Board of Directors' Bulletin

Board Bulletin - June 2017
On behalf of the Alliance Board of Directors, I'm pleased to share with you an update on the Alliance Board's nearly 12-month strategic planning initiative. Be assured that the guiding principle throughout this process has been acting in the best interest of our members. The Alliance and its members face many challenges and opportunities including: ensuring our voice is heard by state and federal policymakers; increasing the awareness of fraternal relevance among consumers; utilizing technology to better serve members; and ensuring the financial sustainability of the Alliance and the fraternal sector.

The following are key strategic priorities the Board plans to pursue to address these issues and better position the Alliance for the future:

Advocacy at the federal and state level is of universal value to our members and will be our key focus.
Feedback from interviews with the CEOs of member societies demonstrated strong agreement with the key importance of advocacy in our mission. The Board examined many operating models including merging with other advocacy groups and concluded that it is critical for the Alliance to remain an independent trade association to ensure that our fraternal voice is heard by state and federal policymakers on issues important to our members. The Board also believes moving our office from Chicago to Washington, D.C., has advantages to our advocacy focus and has directed Joe Annotti to develop a transition plan with a 2019 timeline for our review at our September 2017 Board meeting.
Networking and fraternal-specific educational meetings are valued by our members and assist in demonstrating our relevance as a fraternal industry.
We believe we can reduce the number of meetings from three to two, better utilize technology for the delivery of information and member services and continue to provide significant value to members.

It is in the long-term best interest of our members that we reorganize the Alliance, employ better technology and reduce staff significantly by 2019.
Revenues have been relatively flat for five years and we project fewer members in the future resulting in declining revenues for the Alliance. Expenses have been steadily rising and the cost to maintain the existing staff of 9 full-time and one-part time person with competitive pay and benefits will continue to increase. This makes the current operating model unsustainable without significant dues increases. The financial pro forma used for Alliance long-term planning provides for maximum staffing of 4 full-time professionals by 2019.

2018 will be a year of transition and you will only experience minor changes in the way we currently operate. We want you to fully understand the reasons for the restructuring and will conduct two webinars this summer for representatives from member societies. In addition, the Alliance Board will conduct a session for all Alliance member CEOs at the Annual Meeting this September in Phoenix. Details about the webinars and the Annual Meeting CEO forum will be sent in the next few weeks.

The Board will give final approval to the revised operating model, budget, and transition timeline at its December 2017 meeting.

Please do not hesitate to contact me or any of the Board members listed below for more information on the strategic direction approved by the Board. I look forward to hearing from you over the summer and to seeing you in Arizona at the Annual meeting.


Bill O'Toole
Chair of the Board
American Fraternal Alliance

To contact members of the Alliance Board of Directors, please click here.

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