“Golden Age” of Opportunity
May 21, 2013Fraternal executives spend quite a bit of time, energy, and effort trying to figure out how to “grow younger.” And rightly so. Without a steady stream of new, younger (under 40 years old) members coming in to our societies, the risk of extinction becomes a real threat. But while we’re busy trying to crack the code of making the fraternal model relevant to a generation whose common bond might not be as common or as binding as it was to their parents and grandparents, we may have a “golden age” of opportunity right under our collective noses. Today, right now, we all have the chance to provide our members with meaningful education and information benefits that enhance the quality of their lives; to offer financial services products that secure a steady flow of income for the rest of their lives; and to enable a powerful and plentiful pool of community service volunteers to engage in projects that improve the communities in which they – and your future members – live. Let me tell about what one society – Modern Woodmen of America – is doing for the important 55+ demographic. They have developed a model and chartered approximately 225 “Summit Chapters” for members 55 and over. One of the model’s expectations is to host a Summit Educational Event sometime during the year. Chapters may use an outside resource or choose to use one of five programs that have been created specifically to fill this requirement. They are designed to be presented by Modern Woodmen’s local financial representative. Included are Social Security and Medicare; Long-Term Care; Estate Planning; and Final Wishes. The fifth program, Our National Parks, is also available. Each program provides a PowerPoint and script and has a hand-out or take-home item. Members are encouraged to invite guests to the presentations because the topics are so timely. Each offering is approximately 20 minutes long. As part of Modern Woodmen’s attention to this growing demographic, the society’s Louisiana regional office hosted an “Evening to Remember” as a community event. Other sponsors included a local attorney who specializes in elder-care law, the senior citizens center, and area hospitals. The goal of the event was to open lines of communication between generations regarding life-limiting illnesses and aging. Exhibits (e.g. social service agencies, hospice providers, funeral homes, etc.), dinner and a keynote speaker (Parenting Your Parents) completed the program. Approximately 175 people attended the event. Ideally, Modern Woodmen would like to replicate the program in other areas. Want to learn more about the Modern Woodmen “Summit Chapter” program and how you can better meet the needs of your 55+ members? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll put you in touch with the right person at Modern Woodmen. Or better yet, use the Alliance’s online member communities to chat up your colleagues and find successful programs used by member societies that you can put to work in your organization. To learn more about our online member communities and get started as a participant in you just need to follow a few basic steps: • Sign up for the American Fraternal Alliance Member Community. (Click here to start.) • Personalize your profile page- add a profile photo, description and interests. • Join a Group based on your interests in the fraternal world. • Post a question or comment in the Forum to reach out to all members. Questions? Email Andrea Litewski, alitewski@FraternalAlliance.org, or leave a message on the Site Administrator Page. Ten Gallon Hats Off to the Fraternal Alliance of Texas Congratulations to the Fraternal Alliance of Texas for introducing and successfully securing the adoption of House Resolution 1683, which recognizes the valuable contributions made by fraternals to communities across the state. The Resolution was adopted while fraternal executives were in Austin for their annual “Day in the Capital” event. This is a great opportunity for the fraternal community in Texas to communicate good information to our elected officials and the entire team at the Texas State Capitol about the great works that our respective fraternals do for their members and for the communities in which they live and work. Well done, folks!