FPA President Evelyn Zohlen FPA President Evelyn Zohlen.

The Financial Planning Association has released its final version of its OneFPA Network, which restructures the organization so that its chapters representing 23,000 members can move in one direction to elevate the financial planning profession, says FPA Chair Frank Paré.

The final OneFPA Network plan, like the last and second iteration of the plan, does not merge the single entities — 86 chapters and two state councils — into one centralized organization, which was the structure of the initial plan introduced in November.

“Nothing has substantively has changed since the second iteration” was released in April followed by four-month “listening tour” to solicit input from members and volunteer leaders and then a 45-day and then a 30-day comment period, 2019 FPA President Evelyn Zohlen tells ThinkAdvisor.

“The feedback was loud and clear that the concept of merging into a single legal entity was a source of great anxiety, and fear and concern. So the transition task force took it off the table.”

Still, the final OneFPA Network plan represents “a transformational change” for the membership organization in its strategic, operation and cultural levels,” according to the FPA.

It consists of several key pillars:

  • Participatory Governance. An advisory council to provide strategic feedback, advisory council executive committee and OneFPA nominating committee to recommend members for board seats. The council will consist of representatives from each chapter and will hold its first meeting in September, rather than the first quarter of next year, which was included in the second version of the OneFPA plan.
  • Beta Testing of Centralized Functionality. Up to 10 chapters will be selected to participate in centralizing technology, accounting/finance and staffing functions and the application process to participate opens up today and ends Sept. 25. “If something is not measuring up [in the beta testing], we can change it,” says Zohlen.
  • Commitments and Agreements. Documents will be amended to reflect principles of participatory governance and a Master Services Agreement created that outlines responsibility of beta-test chapters. The Master Services Agreement will note that chapters will continue to control budgets and reserves, revenues from chapter programs and sponsorship relationships, key programming, and oversee local staff and determine leadership and local governance.
  • Communications and Timing. In addition to other key dates already mentioned, on Oct. 15, 2019, beta-test chapters will be chosen and subsequently develop goals and success measurements through Dec. 31. In January 2020 centralized accounting and staffing is set to be operationalized for beta-test chapters.

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