How to finance your alumni network? The management of the contributions

Your network can be supported by your community through membership fees. The key is to create a consistent and attractive offering for your members. Here is an overview of best practices for managing membership fees.

Nowadays, any structure can (and must) have its own network, whatever its financial means. The platforms are infinitely scalable and the choice of functionalities is in line with the expectations, needs and means of everyone. However, your network can be subsidized by your community through membership fees. To do this, you need to create a coherent and attractive offer for your members. Here is an overview of good practices for managing membership fees.

  1. How much for my membership fees?
  2. The possible offer formats
  3. Make my offers attractive
  4. Payment tools to save time

 

How much for my membership fees?

The membership fee is the amount of money that an association can ask from all or some of its members in order to balance its accounts. It is not systematic but can represent a boost in the development of your network.
The amount of a membership fee is not fixed in advance but is left to the discretion of the association. In general, the amount should be defined and proportional to the real needs of the association in order to allow it to function smoothly. We advise you to set a significant amount to involve graduates and students. Indeed, if the amount of the contribution is too low, the contributors will be less inclined to come back to the association afterwards. On average, annual dues amount to 70 € against 300 € for lifetime dues.

How to develop your contribution offers

If you are setting up a membership system, you will have to decide between the two existing systems: annual membership or lifetime membership (more than 65% of networks operate with annual membership).

Annual fee

  • Advantages: Greater revenue in the long term (provided that a communication campaign is implemented)
  • Cons: More time to spend (reminder, payment management...)

Lifetime Membership

  • Advantages: Less time spent. If it is included in the tuition fees, it ensures a stable income every year (depending on the number of students)
  • Cons: Smaller budget in the long run. You have to find a way to get alumni to come back to the platform afterwards

Some institutions include the association's membership fee in their tuition. This allows the association to ensure a stable income from year to year and to integrate students directly into the platform's services. It also saves time for the association and provides a more stable business model.
For example, Dauphine Alumni offers students the opportunity to make a one-time contribution for their entire course of study when they register (valid for between 1 and 8 years). By involving students from the first year of their studies, Dauphine Alumni ensures financial stability, visibility and recognition.

Make your offer appealing

You can create diversified offers with different amounts depending on their status and their involvement in the network. However, be careful not to multiply the offers too much. There are many possibilities

  • Preferential rate for students
  • Preferential rate for graduates seeking employment or professional retraining
  • Benefactor rate, honorary member or founding member for Alumni willing to help the association financially
  • Discovery rate (3 months free, for example) for Alumni who rediscover the association
  • Promotional offers during the association's or training institution's special occasions (e.g., anniversary)

It is up to you to define an offer in accordance with the specificities of your network!

Payment tools to save time

Banks and new actors in online payment allow the use of the credit card or the deferred payment, further simplifying the act of purchasing. Today, tools such as Paypal, Stripe, Hipay, Lydia... are accessible to all and are becoming commonplace.
In addition to that, Alumnforce offers on its platform tools to manage your contributions with reminders at D-15, D+15 and D+30 to automatically remind your contributors. These tools, reminders, can also allow you to update your income more quickly and easily (online payment, Paypal, direct debit, receipt edition, etc.).

 

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Written by:

Matthieu

Matthieu

I'm looking for the best alumni news for you: trends, best practices, guides... All the information you need to bring value to your network!

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