Facilitating meetings between insurance agents and financial advisors "Constituent Groups" and members of Congress and their staff are essential activities for building long-lasting relationships with legislators. It is important as a state grassroots chair to identify a lead to help coordinate each legislator meeting.
There are two types of meetings: the first is the regular meetings that occur 3-4 times per year. The second is ad hoc meetings. Ideally, the regular meetings should take place about every three months. Ad hoc meetings should occur at the direct request of NAIFA. Meeting leads are charged with the following responsibilities:
The Constituent Group should consist of 4-6 people. The following individuals should be considered for inclusion in a Constituent Group:
The “Key Contact”
Other legislative contact
Insurance, tax, retirement, investment, or other issue "expert"
Chapter leader (i.e., president, Government Relations, IFAPAC, or Grassroots chair) that are constituents of the legislator
NAIFA member's client - a prominent local businessperson
Depending on the message to be relayed to the congressional district offices, the Constituent Group can be altered for each targeted set of meetings (i.e., include a NAIFA member well-versed in securities issues or a health insurance expert). Although NAIFA may suggest participants for a Constituent Group, the meeting lead, and state grassroots chair should also recruit interested NAIFA members. State grassroots chairs should know which local association members are interested in or committed to participate in NAIFA’s grassroots programs. In addition, they should identify non-NAIFA participants (such as a prominent local business person) who could lend unique insight during a meeting.
The meeting lead will be responsible for setting up periodic meetings with the Senator/Representative and/or staff at the local level in the congressional district/state. This will include:
Calling the staff at the congressional district home office and requesting a 20-minute appointment.
Determining availability and calling the members of the Constituent Group with the meeting date, time, and location.
Briefing the Constituent Group members on the issues to be discussed and meeting protocol. Meeting leads are strongly encouraged to access the Grassroots section of NAIFA’s Advocacy Action Center for the most current issue papers.
It is important that meeting leads follow-up and report meetings back to NAIFA. This includes:
Completing a meeting response form and returning it to the grassroots office at NAIFA.
Sending a thank you letter to the Congressional office reiterating the issues discussed and the names of the people who attended.
Planning for the next meeting between your Constituent Group and your member of Congress.