The North American Building Material Distribution Association (NBMDA) is a trade association —comprised of wholesale distributors and manufacturers of specialty building materials for interiors—dedicated to developing and promoting the effectiveness of distribution processes to improve member profitability and growth. Each year, NBMDA provides its members timely education and relevant resources that are essential for navigating industry changes, overcoming obstacles, and enhancing employee productivity and efficiency. Education plays an important part in advancing the organization’s mission, and to fund future educational investments and enhance member value, NBMDA designed a new program that would generate revenue for education programs.
The NBMDA membership is comprised of wholesale distributor businesses and manufacturers who partner with distributors to sell their products. Each member group has different needs about what would be valuable in supporting a new program and NBMDA kept this in mind as they built out the program’s structure.
The NBMDA Board of Directors and staff worked closely to develop the Education Supporter Program, a year-round education sponsorship opportunity structured to address the needs of both member communities. The program focuses on generating funding through member donations to enhance the quality of the education and training that the association provides to its distributor members. All distributor members benefit from the competitively-priced education each year, made possible by the donations.
Distributor members who sponsor the program gain access to NBMDA offerings at a discounted price and are positioned throughout the year as distributor education supporters. Manufacturer member sponsors benefit from the year-round brand positioning that helps to set them apart from their competition and sends a positive message to an important customer segment, the wholesale distributors. In addition to the exposure from the annual sponsorship, program supporters also benefit from complimentary extras, including annual dues, convention registration fees, and more.
Each year, the program generates nearly $100,000 of revenue, of which a large percentage is designated to fund future educational activities. The remainder covers the dues and event registration fees for the supporters.
The program’s retention rates have remained extremely high year-over-year, which enables NBMDA to plan for retained revenue and direct its attention to securing first-time supporters each year.
While the program has created a new revenue stream and continues to advance the mission of the organization, it’s also helped accomplish a number of strategic and operational objectives, including increased business and staff efficiencies and enhanced cash flow early on in the year. NBMDA continues to solicit member feedback about the program to keep sponsors satisfied and deliver enhanced value each year.