“A credit union is not an ordinary financial concern… it is the expression in the field of economics of a high social ideal.”– Alphonse Desjardins
The credit union movement has seen some significant changes since the days of figures like Alphonse Desjardins at the turn of the 20th century. One thing that’s never changed, however, is the need for informed, passionate voices to motivate, mobilize and drive real change.
Credit union board members play an integral role in filling this need. As an active board member, you’re uniquely positioned to advocate for both your organization and other credit unions across the country.
Of course, taking your first major steps into the world of credit union advocacy can be intimidating. Fortunately, board members have a wide array of resources available to become more involved in the dynamic world of credit union advocacy.
Become more active in the credit union community
To fully immerse yourself within the credit union movement, its culture and philosophy, you can’t beat the largest annual credit union advocacy event in the country.
CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) is hosted every year in Washington D.C., and it’s not just credit union die-hards who take notice. Join in the tradition and Hike the Hill alongside industry leaders, and make sure your congressperson hears about the issues most important to your credit union and our movement. If you want to see as well as take part in an event felt throughout Washington and the rest of the country, set aside March 10-14, 2019 in your calendar and start making plans to attend.
You can become more active at home in your community as well, encouraging advocacy among your members. CUNA Member Activation Program provides you with the tools to become an effective advocacy leader to your members.
Keep up with the latest industry issues
Staying active in advocacy is critical but staying informed is what makes your actions effective. The credit union industry moves fast and knowing your way around current hot-button issues can be difficult when you have limited time to research.
Fortunately, you can receive daily news and information through CUNA News to help you stay one step ahead. For a board-focused angle on current industry events, add Credit Union Directors Newsletter to your reading list.
Find your footing and unique voice
One of the greatest things about our movement is our ability to come together to deliver a unified message, and each individual voice brings its own nuance and perspective to the whole.
Finding the answers to challenging questions in our industry will never be easy, but by working together year-round and sharing insights, board members can innovate and inspire as a group and as individuals. Discovering the right community to bring out your best can take time. Start by checking out CUNA Credit Union Board of Directors Community, a diverse and growing network of active board members.
The first step is always the hardest
With so much to do and so many options available, deciding where to start is sometimes the greatest challenge of all. Once you build up momentum, though, the rest is sure to follow.
Get involved today. To begin your personal journey to stronger credit union leadership and advocacy, visit cuna.org/board.