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FCA Affiliate News–July 2015

Howdy, friends and volunteer leaders! 

Answering phone queries from members and the public is one of the core duties at Funeral Consumers Alliance groups. It’s also one of the very best ways to train all your board members on basic advice about funeral planning. Folks call us for all kinds of reasons: to save money on funerals, to find out which funeral homes have reasonable prices, to ask questions about legal requirements for cremation and burial.

Most FCA groups have one or two volunteers who return most of these calls. They quickly become experts (and indispensable). A better idea comes from the newly formed FCA of Greater Philadelphia. Their system rotates call-return duty. But what’s really different about their approach is how they share the caller’s query and the volunteer’s response with everyone else on the board. 

Here’s how:

1. Get a virtual, free phone number from Google Voice. Follow the instructions to set this number up.
2. Configure your Google Voice account to send notices of calls and transcriptions of calls to your FCA email account. According to our friends in Philadelphia, the transcriptions aren’t perfect, but you can always simply listen to the voicemail. 
3. Forward the email notification and call detail to everyone  on your board. 
4. Whoever on your board has the most expertise with the question can then answer the caller’s query. 
5. Report your answer by email back to the rest of your board. 

Over time you’ll be developing knowledge among your whole board, rather than concentrating it in one crucial volunteer. Remember—you’re not really “lucky” to have that one super competent phone volunteer if you don’t also develop their skills in yourself and your colleagues. One day that volunteer will be gone, so spread the skills around. 

Save the date!
FCA’s next national conference will take place June 23 through 26, 2016, in Atlanta. Check back for program and registration details!

 Membership Irrevocable

 memorialsocietiescoverimageWe’re used to being treated with suspicion from the funeral industry, but it used to be a lot worse. Straight from 1966 to your screen, we bring you Memorial Societies. . .the sinister aspects of certain funeral associations advocating fast disposal. It’s red-bait-o-licious! 

A sample:

Society Members – the Forgotten Men 

Once a member is hooked, he undergoes transformation from a wholesome, mature and rational prospect to expendable and disposable matter. Upon death, depending on the financial soundness of the co-op or private operator who holds the Society contract, he may be picked up, placed in a cardboard carton, carried to the crematorium in the back of a station wagon 

and forthrightly disposed of without even token participation of his family . Chances are, the family will not even get the ashes, unless by their special request.


<—–Those are the flames of hell in which we all burn because we like cremation and we’re un-American. Just so you know. 





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