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    A little light reading

    In my last post, I provided you with a list of “pleasure reading” suggestions; this week I have a host of articles that I think might help your business operations. Take a look and let me know what you think – or if you have an article or two that you’d like to recommend to readers.

    • Royal Neighbors cooking up growth ideas – Check out this article from the August issue of Best’s Review for some recipes on how your society might find creative ways to stir up interest in the value of life insurance.
    • Putting your affinity to work – Another article from the same issue of Best’s Review demonstrates how organizations with authentic affinities can utilize those connections to market a wide variety of products and services to members.
    • Is that any way to run a charity? You bet it is! – What if we let philanthropies operate like businesses? According to this author, it may result in capitalism saving the world. What might the impact be on fraternals?
    • The dark clouds on the horizon – This article from the July 2012 issue of National Underwriter is a little old, but still quite timely. You can’t prepare for the future without addressing the cold, hard facts.
    • Your real competition for young consumers: banks – According to this LIMRA study, it’s not commercial insurance companies that pose the biggest competitive challenge, it’s banks. Must reading for any society seeking to “grow younger.”
    • The trends that are affecting your society – Another “futurecast” article about how societal and demographic changes are affecting our current and future members. Again, if you’re working on your society’s long-term plan, you’ll need to be aware of these trends.

    And speaking of the future…

    The Alliance staff and Board of Directors are in the process of developing the organization’s 2013 Strategic Plan and budget. We base this plan on a variety of information, including:

    • Data gathered from members based on the results of our annual membership satisfaction survey; evaluation forms from meetings, conferences, and Webinars; and direct feedback, input, and suggestions from members.
    • Information on the “external environment” – trends in demographics, politics, and the economy that are likely to affect fraternals directly and indirectly – gathered from a variety of sources, including Alliance consultants, the news media, think tanks, and associate members.
    • The views and insights of individual Board and staff members.

    The Strategic Plan consists of both annual and long-term (3-5 year) goals with specific “measurables” for each goal that allow the Board to determine the progress made and assess the staff’s performance. The plan is directly tied to the Alliance’s budget to ensure that our reach does not exceed our grasp. Finally, the goals fall into several key areas – advocacy and public policy, membership benefits, education and information, administration and financial management – that relate directly to the Alliance’s mission.

    Got a suggestion for a specific goal you’d like to see included in the 2013 Strategic Plan? Now’s the time to reach out to a Board member, email me at jannotti@fraternalalliance.org, or post your idea right here. The Board is scheduled to review and approve the final version of the Strategic Plan at its November 9, 2012, meeting. I’ll post the goals approved by the Board in a blog following that meeting.

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