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    What’s your “elevator speech”?

    You’re riding in an elevator with a member of Congress, the editor of the local newspaper, or a prospective member, and they ask you a simple question: “Tell me about your organization?”

    You’ve got between 30-60 seconds to convey who you are and what you do in a clear, concise, and compelling way.  How do you respond?

    Here’s how the fraternal marketing executive I had lunch with last week handled that question:

    “We are a membership organization that brings Catholic values to life by supporting Catholic communities and Catholic education.  We provide opportunities for social and spiritual growth and we protect our members’ financial future with a variety of life insurance and annuity products, and by helping them better understand the need for effective family financial planning.  We have more than 135,000 members.  We conducted more than 7,000 community service events and contributed nearly 200,000 hours of volunteer service last year alone.  In addition, we contributed over $1 million last year to fund programs important to our members and their Catholic communities.  We’ve been a powerful force for good for over a century and we plan on continuing that tradition for generations to come.”

    Pretty powerful stuff, right?  Makes you want to learn more about this organization – or maybe become a member on the spot.  Are you ready to deliver a similar message about your society?  Do you have a similar “elevator speech”?  If so, I’d love to hear it.  Share it with the hundreds of people who read this blog by posting it here…

    A rose by any other name…

    By now you are aware that the NFCA Board of Directors adopted the report of the association’s Branding Task Force and is recommending that the name of the organization be changed to American Fraternal Alliance.  Because a name change requires an amendment to the association’s constitution, the recommendation requires the approval of the membership.  The recommendation will be voted on at the 2010 NFCA Annual Meeting, scheduled for September 9-11, in Chicago.  [CLICK HERE FOR THE MOST CURRENT INFORMATION ON THE ANNUAL MEETING PROGRAM AND TO REGISTER ONLINE.]

    Attendees at the 2010 Section meetings wholeheartedly supported the notion of a name change.  And in previous communications to the membership about the issue – here in the blog, in a June 1 Bulletin, and in a June 22 report to members on the developments of the Board’s June 17 meeting – the response from the majority of members has been very positive.  However, I know that some members may resist the idea of changing the association’s name or feel that the organization should focus on other seemingly more important issues.

    That’s why the Board feels so strongly that the membership should be fully informed about this issue.  As I mentioned, we’ve briefed the membership several times about the initiative, and the next step in the process is a July 8 Webinar in which members of the Board and Branding Task Force will discuss the history of the re-naming debate and the rationale, process, and parameters that the Branding Task Force and the Board went through to reach this historic recommendation.  You’ll be receiving more information on this free Webinar, and we urge all members to listen in and voice their opinions on the matter.  If you want to sound off before the Webinar, just post your comments, questions and concerns right here…

    How times change…

    While sorting through some old files last week we located a resolution adopted by the NFCA Board in 1972.  Basically, the resolution stated that because some member societies had accumulated “an unreasonable amount of surplus” (that’s not a typo) and that such accumulations were not in the best interest of either the society or its members, that the NFCA encourage those societies to either increase membership, increase refunds to members, or establish new fraternal activities…

    One Response

    1. Here’s one example of an elevator speech we use at Modern Woodmen.
      Modern Woodmen is a tax-exempt fraternal benefit society. We sell life insurance, annuity and investment products not to benefit stockholders but to improve the quality of life of our stakeholders – our members, their families and their communities. We accomplish this through social, charitable and volunteer activities. In 2009 we provided over $23 million and 1 million volunteer hours for local community projects.

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