Executive Education: How to Milk a Non Dues Cash Cow
Looking for a cash cow? Consider executive education for your senior and executive level members. Some associations have partnered their senior level executive education with an Ivy League institution while others have used other well-known universities. Unfortunately, both can take a large bite into your profits.
Consider outsourcing and working with an educational consultant and doing it in-house keeping more profits in your own cash register. There are several considerations that can make or break the success of such an undertaking:
Length: Will your senior and executive level members attend an intensive educational event for one week? The optimal program gets attendees in by Sunday evening and sends them home early Friday afternoon. A second option is either ending Wednesday afternoon or including a Saturday and Sunday.
Location: Although it is recommended that at least one evening be devoted to an educational activity, the attendees want their freedom in the evening. A conference center venue in a locale with evening options is recommended. Think suburban Washington, DC as an example.
Education Topics: Education content is your first key to success. Consider what skills your members need to fine tune to be a more effective executive. Although you can survey your own members, here is a curriculum of offering that always works well:
Imagine offering your members the value of 8 - 10 of these topics in a one-week period. That's an "Executive Ph.D." in itself. Notice how each title has a marketing flair. Will your senior level members say, "Yeah! I need that. Sign me up."
Faculty: To acquire your second key to success, think seasoned; someone with a doctorate, years of professional experience, and "edutaining." The universities can provide the first two requirements, but it's the third one that is of most importance to your members. It's the "edutainment" element that will be the hardest to find.
Cost: The big name schools command between $5,000 - $10,000 per person for an all-inclusive week of education, lodging, and meals. With the right marketing and educational consultant you can do it for much less - and charge your members much less - and still come away with a $50,000 - $100,000 profit.
Value-Added Benefit: Consider which of your own staff members you would send and how smart they will become to do their jobs better within your association.