The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors has dropped a proposal from its new strategic plan that would have made membership in local associations optional because of “pockets of opposition in our most popular states,” said its CEO.
In an interview, NAIFA CEO David Woods also touched on important components of the proposed strategic plan, “NAIFA in the 21st Century.”
The plan, to be presented for approval to members at NAIFA’s annual convention in Washington in September, includes an intense branding campaign that would make local groups carry a uniform name, and stepped-up advocacy and educational and training efforts.
The strategic planning group and the NAIFA board suggested making membership in local groups optional last fall because communicating through meetings “is not nearly as relevant today as it was in 1890 when NAIFA was founded, or even 25 years ago,” Woods said.
“So, we accepted the idea that forcing people into local associations was not as relevant, and so proposed to make it optional,” Woods said, noting that doing this would have required a change in bylaws at the annual meeting.
“The board withdrew it because it heard from local and state association that this was not a good idea,” Woods said. “There were pockets of opposition in our most popular states,” he added, although he declined to be more specific.
According to its plan, NAIFA will also raise dues by $49 annually, to $190, for its members, and will ask authority to use half of its reserves as collateral to finance increased staffing and upgraded technology to carry out the strategic plan.
The plan will also involve creating a “new approach” to support the recruitment of new members.
Critical to the success of the effort, Wood said, will be increased use of technology to help its members expand their networking as well as their marketing, educational and sales efforts.
NAIFA will also work to increase the support of its members for its lobbying activities. A survey indicated that only 23.8% of its members contribute to its Political Action Committee, although its PAC remains the largest in the industry, said Woods and NAIFA President John Davidson.