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Target Sports Marketing
Improving Revenue & Fundraising By Jeff Moran, Managing Director, Target Sports Marketing Is your non-profit shooting club or range being hit hard by declining revenue and funding? Target Sports Marketing (TSM) recently completed work with several 501 (c) (3) nonprofit shooting organizations and came up with some ideas and recommendations you should consider at your club. Develop a “sustaining member” program with ongoing payments via credit cards; convert annual members to sustainers over time. Sustainers would commit to membership donations at a pre-determined monthly level, and payment would continue indefinitely with credit card. These membership programs tend to yield higher retention rates and wallet share than annual membership models in the long run. Often these types of member programs make fundraising simpler, lower recruiting costs, and have the benefit of making cash-flow more predictable. Analyze members and funding sources, identify the more passionate and well- resourced, and create an “elite” sustaining member program extension. Often times 20% of the membership and funding base provides 80% of energy and other resources for a club. Use this to your clubs advantage. Give this elite group more attention, more benefits, and develop a campaign to develop them as partners. This isn’t to say hat you should ignore the other 80%. On the contrary, you should consider, dropping some and seeking more valuable members, especially if your club has a cap on its membership. This could be done by raising the bar for membership in terms of volunteer service obligation, membership fees, or both. 26 l CLUB CONNECTION l Volume 14, Number 3
Get the word out about your charitable status, and elicit donations with an old-fashioned fund-raiser. Lots of shooting clubs have formal charity status with the IRS but few actually make the most of this special status. If your club newsletter or website doesn’t show it is a 501 (c) (3) and that you rely on contributions, make some changes and start doing so. Lost of people and business give for goodness sake, even now, and you should seek them out. For example, use your membership to put the word out about all the good your club does for the youth of your area. Urge members to give more of their charity dollars directly to the club instead of some other charity. Check with your local schools, places of worship, and workplaces to see if you could put some signs up to generate interest in the non-profit mission of your club. Don’t forget to talk to those long-time members about including the club in their estate planning. The difficult economy presents opportunities to rethink how your club works (or doesn’t work) with respect to revenue and fundraising. The ideas above just might work for your non profit club. Why not give them a try. Who knows, these ideas might help take your club to the next level! Target Sports Marketing (TSM), a consulting and services firm focused on the international shooting industry. TSM delivers strategic management, marketing & communications, and competitive intelligence & research client services. www.targetsportsmarketing.com