Leadership

New Senior Association Takes on AARP

By Rob Stott / Oct 8, 2012 (TMG archive photo)

The National Association of Conservative Seniors is entering a space that has been dominated by one organization for decades, but they’re not afraid to go after it.

For nearly 50 years, AARP has been the leading provider of benefits and services to members 50 and over. Challengers have been few and far between, and no competition has yet posed a major threat to AARP’s dominance.

That’s about to change, said John White, founder and executive director of the recently launched National Association of Conservative Seniors (NAOCS).

“We started this organization for two primary reasons: to bring a stream of benefits that is definitely going to compete with AARP, and…to be active in the political machine so people can really be heard about how they feel and about what’s going on,” said White.

Entering such a space can seem like a David-versus-Goliath kind of venture, and White is doing everything possible to get his organization’s name out there.

“We’re doing radio, we’re doing TV, and we’re doing press releases to tell [everyone] that there’s an alternative. Not necessarily for a string of benefits,” he said.

The organization’s mission statement says that NAOCS was founded to protect conservative values in the United States.

We’re competing for the philosophy. We want to have a large enough group that we can make a difference in Washington.

“We’re competing for the philosophy,” said White. “We want to have a large enough group that we can make a difference in Washington.”

To differentiate itself from AARP, NAOCS is offering some unique benefits to its members, who are age 60 and older.

“One of the things that makes this system a little different is people can actually contact their elected officials directly through our website, through a function called ‘Click-to-Call,’” said White. “The technology is in force where [members] click on [a government official’s] name and key in [their] phone number and the system will call [the member and official] at the same time, allowing them to speak their voice.”

NAOCS is working to bring real-time feeds to its website to show how politicians are voting on issues.

Barely a week old, NAOCS has a long way to go before it comes close to the 37 million members that AARP boasts on its website. But White believes his organization is up for the challenge.

“No one’s done this before because they figured they couldn’t compete,” he said. “Competition is what it’s all about, and we’re going to go after it. So, they’re going to feel us.”

Rob Stott

Rob Stott is an assistant editor at Associations Now. More »

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