Idea No. 13 for keeping AAJA extraordinary:
I believe AAJA should strive toward a business model that gradually weans us from the annual convention as our single major source of revenue.
Sure, we’re going to have a successful UNITY Journalists convention and a great New York Convention in 2013, but over the next two years, we need to find more ways to bring in income every quarter. To some degree, this happens organically, as members renew their dues as they register for convention and make last-minute, tax-deductible contributions before the end of the year. But we should be fund-raising during traditionally slow periods as well.
What does AAJA get out of it? A steady stream of income is always better than a feast-or-famine revenue model, because it helps us pay for year-round expenses like staff salaries, rent and postage. We might revive our AAJA store with AAJA-branded souvenirs. Or we could hold an online auction through a site like BiddingforGood.com, which helps thousands of great causes like ours. At one point, we even considered an AAJA-branded credit card. The point is that the time to start planning for greater financial stability is before we’re strapped for cash and new ideas.