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What in the world is “data-driven advocacy?”

I know there are times when members may get a little annoyed by all the information their association asks them to provide.  We ask you to provide feedback on potential products and services, to evaluate meetings, to give your opinion on public policy positions under consideration by the Board, and to rate our performance and the value of association membership.  Most importantly, we ask for detailed information on your fraternal activities – everything from member benefits, to social events, to community service projects on which your society and its lodges are engaged.

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A little something for everyone…

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a blog, and I’ve been collecting items that I just know you’ll love.  I’ll save the big thought pieces on the future of fraternalism and the procedure for rolling out the association’s new name for later in the month.  In the meantime, I hope these interesting bits of tid will whet your holiday appetite for making a difference in your society, in your community, and in the nation…

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Selling the fraternal difference – I’ve got questions; you’ve got answers…

We talk a lot about the “fraternal difference” – the unique factors that distinguish us from any other entity, be it a commercial life insurer or a charitable organization.  Fraternals are a breed apart – from our common bonds, to our governance structure, to our incredible ability to enhance the quality of life for our members, our communities, and our nation’s social fabric and economic health. 

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10 reasons why supporting military families makes sense for fraternals…

As you know, earlier this year NFCA’s Board of Directors adopted a resolution encouraging its member societies to support the National Military Family Association’s (NMFA) “Operation Purple” program.  “Operation Purple” is NMFA’s summer camp program for children of military families.  NMFA designs the camp curriculum specifically for children with one or both parents actively serving in the military and provides scholarships to every camp participant.  The cost of sending one child to camp is $500 and NMFA operates hundreds of camps serving thousands of military children across the country.

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Rose is back and it’s time to blog…

Rose Riccetti (now Rose Riccetti-Andrikos) is back from her wedding in Jamaica and all that pent up blogging inside me can now be released once again on you poor, unsuspecting readers.  During this mini-blog break I’ve come across several articles that I thought you might find interesting.  Take a look at the quick summaries provided below and click on the links that suit your fancy…

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Why it’s better to be the sausage maker than the ingredients

You’ve all heard the old saying about legislation and sausage – you know, that you don’t want see either one being made.  But when you are an organization whose members are significantly impacted by the decisions of public policymakers – be it on tax laws or insurance rules – you just can’t afford to sit on the sidelines and ignore the sausage-making process.  If you do, you run the risk of being tossed into the grinder.

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Bits of Tid…

We’re all still recovering from the Annual Meeting, so the long-winded epistles that sometimes populate this space will have to wait a week or two.  (Don’t look so happy…)  In the interim, here are a few items I thought you might find interesting.  And don’t forget, this is as much your space as it is mine, so if you have any comments, suggestions, concerns, book recommendations, or favorite movie quotes (see below for more information on this item), please SPEAK OUT!!!

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All We Need is You…

The keynote speakers are briefed, the workshop leaders prepared, the Section meeting agendas confirmed, the community service project organized, the special events nailed down.  All we need to make the 2010 NFCA Annual Meeting a success is you.  The NFCA staff is particularly excited about this year’s meeting because it’s being held right here in Chicago, our home town.  We’re looking forward to welcoming you to “the city that works” and will do everything we can to make this year’s meeting exceed your expectations.  Here are a few things to put on your “to do” list…

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Joe’s Special

Brand Camp… As you know, NFCA has been doing extensive work on its own brand – the membership will consider a proposal to adopt American Fraternal Alliance as the new name of the association at next month’s Annual Meeting in Chicago – and in the process, we’ve discovered that a number of member societies are also seriously considering overhauling their organization’s brand identity.  In fact, we conducted a complimentary NFCA Webinar on this very topic - Does Your Society Need to Overhaul Its Identity? last Tuesday, which you can replay for free.

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My Kind of Town…

We’re only a month away from the NFCA Annual Meeting in Chicago… so the question on everyone’s minds is “what do I need to pack?”  Other than the Community Service Activity and the Closing Reception/Dinner, the dress code for the entire meeting will be business casual—so feel free to pack those slacks, open-collared shirts, and sport coats, or the female equivalent of skirts, pants, sweater sets, and informal dresses.

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