NAIFA-Florida Board Votes to Support NAIFA Bylaws Changes, NAIFA 2020
By: Tom Ashley, CEO
On Friday August 4th, after much consideration and discussion, the NAIFA-Florida Board of Directors voted to support the NAIFA 2020 initiative as embodied in the NAIFA Trustees’ proposed bylaws changes. The vote to approve the bylaws changes will take place at a meeting of the National Council at September’s Performance + Purpose Conference in Orlando.
Over the past several months, state and local NAIFA-Florida leaders and members, along with the rest of the NAIFA federation, have been reviewing and analyzing sweeping recommendations as put forth by NAIFA in the NAIFA 2020 strategic plan and the Quality Member Experience (QME) task force (including its four Working Groups made up of leaders, members and association execs, who provided the NAIFA Board with recommendations regarding implementation).
Effectively, the changes are in three primary areas:
1) Create a federation structure with chapter relationships between national, states, and strong locals, so that there are fewer but more successful associations to pursue NAIFA’s mission. Members join and pay dues to the national organization, with a portion of dues shared with the state chapter, and any local chapter, to which a member belongs.
2) NAIFA ensures a baseline of quality member services through established standards for success at the national, state, and local levels. The standards will address many of the areas already included in the Bobo “Award of Excellence” application including: advocacy and government relations; governance and administration; membership issues such as events, presentations and recruitment; and programs and professional development offerings.
3) Move to one consistent dues amount nationwide by reducing the number of dues structures from more than 500 to only one.
The reasons for the recommended changes are:
1) To provide member benefits and value in geographic areas where local members are not being served. There are many areas across the federation and Florida where local associations are inactive, and in some cases local boards are not meeting.
2) Membership in the federation has declined consistently for many years, further eroding the effectiveness of many local boards and their ability to provide member benefits – not to mention the deterioration of the association’s finances (local, state, and national). According to NAIFA, “reasons for the (membership) decline range from the inability to attract leaders to the board, to miniscule membership numbers and low or no participation at local meetings and events. Regardless of the reason, the task force and Board believe that (these recommendations are) a more deliberate, proactive and strategic approach in association management and operations to address this trend.”
If approved, state chapters would be responsible for coordinating activities and programming in local or regional areas where there are no longer local associations (or no local chapters). If a local association wants to continue to meet and come together informally, they may do so and are encouraged to do so.
1) New structure:
- State associations would become chapters of NAIFA
- Local associations with 200 or more members would automatically be eligible for chapter status upon application (if they desire).
- Local associations with 100 to 199 members would have the opportunity to apply for chapter status (if they desire), subject to approval by the state and national associations.
- Smaller associations would become affiliates (no formal structure, no burdensome administrative duties). This would free up members in these areas to become engaged in committees or areas of service (PAC, PIC, legislative, YAT, etc. – by way of statewide committees) which they might enjoy more than being bound to administrative responsibilities of a local association.
2) Standards of accountability and success for all levels of the federation:
- State chapters would be subject to standards of accountability and success in order to maintain chapter status.
- Local chapters would be subject to standards of accountability and success in order to maintain chapter status.
3) A unified dues structure:
- Every member across the federation would pay the same dues amount.
- NAIFA would determine the amount of dues and continue to bill the members.
- State chapters to receive 40% of total dues (except from members of local chapters).
- Local chapters would receive 20% of total dues and the state would receive 20% of total dues.
NAIFA relied heavily on input from members and leaders and was diligent in making sure that the entire federation had opportunities for input by way of conference calls, e-mails, and two comment periods asking for suggestions and recommendations to the proposed changes.
If approved by the National Council, the effective date would be January 1, 2019.
There is no doubt that this initiative would be one of the most comprehensive changes to our national organization since its inception in 1890. For months, members of your NAIFA-Florida Board have struggled with this issue, and for many it hasn’t been easy to settle into a comfortable feeling regarding it. But the Board ultimately realized that this association has changed, the business has changed, our culture as a society has changed, and our membership makeup has changed – and that NAIFA must change as well. Despite all of the changes and challenges, NAIFA must continue to exist – to protect the advisors and agents who work hard to protect their clients’ futures, businesses, and families, and to provide the member benefits and resources to help our members generate more income every single day.
Under the leadership of President Linda Moore, the tone in the NAIFA-Florida Board meeting was serious, contemplative, respectful, and diligent. Every Board member spoke and all were committed to doing what they thought would be the very best thing for our members.
I concur with the decision of the NAIFA-Florida Board in support of the initiative, and I’m optimistic that NAIFA will be a better, stronger association if this passes in September. Change is never easy – it goes against our human nature. But NAIFA must change in order to continue its mission and its work. To remain as we are will, I believe, be detrimental at the very least.
Many thanks for all you do! You are appreciated!
For more information on the NAIFA 2020 strategic plan / proposed bylaws changes:
1) Click to review the proposed bylaws.
2) Click to review the Quality Member Experience report, the reports of the four Working Groups, FAQ’s, and other related resources.