FAQ – AGA Governance Review

  1. Will there be a leadership path from the chapter level to the national level in a new governance model? 

    A new model will enable members to serve on a Chapter Advisory Council or directly on AGA’s governing board, become a chapter ambassador or regional advisor, or participate on a National Committee. All of these potential positions are great opportunities to grow yourself professionally, serve AGA, learn more about how the association works, and for those who desire to work strategically, to move AGA forward.

  2. What about the regions where the RVP and/or SVP really work well to help the Chapters?  Will they go away? 

    The RVP and SVP levels may work (or have worked) for you in your region, but the current model is inconsistent and is not working in many AGA regions. Currently, many of our leaders are “recycled or drafted” to serve and are going backwards on the path (e.g. they were an SVP and are now RVPs again). 

    We believe enabling our volunteer roles to be more relevant and meaningful will be more rewarding to the individuals serving. Today, 40% of AGA’s chapters are struggling and/or inactive.  The majority of these chapter leaders report communication “through the layers” is not working. Many chapters in a region are so spread out geographically that the RVP can’t/doesn’t have time to visit and help all.  A new model will put members/chapters closer to decision makers.

  3. Who will support me and my chapter?

    AGA staff and volunteers will provide increased direct services to chapters by removing the layers that seem to slow down or hinder communications.

  4. Will AGA still be run by volunteers or will they all be replaced with staff?

    Yes, the proposed governing board, committees, chapter advisory council and/or regional advisors will still be led by and made of up of volunteer leaders and subject matter experts. Our volunteers from all levels of government (federal, state, local, tribal, higher education, etc.) tell us that they are swamped with work, understaffed in their offices, and are having a tough time juggling personal, work, and AGA activities.  We also hear from volunteers that they don’t have time for AGA’s administrative regional and national roles.  AGA members want to give of their talents to AGA in a way that is more impactful to their colleagues in the financial management community and their workplace.

    Active volunteer leaders are now turning away from chapter leadership positions to serve in regional/national roles.  The chapters that had thrived under their leadership then start to struggle without their active participation. Many of these leaders are serving multiple chapter roles at once and for repeated terms, and they are burning out.

    AGA has staff members available to help chapters, who are experienced with membership/chapter issues, have assembled best practices from across all our chapters, and are more available and better equipped (with materials, processes) than volunteers who are busy with their “day jobs”.

  5. How will chapters have a “say” in what goes on if we lose our vote by not being on the National Board of Directors (NBD)?

    Chapters aren’t losing what they aren’t exercising. Less than ½ of NBD members eligible to vote attend NBD meetings. Those who do have a cursory knowledge – at best, of the topic that will be voted upon. It is unrealistic to expect NBD members to be able to cast an informed vote on strategic issues that will impact the entirety of AGA.

    The NEC meets five times a year, has strategic discussions about the needs of AGA and the future of the association, and debates and discusses topics in depth.  The NEC is supported by committees who focus on discrete aspects of the association to inform the NEC.  Today, the NEC is providing the strategic leadership that a board should be providing to the association. 

    In a new structure chapters will have more control - you may lose an individual vote, but you will get greater representation. Having a Chapter Advisory Council that can provide a continuous voice and/or having direct representation on the board, will be more impactful to AGA. 

  6. As an NBD member, we keep the NEC in check.  How will that happen in a new model?

    TRUST. We all need to trust elected officials to do the best thing for the organization and its members. The Nominating Committee process may be amended so that chapters/members can more directly participate in electing their leaders. Your elected leaders will be fully engaged, involved and informed in strategic planning and decision making to guide the organization forward, and they will be transparent to the membership about their activities. 

  7. Who will support our chapter if we don’t have regional vice presidents or senior vice presidents?

    AGA Staff will continue to provide excellent chapter service. During the last 18 months, we conducted research (via in-person interviews, surveys, group discussions), and input from you and your peers tell us that most chapter leaders go to staff before going to the volunteer leaders for assistance. By eliminating structural layers that haven’t consistently been adding value for chapters, staff time will be freed up for more direct assistance to chapters.  We would also like to see more field representatives like Bobby Derrick to guide and assist chapters.

  8. With a new governance model, what will change for my chapter?

    Your chapter will continue to be supported by staff. Leadership meetings (e.g. SLMS) will be held each year to train and inform chapter officers. While chapter presidents will not serve on the board of directors, they will have a greater voice either in an advisory council meeting virtually four times a year, through more chapter representation on the board, contributing their thoughts/ideas/views at leadership meetings, or by directly voting for their representatives to the board.  Chapters will know that their elected board members are informed, engaged and committed to strategically leading the organization.

  9. Will this change cost or save money for the Association?

    A governance change could save AGA money. We will certainly spend less money supporting one or two layers of the organization, but those funds could potentially be used to provide for more direct support to chapters. It’s important to note that we are not proposing the change for budgetary reasons, change is required to better meet the needs of our members and chapters, and to bring AGA into the 21st century way of association management. A financial analysis will be conducted when a final model is proposed.

  10. When will a governance change take effect?

    If a new governance model is approved in July of 2018, it could take an additional year or even two years to fully implement it. Our Bylaws Committee is working on the process necessary to adopt any new stucture.