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Learning from our Fellow Affiliates – A Valentine

by Alison Rector, FCA of Maine

“What’s the biggest challenge at your FCA right now?”  This is the question I use to get to know colleagues at our national conference.  I really enjoy the encounters with fellow volunteers at national conferences, meeting new friends from around the USA and Canada.   And I’ve learned a lot in listening to their answers to this question.

We all share passion for our work advocating fair practices on behalf of consumers.  Chances are, the challenge or obstacle your FCA is struggling with is one someone else has thought about or experienced.  And why not share our questions and our successes?

Here are a few stories I’ve learned from affiliates:

Memorial Society of Georgia held a very successful Death Expo in 2016, and the volunteers who organized it shared tips with me.  They invited local mortuary school students to help out.  What a great idea!  They were willing to talk to me about how we could do this at my affiliate (FCA Maine).

FCA Michigan encouraged my affiliate to “like” other FCA Facebook pages.  We’re still working on this, but it’s a great goal for supporting each other.

Several FCA’s are merging within their geographic area, a process that has the potential for efficiency of resources.  I’ve heard stories about merging from the Bay Area FC Association in northern California and FCA of Greater Philadelphia.

Some FCA’s had one solo volunteer at the national conference, struggling to consider how to keep going.   I remember one young woman in particular, a passionate volunteer looking for connections for support.  One person can make a difference.

We’re finishing a GPL price survey in Maine right now, and we have a lot of questions.  Shannon Shoup at FCA of Southern California has been a powerful teacher in how to make price survey data understandable and effective.  In Maine, we’re struggling with measuring Funeral Rule compliance, so I’ll have to reach out to affiliates again to help us.

When you encounter challenges or questions at your affiliate, I encourage you to turn to each other.  If you have successes, your colleagues would enjoy hearing about them.   Sharing is a Valentine we give to each other, in February and throughout the year.


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