The Financial Planning Association released the second iteration of its OneFPA Network plan — and the most notable change is that merging into a single legal entity is now “off the table.”
Announced November 2018, the OneFPA Network is an organizational vision to completely restructure the entire association to better align and integrate FPA at all levels.
The goal is for FPA to deliver an elevated member experience, empower the association’s more than 2,000 volunteer leaders, and realize its strategic priorities more effectively.
“We want to make sure that FPA remains a viable strong relevant and impactful organization — not only for current members but for future members as well,” 2019 FPA President Evelyn Zohlen told reporters during a preview of the new plan. “What we’re going to do to accomplish that is we’re going to do a better job of uniting FPA and its communities to greater alignment and integration. We’re still firm believers that’s the way to go.”
In the first iteration, the separate legal entities of the chapters were to be eliminated as a way to better align the association strategically, functionally and culturally. At the time, Zohlen explained that “89 different legal entities with 89 different accounting systems and 89 different technology platforms is not a good business model. It creates unnecessary redundancies, additional administrative burdens for our volunteer leaders, and doesn’t add value for our members.”
However, following a four-month ‘listening tour’ to solicit member and volunteer leader input and feedback that ended mid-February 2019, FPA decided to remove this requirement from the plan.
“The feedback that we received on the idea of merging as a single legal entity did not feel good,” Zohlen told media. “Many, many of our chapters said, ‘This just doesn’t feel right.’”
Zohlen said many of the chapters didn’t feel comfortable relinquishing their separate legal entities at this time.
“That feedback was taken very seriously … and you’ll see in the second iteration of the plan that merging into a single legal entity is off the table,” Zohlen added.
The original draft OneFPA Network vision was based on two key pillars intended to support more integration and alignment — participatory governance and centralized functionality.
The goal of participatory governance is to invite more leadership voices into the strategic direction setting of FPA. The intent of centralized functionality is for all FPA communities to work more effectively together to support an elevated member experience and realize FPA’s strategic objectives.
While these two pillars still play a key role in the Second Iteration of the OneFPA Network Draft Plan, the new plan focuses on four key areas below.
FPA plans to institutionalize contributions from more FPA leaders in shaping the present and future of FPA by forming three new groups: the OneFPA Advisory Council, the OneFPA Advisory Council Executive Committee and the OneFPA Nominating Committee.