention and growth to drive retained and increased dues, the bottom line of top 3 concerns is the same: FUNDING!
Specifically, regarding member renewal, 71% of respondents anticipate a renewal rate of 80-94%. The third highest ranked reason for non-renewal was Lack of Value. In that vein, these Chamber leaders believe that 41% of members either do not understand or are unsure about the value of their membership.
While this certainly isn’t a bleak picture for sustaining dues revenue, it’s not all unicorns and rainbows either. Given that dues represents 55% of these chambers’ revenue, there is reason for concern – and for a strategic response. For nonprofits in general, but specifically for Chambers of Commerce, revenue is absolutely tied to the value proposition to constituents.
What might have be most surprising in this survey was that Fundraising was 4th among the top five non-dues revenues sources, following events, sponsorships, and grants. In reality, particularly with Convergent’s Investment Driven Model™, direct fundraising (i.e.: explicitly for programs, rather than for a sponsorship or event) has the potential to address multiple points of concern that come through in the survey.
With the Investment Driven Model a capital campaign for a Chamber, or any other organization for that matter, a case for investment is developed to explicitly clarify the value proposition of the organization and work to be funded. This creates a direct “Return on Investment” mindset for the investor (not donor!) in the campaign. Each prospect is presented with a clear picture of the outcomes – the real, direct impact – that the Chamber’s programming will deliver to the community, which in turn maximizes the amount of funding those programs will receive.
The key to sustainability, and increased funding, is inherently tied to an understanding of the value proposition. It’s not just about membership, it’s about being a part of an organization that is driving valuable outcomes, and helping to ensure that work never stops.
Going back to GrowthZone’s survey – Organizational and Growth Challenges concerns included both lack of time, and lack of employees/staff. Luck for you, Chambers, a cornerstone of Convergent’s professional fundraising services is managing campaigns from start to finish, with available full-time, on-site support. We’ll do the heavy lifting to help ensure your Chamber – or EDO, or any other nonprofit – has the funding needed to continue to deliver the outcomes that are improving your community.