NFDA Individual Members seeking an officer position on the Board of Directors shall adhere to the following rules and guidelines. The intent of the guidelines is to encourage fair and open campaigning by: (1) specifying permitted and prohibited election-related activities; (2) informing voters about candidates’ experiences and views; and (3) limiting the cost of campaigning.
An Individual Member is considered to be a declared candidate only if he/she is included on the list of qualified candidates released by the NFDA Leadership Development Committee no later than April 1, or if he/she is not included on the list of candidates, but submits to the NFDA Secretary prior to June 1 a petition signed by a minimum of 250 Individual Members nominating the candidate.
These Officer Candidate Guidelines are also applicable to all NFDA members, including State Associations, who support a candidate in any respect. All restrictions on campaign activities set forth herein apply to all NFDA members who support a candidate or a potential candidate for an NFDA office.
- Definition of Campaigning. Campaigning is defined as any attempt to influence a potential voter’s vote. It includes announcing publicly one’s candidacy or making any statement that might be interpreted as a position statement reflecting what actions the candidate would take if elected. It does not include appearances made as part of one’s normal work activities.
- Campaign Period. Declared candidates may engage in allowable campaign-related activities between the time the Leadership Development Committee releases the list of qualified candidates and the time electronic balloting of membership ends.
- Contact with NFDA Staff. A candidate may not contact directly or indirectly, or through any other person, any NFDA employee or consultant in regard to the election, other than to inquire about the rules and procedures.
- Restriction on Endorsements. Members of the Board of Directors and the Leadership Development Committee may not endorse a candidate nor publicly express support of a particular candidate.
- Restriction on Campaigning. There shall be no campaigning whatsoever inside a room during the hours in which an NFDA meeting or function is taking place.
- Campaign Materials. Campaign materials may only be distributed inside an NFDA meeting or function room prior to a session by placing them on the chairs. Distribution of campaign material outside the meeting or function room must be at least thirty-five (35) feet from the main entrance. Brochures or any other literature or material may not be affixed to any permanent surface in or about any of the hotels used by NFDA during any of its meetings or functions. A candidate will be held directly responsible for the distribution of campaign materials and it shall be deemed that any distribution by others has been done with the candidate’s approval.
- Removal of Campaign Materials. All campaign materials distributed must be gathered up by the candidate immediately after any NFDA meeting or function.
- Restriction on Gifts/Trinkets. The distribution of small gifts/campaign trinkets is prohibited.
- Professional Presentations. There are no restrictions on professional presentations, defined as events where no campaigning occurs and a candidate participates. Running for an elected position should not inhibit or prohibit candidates from conducting their usual professional business.
- NFDA Meet the Candidates Opportunities. NFDA will provide opportunities for officer candidates to promote their candidacy at the NFDA Advocacy Summit and the NFDA Leadership Conference. All individuals attending NFDA meetings and social functions will be prohibited from displaying signage, playing music, using decorations, distributing gifts or campaign paraphernalia, or sponsoring any prize giveaways. Campaign paraphernalia such as buttons or tee-shirts may not be worn by individuals attending NFDA meetings and social functions.
- Campaign Expenditure Limitation. A candidate and those NFDA members supporting the candidate may not expend in excess of $5,000.00 (the “Campaign Expenditure Limitation”) in any campaign period to promote the candidate’s election to the NFDA office that he or she seeks. For purposes of the Campaign Expenditure Limitation, an expenditure by an NFDA member to promote a candidate shall be considered as an expenditure by that candidate. Funds expended by a candidate to register for and attend the NFDA Advocacy Summit and/or the NFDA Leadership Conference shall not be deemed to be campaign expenditures subject to the Campaign Expenditure Limitation.
NFDA members wishing to support a candidate shall coordinate with the candidate to avoid exceeding the Campaign Expenditure Limitation. A candidate shall track and record campaign expenditures on the NFDA Campaign Expenditure Report which NFDA shall provide to each candidate.
NFDA Campaign Expenditure Report forms and instructions will be distributed to all declared candidates at the beginning of the Campaign Period. Completed NFDA Campaign Expenditure Reports must be submitted to NFDA’s CEO by July 30. Campaigning may continue throughout the Campaign Period; however, no campaign expenditures may be made after the Campaign Expenditure Report has been submitted.
- NFDA Website. The NFDA Website will include information on all candidates, including photos, biographies, the videos submitted by the candidates, campaign statements and links to any candidate campaign social media sites on the internet. NFDA reserves the right to review the content of all materials to be posted to the NFDA Website and not to post any materials deemed indecent or otherwise in violation of these Campaign Guidelines. NFDA will provide officer candidates with names, addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers (if on file) for Policy Board representatives, state association executive directors and state association presidents. NFDA will not provide email addresses.
- Signs. Campaign signs will be provided by NFDA. Signs other than those provided by NFDA are not permitted.
- Electronic Messages (e.g., emails). No campaign messages on behalf of a candidate shall be sent electronically to NFDA Individual or Firm Members except through NFDA. Each declared candidate will be provided with a copy of NFDA’s candidate email guidelines immediately following the release of the Leadership Development Committee’s list of qualified candidates.
- Social Media Sites, Blogs and Websites (e.g., Facebook and Twitter). Candidates may use social media sites, blogs, and websites for campaign purposes.
- Phone. Campaign-related phone calls (including calls made through services such as Skype) may be made from candidates and/or supporters. Use of automatic calling services (robocalls) or hiring personnel to make such calls is prohibited.
- Letters, Brochures and Handouts. There are no restrictions on the number of campaign letters, brochures, postcards, faxes or handouts a candidate distributes.
- Negative Campaigning. Candidates and their supporters may not make personal attacks against other candidates.
Potential violations of campaign guidelines should be reported to the Chair of the NFDA Leadership Development Committee. The Leadership Development Committee is charged with monitoring candidate compliance with campaign and election rules and guidelines. The Committee shall investigate potential violations and determine the appropriate action to be taken, up to and including informing the electorate about the nature of the violation. The Committee shall report any infractions and resulting sanctions to the Board of Directors.
Questions regarding the scope or interpretation of these candidate guidelines should be directed to NFDA General Counsel, Scott Gilligan (513-871-6332). The decision of NFDA regarding the interpretation of any provision of these Candidate Guidelines shall be final.