Is your credit union a member of a State League or Regional Association? If it is, are you fully engaged in all the opportunities that membership affords? Just like members of our credit unions have a variety of benefits available to them, credit unions have many different channels by which they can become engaged in the credit union movement. It’s the power of association.
Depending on your interest and specialty, there are many options at your fingertips through membership. Most leagues and associations put political advocacy at the forefront of activities and involvement, and that is by far the number one priority that the movement can impact. But, there are also several other, and equally important areas that you can either get involved with or gain knowledge through. Those include young professional activities, education & training programs and future leader development.
Political advocacy is a critical element of the credit union movement. Grassroots efforts include engaging other employees of your credit union to participate in fundraising, candidate/elected official meetings, member education, get out the vote efforts, issues involvement and more. Each league or association has team members dedicated to mobilizing members in these efforts. You can get as involved as you like, and it will make a difference.
Young professionals are the future of our movement and we are heavily investing in their development. Specific YP programs can have elements of all aspects of involvement, from political action, to education to training for the future. There are also tremendous opportunities in these groups for community involvement. YP’s are energetic and their enthusiasm is contagious. It’s worthwhile for member credit unions to provide the opportunity to employees to get involved in Association YP efforts.
Education and training programs likely touch the most number of League and Association members. With a wide variety of in-person and online trainings, members can provide up-to-date and relevant training for their employees either as part of their membership, or at a fraction of the cost it would be outside of the Association or League. Using economies of scale, the League or Association is able to secure high-level training that helps in all areas of credit union operations; from human resources, to compliance, to new rules and technologies; to basic training, and more. Certain groups, such as compliance, marketing, human resources and others also have specialty specific networking opportunities. This allows for idea sharing, problem solving and relationship building, which are all foundational to our movement.
Leaders of the future need specific training and development and many Leagues and Associations are providing that intense training through workshops and multi-day/month training programs. This gives potential C-level employees the kind of exposure and training they will need to step into roles leading their credit unions in the future. In a safe, structured environment, these programs offer participants a variety of scenarios and situations that they can glean practical knowledge from to bring into their next role at their credit unions and beyond. These programs are also great places for networking and relationship building.
As members of the League or Association, credit unions have a unique program of opportunities open to them. Across the credit unions, every employee can benefit from membership. Get all you can out of your membership, and invest in your employees in the process. It’s a win-win.