Earlier this month the Montana Credit Union Network launched a “three-legged advocacy stool” plan to engaged credit unions across the state in a holistic approach to fundraising. The three “legs” of the plan are political, philosophical, and philanthropic.
Currently credit unions are engaged in all three areas, but this plan interweaves them into one cohesive strategy with the goals of raising awareness, creating excitement, and increasing participation.
Tracie Kenyon, President and CEO of MCUN, believes there is real strength in creating a coordinated effort for a unified message. She said this unified approach will reach audiences on a deeper level and ultimately advances the credit union ideal.
“We’re all about increasing the credit union’s value and sharing concrete examples of the credit union difference is the best way to do that,” Kenyon said. “Connecting with people will increase participation in the three areas under the Unite For Good umbrella and will boost morale for staff, volunteers, and management.”
Political advocacy would continue work for PACs, GAC, and CU House and expand the effort to a National Advocacy Fund combining our resources with other state leagues and a GAC scholarship, to send once Montana credit union executive annually to CUNA’s GAC.
Philosophical advocacy would continue work through Montana Credit Unions for Community Development (MCUCD) of financial education, tax preparation, Individual Development Accounts, and Consumer Resource Centers. A new effort would create a Development Education scholarship to send one Montana credit union executive annually through the National Credit Unions Foundation’s Development Education program to provide the CUDE designation.
The third “leg” of the school is philanthropic through Credit Unions for Kids. This year credit unions across the state participated in fundraising engaging staff, members and management. This plan expands that effort to credit a scholarship fund to send a Montana credit union executive to the Children’s Miracle Network Celebration annually and encourages individual credit unions fundraisers that would qualify for a CO-Op Match.
Credit unions are currently completing a pledge form and we at MCUN are confident in what these commitments will do with outcomes that include positive legislation, driving new business to credit unions, and spreading the good news by telling our stories to the general public and lawmakers.
Kenyon said these are ambitious, yet attainable goals and will ensure the opportunity for not-for-profit financial cooperatives for future generations.