A 130-year-old industry association is looking ahead to the next five years by looking at ways to increase its diversity, foster the growth of the next generation of advisors and raising awareness of financial services as an appealing career among students.
This week, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors’ board of directors approved its most recent strategic plan, NAIFA 2025. The plan comes on the heels of the NAIFA 20/20 strategic plan, implemented in 2016, which changed its patchwork of more than 600 state and local associations into a more streamlined organization consisting of a national headquarters, 53 state and territorial chapters, and 38 local chapters primarily in large metro markets.
The plan identifies a number of challenges for NAIFA to address in the next five years. To address these challenges, NAIFA must:
- Provide unique networking and mentoring opportunities that cannot be duplicated elsewhere.
- Rely more on staff, rather than volunteers, to grow.
- Increase financial support for membership growth from corporate partners.
- Increase diversity in the industry to better reflect Main Street America.
- Foster growth of the next generation of insurance agents and financial advisors.
- Raise awareness of financial services as an appealing career option among college and high school students.
- Prepare for the retirement and loss of seasoned members.
- Adopt consistent brand standards across all chapters.
- Improve consistency of quality control and collaboration across the organization.
- Overcome the reluctance to advance beyond established ways of doing business and the aversion to taking risks.
- Meet the challenge of increased competition for members from other organizations.
The NAIFA 2025 plan lists three priority goals as its basis. They are: membership growth, brand amplification and member experience.
To accomplish NAIFA’s membership growth goals, the association called for achieving increased engagement from company leaders and agency managers to promote membership. NAIFA will urge company leaders to encourage their agents to join the association, and urge company leaders for greater support for NAIFA’s advocacy and educational programs.
NAIFA also called for increasing the organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. As part of those efforts, the association will partner with other organizations and companies to promote increased opportunities for a diverse pool of professionals to succeed in the industry.
Young professionals are one key to membership growth. NAIFA will develop a comprehensive mentorship program as well as promote efforts to recruit new talent into insurance and financial services careers.
Political advocacy also is tied to membership growth. NAIFA will leverage its advocacy success to appeal to a broader array of financial professionals.
NAIFA wants to promote its brand to nonmembers, financial services organizations and companies, the media, lawmakers and consumers. The goal is for the industry and the public to recognize NAIFA as representing the interests of producers, the industry as a whole, and Main Street USA consumers.
The NAIFA 2025 plan calls for providing members with a high-quality, innovative and high-value experience. As part of achieving that goal, the plan said, NAIFA will identify an ideal operational structure for chapters and put in place a consistent structure across chapters.
NAIFA also said it will draw on a larger, more diverse pool of membership talent to fill volunteer leadership positions.
Susan Rupe is managing editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents' association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Contact her at Susan.Rupe@innfeedback.com. Follow her on Twitter @INNsusan.
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