SEATTLE — The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) will be increasing dues Jan. 1, 2011, and again Jan. 1, 2012.
The national council at NAIFA, Falls Church, Va., started to implement a 3-stage dues increase a year ago, in response to the effects of the recession and a belief that NAIFA had to gird for battles in Congress over health insurance, financial services industry regulation, and taxation of life and annuity products.
NAIFA officials said here at the NAIFA annual meeting that the group’s finances have improved.
“I’m proud to report that our association is in strong financial shape and getting stronger,” NAIFA Treasurer Randy Scritchfield said during a NAIFA national council session. “Although the books are not yet closed on fiscal year 2010, we expect this to be the first year since 2006 without an operating deficit.”
NAIFA gives more details about its finances in its latest annual report, which includes results for the first 10 months of NAIFA’s 2009-2010 fiscal year. NAIFA lost $750,000 on $16 million in revenue during the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2009. NAIFA had a breakeven operating budget for the fiscal year that ended last month, and the 2010-2011 operating budget “shows a solid surplus,” NAIFA says in the annual report.
Scritchfield said during the national council session that the July financial statement shows year-to-date operating expenses are about $900,000 under budget. “And the net operating surplus is $500,000 better than budget,” Scritchfield said.
Despite the increase in dues, NAIFA has had to cut costs to deal with weakness in non-dues revenue sources, such as magazine advertising revenue and headquarters building rental income, NAIFA says.
“The commercial real estate market in Northern Virginia remains soft, still frustrating NAIFA’s attempts to lease the vacant space in our headquarters building,” NAIFA says in the annual report. “However, in the summer of 2010, interest in the property has
increased, and negotiations are [under way] with several prospective tenants.”
NAIFA says its national membership committee is committed to making the 2010-2011 membership year one of membership growth.
NAIFA recruited 7,605 new members during the 2009-2010 fiscal year, and it persuaded 9,835 lapsed members to renew their memberships.
NAIFA Chief Executive Officer Susan Waters said during a national council session that NAIFA is trying to improve the value of member services by adding features such as an online seminar series and online podcasts that members can send to clients.
Next year, Waters said, NAIFA will offer advisors a chance to participate in a new NAIFA Quality Award program.
Strengthening membership and member involvement can help advocacy efforts, Waters said.
In August, for example, when NAIFA sent out a member alert, NAIFA members submitted more than 1,500 comments on the standard of care issue to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Waters said.
Allison Bell contributed to this article.