In 2023, the National Funeral Directors Association hosted its first Advocacy Summit in three years, during which association members participated in more than 200 meetings with members of Congress. NFDA will bring the funeral service profession together for the 2024 Advocacy Summit, March 20-22 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, a vibrant new location for this annual gathering.

“NFDA is always looking out for its members and their interests,” said NFDA President Dutch Nie. “NFDA is an unwavering advocate for us, our businesses and our profession. We have a full-time lobbyist making sure our voice is heard on the issues that matter most. The annual Advocacy Summit gives funeral directors the chance to get involved and make a difference by sharing our stories with members of Congress and helping them understand how their decisions have a direct impact on our ability to serve families and be successful.”

During the 2024 NFDA Advocacy Summit, NFDA members will take their seat at the table and engage their elected legislators in a discussion about how their decisions have a direct impact on funeral directors and funeral homes, small businesses, and grieving families. Specifically, NFDA members will urge members of Congress to pass the Consensual Donation & Research Integrity Act (S. 2191/H.R. 4275), a bill that would protect the dignity of those who donate their bodies for research or education, and give donors’ families peace of mind by creating standards for oversight, including registration, inspection, chain of custody, labeling and packaging, and proper disposition.

Additionally, attendees will have an opportunity to speak with their elected officials about other critical issues such as the financial impact that funeral services has on the nation and the individual states from which they hail, the review of the Funeral Rule being undertaken by the Federal Trade Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency’s review of formaldehyde under the Toxic Substance Control Act, and much more.

“NFDA’s collective strength lies not just in numbers, but in the commitment all members share in making a difference,” said NFDA Senior Vice President of Advocacy, Lesley Witter. “Advocacy is the heartbeat of positive change – it transforms passion into purpose and empowers us to not only shape policies but sculpt a legacy of impact that resonates far beyond the present moment. I encourage all NFDA members to join us in Washington, D.C., to use their voice to influence change.”

The Advocacy Summit begins Wednesday, March 20 with a Welcome Session with Orientation and Issues Briefing during which attendees will learn more about the issues they will discuss during their Congressional meetings and get tips and insights from D.C. insiders. That evening, before enjoying dinner in one of National Harbor’s delightful restaurants – or heading into Washington, D.C., for a memorable meal – attendees can relax and reconnect with colleagues during a Welcome Reception sponsored by Batesville.

On Thursday, March 21, attendees will gather on the steps of the U.S. Capitol for a group photo. Then the real work of the Advocacy Summit begins. Delegations from states in attendance will meet with their senators and representatives. During these critical meetings, NFDA members can take a proactive approach to advancing legislation that affects funeral service, small business and the bereaved.

New this year, NFDA is teaming up with Advocacy Associates to help attendees make the most of their time on Capitol Hill by scheduling congressional meetings. Advocacy Associates has extensive experience working with associations to create productive experiences for members who are meeting with their elected members of Congress. Attendees will be grouped together to meet with the offices of Representatives and Senators where their home is located, and any relevant members of Congress that fall under the committees most pertinent to NFDA’s legislative issues.

In between meetings with members of Congress, Summit attendees can visit the special NFDA Welcome Room in the Capitol Hill Club. There, attendees can relax and enjoy light refreshments and lunch. Members of the NFDA Board of Directors, Advocacy Committee and association staff will be on hand to answer questions; attendees can share information about what has transpired during their meetings with their Congressional representatives.

During the evening of March 21, attendees have the option of participating in a walking tour of Old Town Alexandria. Old Town is Alexandria’s beloved downtown and nationally designated historic district on the Potomac River waterfront. Brick-lined sidewalks are studded with centuries-old architecture, historic attractions and independent businesses and restaurants (separate registration required).

The morning of Friday, March 22, attendees can cap off their experience in Washington, D.C., by joining fellow attendees on the “Honoring Those Who Served – A Historical Cemetery Tour.” The nation’s capital region has many historic cemeteries that help track the lives of political, military and cultural icons from former presidents. Tour participants will learn more about these cemeteries and the lives of the famous (and infamous) people buried there (separate registration required).

Advocacy Summit attendees can save up to $50 when they register on or before Feb. 20. It is vital that all attendees register by March 13 so that NFDA and Advocacy Associates can provide all attendees with a meaningful and productive Congressional meeting schedule.

Standing on the banks of the Potomac River in National Harbor, Maryland, stands Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. Located just minutes from downtown Washington, D.C., a quick ride away, the Gaylord National offers convenient access to many of Maryland’s most beloved attractions, some of which are right under the hotel’s roof. From the 19-story glass atrium overlooking the river to fountain shows, distinct restaurants, signature shops and seasonal attractions, attendees experience it all. After a long day advocating on behalf of the profession, attendees can cap off their night at the rooftop bar before unwinding in a spacious room or suite with views of the Potomac.

The National Harbor is situated on the banks of the historic Potomac River, just minutes from the nation’s capital. It is a destination unlike any other with 160 stores, 40 restaurants, an iconic Capital Wheel and the best sunsets in the D.C. area. Attendees can learn more about National Harbor by visiting  

Attendees must make their hotel reservations at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center by February 18 to lock in the exclusive Advocacy Summit rate of $326 per night plus resort fees and taxes. The Advocacy Summit room block will fill up quickly – those who are planning to attend the Summit should book their room as soon as possible.

Funeral professionals should visit for the latest information about the Advocacy Summit, including the agenda, information about the issues on which attendees will be advocating, and details on how to register and make hotel reservations. Information is available by calling 800-228-6332 (262-789-1880).

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