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Bits of tid…

Section meetings are coming up and you need to be there…

Section Mid-Year Meeting season kicks off in March with the Fraternal & Communications Sections meeting in Charlotte, NC.  The Secretaries & Human Resources Sections and the Presidents Section follow right behind with April sessions in Hollywood, FL.  Later that month, the Investment Section meets in San Antonio, TX.  The Actuaries Section wraps up the schedule with a June meeting in Milwaukee.  Programs are set for many of these meetings and online registration is also available on the NFCA Web site.

Why should you go to a Section meeting?  Well, it packs a very big bang for your education buck.  You’ll get to interact with outside experts and some of the most knowledgeable fraternal insiders who can provide you with tips, ideas, and suggestions that you can apply right now to make your society and your life more productive.  And I emphasize the word “interact” because sessions at these meetings are designed by your peers to be more than lectures from talking heads.  Section meetings are real-time idea exchanges that can yield bottom-line results for you and your organization.

Of course, you can’t overlook the networking opportunities with other society executives and NFCA Associate Members, who just might hold the key to your next great idea.  So come on, invest the time and effort to get registered and get there.  You’ll walk away smarter, happier, and glad you got off the bench and into the game.

Hats off to the Illinois Fraternal Congress for its first-ever state capital event…

The historical modus operandi for defending our tax-exempt status is to pretend we’re invisible until a threat exists and then try to marshal the resources to defeat legislation that could undermine the fraternal system.  I think we need to turn that concept on its head and let public policymakers know who we are and what we do BEFORE a threat exists.  I firmly believe that if they really understand the value that the fraternal exemption delivers to their constituents in terms of volunteerism and financial support for worthy causes, repeal of our tax-exempt status will never get on the legislative menu in the first place.  There is a difference between “keeping your powder dry” and hiding in the basement hoping no one will notice you.  A number of state fraternal congresses (SFC) – Wisconsin, Texas, and Pennsylvania come to mind – play key roles in proactively communicating a pro-fraternal message to state lawmakers by conducting annual events in the state capital.  The Illinois Fraternal Congress (IFC) will join them this year with an event in Springfield on March 3-4.  Such events are one of the main ways SFCs can play a more integral role in enhancing the awareness of the fraternal system among a very important audience.  NFCA can help you organize such meetings.  Congratulations to the IFC for jumping on the bandwagon – you're well on your way to earning the NFCA State Fraternal Congress AIM Award.  This new award replaces the previous "Go-for-the-Gold" Award and will annually honor SFCs for programs and activities that FOCUS their efforts to promote the fraternal benefit system in their state and TARGET relationship-building with their legislators.  Let me know what your SFC is doing in this area by posting your comments here…

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