Has your chapter decided to use contacts with vendors, potential advertisers, and meeting sponsors as a way to generate revenue? If so, here are some ideas to get you started!
How can my chapter generate revenue through connections with vendors?
Think about which companies in your local area would benefit from contact with HR professionals. If you were that company, would the HR community be your target market? The kinds of organizations that would see your chapter as a "target market" might be as follows:
Meeting and event planners
Temporary staffing firms
University continuing education programs
University departments/degree programs
Hotels/corporate lodging firms
Health and dental care providers
Employee recognition companies
Employee credit unions
University career services offices
Real estate firms
Using the list above, develop a list of local organizations that might be considered vendors for your chapter. From that list, you can create a mailing list to send an invitation for these companies to become meeting sponsors, vendors at a vendor fair, advertisers in your newsletter or on your chapter web site, etc. Many chapters generate revenue in this way.
What should I charge for and what types of sponsorships exist?
Meeting or Event Sponsorship
You could charge a vendor a fee to "sponsor" your chapter meeting. For example, for a certain fee, sponsors could receive:
Five minutes to discuss their product/service at the podium
A table at the meeting to have materials available for your members
A free ad in the newsletter
A free meal (or two) at the chapter meeting
A member directory
Web Site or Newsletter Advertisement
Your chapter could charge a fee to place an advertisement on your web site in the form of a banner ad (the vendor company should create the ad) or in your newsletter. You might consider a fee scale$#151;a discount for the more months the ad is placed. Fees might also increase depending upon the location or size of the ad.
Renting Your Chapter Membership List
Some chapters are willing to rent their membership list (with mailing addresses only, not e-mails or phone numbers) for a price. To keep vendors from reusing the list, offer them pre-printed mailing labels rather than giving them an electronic directory. Some chapters charge quite a bit for the use of their mailing lists.
Allow Advertising in Your Chapter Member Directory
If your chapter publishes a member directory, defray the costs of printing it with advertising. Charge enough to pay for the printing and distribution of the directory and generate a profit. You might offer the advertisers a free copy of the directory once it is published to thank them for their support.
Create an HR Service Provider Directory
Your chapter could invite vendors to appear in a special directory of HR service providers for a fee. Charge enough so that printing and mailing costs are covered, and so that your chapter generates a profit.
Hold an HR Service Provider/Vendor Fair
Your chapter could hold a special event each year where you invite HR service providers to come together for a showcase or fair. Charge enough so that advertising the event, printing invitations, securing the space, and other event charges are covered and a profit is made.
These are just a few ideas to help your chapter generate revenue through contacts with your local vendors. Good luck with your revenue-generating projects.