April 5 - An Important Date!
Effective April 5 important changes are coming to the IFFF. They include a launch of the new IFFF website, a new version of the electronic Flyfisher and changes to the membership categories. Please read the following information carefully. As a council/club officer or contact person you are being notified today. We will send a notice to all members the week of March 28.
At our Board of Directors meeting in Bend, Oregon several important Federation initiatives were unanimously approved. Some of those initiatives included simplifying operational processes, making sure we cover our operational costs and improving service to members.
Over the last several months, a committee of the Board of Directors (BoD) and Council Presidents diligently studied ways to simplify membership categories while improving service. That membership committee was led by Tom Gadacz and included myself, Burr Tupper, Carl Johnson, Bob Shirley and Rhonda Sellers as staff support. Subsequently the recommendations of the committee were approved at the January BoD meeting.
We believe these recommendations, implemented over the next few years, will result in operational cost savings and a net revenue increase to the Federation. Most importantly, the recommendations will ultimately result in improved service to our membership.
The changes are significant. We have reduced the number of membership categories from 17 to 7 and general memberships will include the primary member, spouse or cohabitating partner and children under 18 years of age. Lifetime memberships may include a spouse or cohabitating partner. All Federation members, domestic and international will pay the same $35 membership fee. Senior members will still get a discounted rate of $25 and students 22 and younger will pay $20. The membership category simplification will include an upgraded, electronic copy of the Flyfisher magazine.
The IFFF staff has been working hard to not only update the website, but also reformat the Flyfisher magazine to make it easily accessible and readable on tablet and mobile phone devices. A printed copy of the Flyfisher will remain available to all domestic members for a subscription rate of $10 per year to cover printing and mailing costs. International members who want a paper copy of the magazine can subscribe for $20 per year. All members will be given the opportunity to subscribe to the printed magazine during their regular renewal cycle. If you are a lifetime member, you will still receive a printed copy of the magazine unless you opt for an electronic copy. We will continue to provide paper copies of the magazine to all Councils and clubs for special-event distribution.
In the spirit of conservation, I want to reduce the amount of paper I consume and believe this is an important goal for the Federation to strive toward. Therefore I choose the electronic copy even though I'm a lifetime member and was entitled to a paper copy.
There are a few other important changes. We all celebrate our veterans’ service to our country! The Federation will now offer a significant discount to ALL veterans who served honorably. The new subscription rate for all veterans will be $25. The Federation will continue to support annual, free electronic subscriptions for special outreach programs offered to disabled veterans. We thank all veterans for their service and want them to know it!
Lifetime members will now be allowed to include their spouse or cohabitating partner in the membership category. The lifetime membership fee will now be $1000. For a $1500 contribution, lifetime members will receive a custom fly rod of their choosing!
We are very happy to announce the Federation has reinstated the affiliate club category. Already, we've received interest from a number of clubs who left the Federation when the affiliate club category was dropped several years ago. A new fee schedule has been developed for new affiliate clubs. The goal here is to broaden our reach and encourage relationships with those who love to fly fish!
The most important issue we must address is improving service to our membership. A common refrain when I reach out to clubs and councils is the question "what is the Federation doing for me?" This is an important question and we believe The Fly Fishing Academy will be a step toward improving the depth and quality of service to our members. We have several members working very hard in developing the Academy with Molly Semenik leading this effort. Molly and her team have developed a business plan and have committees defining curriculum in four areas - fly tying, fly casting, conservation and fly fishing skills. The goal is to develop a world-class curriculum and training, including instructors’ guides, all easily accessible to instructors around the world.
Additionally, the Federation will regularly provide news articles for all councils to distribute to clubs for their newsletters, websites and Facebook pages. We also want to develop a "speakers’ bureau" that clubs can access to identify qualified fly fishing or conservation presenters for club meetings. Again, the idea is to develop an easily accessible, electronic system where local clubs can identify a range of possible speakers for club meetings. We will also be taking steps to provide more assistance to Council-sponsored, fly-fishing events.
Change is not always easy but we think these are very exciting times for the Federation. We certainly appreciate your support as we move forward. Please do not hesitate to contact the office if you have other ideas on how to improve service to the membership.
IFFF Chairman of the Board Committee