Frequently Asked Questions

State Chapters
What governance changes will need to be made to NAIFA's state associations?
NAIFA states will remain separately incorporated and have their own board. Each State Chapter will need to sign a chapter agreement by 10/31/18 with NAIFA National, which will detail roles and responsibilities for both the Chapter and National and adhere to a set of best practices standards.  States will also need to adopt new bylaws, which are consistent with the new national bylaws.  This can be done before the implementation date of 1/1/19 or at your next annual meeting.

Where can the state chapter agreement, new state bylaws, and state standards for success be accessed?
The model state chapter agreement, the new state model bylaws, and the state chapter standards for success are available through links housed on the NAIFA 20/20 Implementation page on  

How should our state prepare for its new responsibilities?

NAIFA states should consider forming an internal implementation task force. This task force should look at representation on the board, building out committees to support the local affiliates, establishing procedures to fund local affiliate programming, and ensuring that the state is positioned for success in implementing the new standards of success.  


Locals Transitioning to Affiliates
How does a local association determine if they will be an affiliate or a chapter?

Local associations with approximately 100 or more members may elect to apply to become NAIFA local chapters. Local associations with approximately 200 or more members are automatically eligible to be local chapters. Like a state chapter, local chapters will function separately under a Chapter Agreement with National and their state and will commit to adhere to the new standards of success. Local associations should weigh whether they have the resources and volunteer base to operate as a chapter when they are going through the decision-making process. 

How does local programming operate in an affiliate?

Local programming and events will continue. The desired outcome in local affiliate programming is to have better, more relevant and impactful training and professional development offered locally to NAIFA’s members by leveraging the full resources of the state.

Within each state, local-area teams and committees will focus on providing events, services and activities to groups of local members without unnecessary administrative duties.  Local affiliates will have representation on the state programming committee as well.  Local affiliates can maintain signature events by providing planning and sponsorship support as they have in the past. The partnership with the state will open new avenues for support, promotion, sponsorship and attendance to make programming and events more dynamic and representative of NAIFA’s breadth.  

How will local activity be supported financially?

The states will be empowered to determine how best to allocate their dues portion to support both statewide and local-area programs and activities throughout the year.  Local affiliates will both have representation on the state’s programming committees that determine programming support and access to any funds that the local requested be held separate during their merger into the state.    

Our local is becoming an affiliate, how do we proceed?

The first step is to follow the merger and dissolutions guide.  As your local prepares for merger into the state, there are key determinations that will need to be made. The first and most important is reorganizing your leadership and volunteers into a team to ensure continuity. The second is to satisfy any outstanding financial obligations and to either merge the locals fund with the state or request that the money remain available in a state line item for use in the local affiliate. Third, you will need vote to merge. Your bylaws and state laws may provide additional guidance on how to proceed beyond the instructions in the guide (see this chart for links to state guidelines). Lastly, local funds should be transferred to the state.

What are earmarked funds and how does a local access them?

As you prepare your local to merge into the state and become an affiliate, you will probably have money in a bank account that needs to be managed. Locals have a few options on how to designate these funds. The first is to transfer the money to the state to further NAIFA's overall mission. The second is to transfer the money to the state with the caveat that the money be used in the local affiliate.  These funds would either be earmarked (line itemed) in the state budget for use exclusively in the local area or maintained in a separate account managed by the state for exclusive use in the local area.  

Affiliates will be able to draw on these funds through their state treasurer or executive to support programming and initiatives. Some examples of ways the affiliate could use these funds include: supplementing a professional development program, supporting a LILI scholarship, placing NAIFA marketing ads or showcasing all NAIFA affiliate members in the local newspaper, or hosting an in-district meet and greet with your state or federal legislator.  

Some locals may choose to put a sunset provision on the funds when they transfer them to the state. This would give the locals a few years to utilize the account locally before it reverts to the state to support the overall mission of NAIFA.         

Do At-large Locals need to be merged into the state?

Yes, separately incorporated at-large locals will need to be merged into the state.  

Our local has a foundation, how can we ensure its mission and great work continues?

Funds held in a local association charitable foundation should be transferred to the state chapter’s foundation and earmarked for their intended purpose. In the absence of a state foundation, the local foundation should be transferred to the state. Foundation leadership should include members of the local's foundation. Foundation activities, as decided by the new foundation board, could include signature events and long standing funding partners.


Local Chapters
Our local would like to apply to become a chapter, how do we proceed?

The first step is to complete the online application that affirms your intention to move forward as a chapter by Sept. 24, 2018. NAIFA National will review your application and work with you on both signing the chapter agreement with the state and national and the local chapter standards. While local chapters do not need to change their board, they will need to adopt new bylaws, which are consistent with the new national bylaws. This can be done before the implementation date of Jan. 1, 2019, or at your next annual meeting.  

Do states have a role in appointing local chapters?

If a local association wishes to be appointed as a local chapter, all three parties to the chapter agreement – the local, the state, and national – must agree to the appointment. Having all three parties agree on the appointment of a local chapter is consistent with the One NAIFA philosophy that helps drive the NAIFA 20/20 strategic plan.

Where can the local chapter application, local chapter agreement and new local bylaws be accessed?

The local chapter application, model local chapter agreement, and new local model bylaws are available through links on the NAIFA 20/20 Implementation page on


Standards for Success
What are the standards for success and accountability in the Chapter agreements?

The standards were inspired by the current Jack E. Bobo Award of Excellence. They hold each level of the federation accountable and encourage partnership and best practices to achieve NAIFA’s mission.

How do these changes affect NAIFA's identity as a grassroots organization?

NAIFA is and will remain a grassroots organization. NAIFA's success at the National, State and Local level is part of our mission in advocacy and professional development and will remain the association's top priority. The chapter agreements will hold the State Chapter and NAIFA National accountable for working to deliver services to members in local areas. Local activities will be improved and energized by a structure that encourages participation by limiting administrative commitments while holding state and national leadership accountable.

How will political involvement and fundraising be affected at the state and local level?

National will continue to work closely with the chapters to assist with IFAPAC, grassroots constituent lobbying and political program training at the federal and state level. Chapters will be required to maintain their fundraising activity and assist local committees when needed.  Grassroots engagement in the local chapters and affiliates will be key to fulfilling NAIFA’s mission.


How will membership dues be affected by these changes?

Membership dues will be the same for every member in the federation, from California to Maine. A uniform rate regardless of location will facilitate membership sales and allow for special rates for seniors or new members.

What is the new uniform NAIFA dues amount?

The NAIFA Board voted on a new dues rate of $55.00 per month ($660.00 per year). As of January 2019, all members will now pay the same amount regardless of where they live. If you have seen a fluctuation in your dues amount, the reason is that your dues have now been aligned to the flat-rate fee model and will continue at this rate until further notice.

What is the 60/40/20 dues structure?

60% of a member’s dues will go to National and 40% will go to the State Chapter. If the member is part of a local chapter, 20% will go to the local while 20% goes to the State. This structure closely resembles dues allocation across the country now.

Our board is planning for FY19, are there any guidelines on how states can appropriately plan their budget?

There are sample budget allocations based on the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) operating ratio report and the actual budgets of several state and local associations to help state and local chapters prepare their budgets.  
Fiscal and Leadership Years
Do state and local chapters need to change their fiscal or leadership years?

There is support for using a consistent year period by the national association and state and local chapters – for leadership, membership, and/or fiscal years – but no decision has been made on this point. As for the fiscal year, a change to a calendar year may be for national only in the near term. If it is decided that we should all move to one such date (or dates), sufficient advance notice will be given to accomplish such changes.

Do state or local chapter officers need to change their terms of office?

No decision has been made that requires state or local officers to change their terms of office at this time. Associations can install officers now as they have in the past with the expectation that they will serve for a full year. If an association wishes to have officers serve an extended term now to help with the transition process, the model bylaws provide that officers can serve until their successors are elected, which can accommodate extending officer terms as a temporary measure for a transition period.


Additional Information
I would like to learn more about this process. Will there be forums for members to ask questions and share ideas?

We all perform better collectively when we work together. A live webinar will be available for leaders to ask questions; it will be archived for those who are unable to participate. A leadership meeting will take place at the P+P meeting in September, where we will focus on implementation and planning for the new association year. In addition, members of the task force will be available to answer questions at designated times at the P+P conference.