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Pop Quiz: Two Questions Every Fraternal Should Answer

March 4, 2010

Here are a couple questions for you…

  1. What challenges keep you awake at night?

  2. How do you define success for your society – in terms of product sales, increased revenue, lodge formation, member growth, fraternal activities, volunteer hours contributed, direct financial contributions made, member satisfaction, or other factors?

This isn’t a test.  There are no right or wrong answers.  It’s a forum to share your thoughts.  The discussion could lay the groundwork for enhancing the type and quality of service the NFCA can provide its members, and establish benchmarks for how we evaluate our societies’ performance.  Post your responses by using the comment box at the bottom of this page.

We’ve Moved!!!

So we moved this past week.  Only about 150 yards from where we were, but you still have to do all the same things that you’d do if you moved across the country.  Thankfully, I have a dedicated staff who handled the relocation process seamlessly.  (I made sure to be out of the office on moving day…)  And hopefully you didn’t experience any inconvenience in trying to contact the staff or in receiving information from the association.

For the record, our new address is:

1301 West 22nd Street, Suite 700
Oak Brook, IL 60523

All the electronic contact information – phone, e-mail, Web site – remains the same. 

Why did we move?  Well, we reduced the size of the staff late in 2008 and our old space was just a little too big for us.  With our lease coming due, we decided to see if we could find space that would be a better fit for us and save the members some money.  We accomplished both of those objectives in spades, because if there is one benefit of the economic recession, it’s that office space is plentiful and landlords are willing to deal.  Give us another couple of weeks to get the last few items out of boxes and a few pictures on the walls, and then stop by and see us on your next visit to the Chicago area.

What once was old is new again…

One of the most interesting parts of any move – particularly a move to a smaller space, which requires you to thin the herd of stuff you’ve collected over the years – is looking through the old files and seeing what was important to the NFCA and its members decades ago.  Guess what issues topped the list?  That’s right, solvency, relevance, and mergers (oh my…).

If there is an upside to this “analysis of the past,” it’s recognizing how far we’ve come in the last couple of years.  Some significant merger activity has taken place – strategic mergers rather than shotgun weddings – and we’re on the cusp of getting three segments of the fraternal cooperative project (compliance, procurement, and retail banking) off the ground, too.  Our willingness to engage in grassroots political action has resulted in the defeat of several onerous state legislative proposals that would have repealed the fraternal tax exemption.  We’ve enhanced the way we’re measuring the value of our fraternal activities.  And society executives are looking for new ways to improve their organizations and the fraternal system.  These are good things.

Want to learn more about the creative ways fraternals and NFCA are addressing the challenges we’re facing on the political, operational, and community service fronts?  Want to acquire the information and skills to become a better executive and advocate for the fraternal system?  Come join your peers at one of the upcoming Section Mid-Year Meetings.  I guarantee you’ll walk away not only smarter, but taller and better looking than when you walked in…

And don't forget...

Be sure to enter your answers (in the comment box below) to the two questions at the top of this blog post.  In this case, sharing your quiz answers is a good thing... and encouraged!