Member Engagement

Strategies to Continue Local Activities Throughout Your State
Large Events

Our local currently holds an annual Sales Congress (or other large event) to provide quality speakers and programming to members in our area. Can we still hold such an event and how will that look in the absence of an official local chapter? 

Events are an important way to provide programming to members and prospects outside of the state’s annual conference. Here are some ways in which such events would continue:
  • The affiliate raises funds through sponsorships and registration fees to make the event neutral to the budget. The affiliate would have their own planning committee to manage the preparation and logistics of the event. 
  • The affiliate could request funds from the state to support this event. The local affiliate will provide a business plan for the event that includes how they will enlist speakers; and manage promotion, registration, logistics, volunteers, among other activities. 
  • The state could take this event on as their own by building it into their budget and having the state programs committee or affiliate programs committee handle the planning and logistics, ideally with volunteers from the former host local serving to help with this event. 

Monthly Meetings

Our local has always held monthly meetings that included lunch and a main speaker. Our members value the networking and camaraderie these events deliver, so how will we continue to provide monthly meetings in the absence of an official local chapter?

Local affiliates are encouraged to continue events that bolster member engagement and camaraderie.  Some ways to continue:
  • The local affiliate could utilize funds from their previous account that were transferred to the state, making the event neutral to the budget (and perhaps asking members to pay a nominal fee to cover costs for the meal or venue)
  • The local could request state funds to hold these events by providing a business plan to support the programs. 
  • Affiliates also are encouraged to review their current structure and determine if there are ways to improve these events, such as moving to quarterly versus monthly or finding a more cost-effective venue. 
  • The state chapter will be available to ensure local activity will continue to accommodate members who are accustomed to convening on a regular basis.

Leveraging top-level speakers

Your state, local chapters and affiliates can increase efficiency with top-level speakers and programs. A state and its local chapters may consider creating economies of scale with their event speakers to benefit members across the entire state. Suggestions:
  • In lieu of a state enlisting a nationally-known speaker to appear at just one major event, consider opportunities to maximize the speaker’s time by planning events in different areas of the state where the speaker could travel over a two- to three-day period. The speaker would participate in multiple engagements to reach the highest number of members possible. 
  • The organizer could negotiate with the speaker to discount their speaking fee and reduce travel expenses within the state. By doing this, you have delivered more quality for the speaker expenses, and engaged members throughout the state by bringing this speaker to their local area. 
  • Similarly, your affiliate programming committee can plan events or programs that can be used in all parts of the state, whether they include national speakers or not. After creating a quality program with a few quality speakers and topics, the program can be duplicated throughout the state. Instead of each chapter or affiliate finding their own speakers and/or CE courses, the programming committee would work to create one great event available to members everywhere. 

Golf Tournaments & Fund Raisers

Our local holds an annual golf tournament where we raise money for our local and/or a local charity. How can we keep this event going in the future? 

These events are a great way to bring members together in a fun setting while raising money for a good cause. An affiliate could continue to hold this event by:
  • Creating a golf tournament committee (led by the member social coordinator or other optional volunteer position) to plan and hold the event. Money raised could continue to go towards a local charity or be used to hold events in the area, such as a Sales Congress or awards banquet. 
  • The event could become a statewide golf tournament, planned by the state programs committee or affiliate programs committee. Money raised could be allocated toward charity, state NAIFA programs or a combination of both, at the discretion of the state board and planning committee. 

Awards & Member Recognition Programs

Our local holds an annual awards banquet, where we recognize an outstanding member with an award named after one of our own past leaders. How can we continue to provide this special event and member recognition in the future? 

Recognizing and celebrating a member’s service and dedication to NAIFA is an important part of keeping members engaged and motivating future generations of leadership, and affiliates are encouraged to continue such traditions in the future. Strategies to continue:
  • The optional social coordinator position could lead in this area. An affiliate could use funds raised from sponsors or golf outings to fund an awards banquet or luncheon, and attendees could be asked to pay a nominal fee to cover their meal cost. 
  • The award can continue as always, with members in the general geographic area being considered. The affiliate would continue to be encouraged to recognize NAIFA Quality Award Winners, members who obtained new designations, and longtime NAIFA members. 

State Advocacy 

Our local holds annual Legislative Day/Coffee with Legislators events. How do we continue this activity in our area and ensure that our members are building relationships with legislators? 

Grassroots advocacy efforts are a vital piece of NAIFA that must continue everywhere. States are encouraged to build local grassroots into their statewide advocacy program to ensure that no corner of your state goes untouched. 
  • Each affiliate is encouraged to put forth at least one advocacy volunteer who can work with the state to plan and implement grassroots activity in their area, such as PAC contribution delivery and events where members can network with legislators.
New Member Activities

Our local holds new member orientation events to welcome new members and start the engagement process early. How can we continue to hold these events? 

New member orientation is an important piece of the member onboarding process. When holding new member orientation as a separate event, there may be a cost involved (breakfast, lunch, social/happy hour), and we would not want to ask a new member to pay for this event. In this case, the state would be encouraged to build this cost into their membership budget, seeing it as an investment in the life of the member. Ideas:
  • The affiliate could obtain a sponsor to cover the cost of the event, offering an alotted time to address attendees in exchange for their sponsorship dollars. 
  • An affiliate also could consider adding the new member orientation into an existing event, inviting new members to come one hour early, which would encourage attendance at the other event and introduce them to existing members for networking opportunities.