Tell the story, be the advocate!

by: Noel Sanger

My heart dropped when I read this headline:
Membership declines at 54% of nation’s credit unions in 2nd quarter

It got me thinking about important questions we should all be asking ourselves: “What is our strategic plan for growing membership?” “Are we looking at our product suite and making a few changes?” “Do we have campaigns to support our current products?”

But these questions are just the start. We must not forget about one of the biggest pieces to the membership puzzle – Advocacy!

In its purest form, advocacy is telling your story! As credit union employees, we must continue spreading the word about the Credit Union Movement and what it is. Take a moment to think, how many people in your community – or among your own Members – still do not fully understand what a credit union does?

That’s why it’s always important to tell your story. Talk about how you helped a Member save $200 a month on their mortgage when no other financial institution would even look past their credit report. Talk about how that $200 paid for their gas monthly. But don’t stop there! Since they had gas money for roundtrips to work and home, they were able to put their children in an after school program which had mentors and tutors.

We need to talk about the $100 loans we are giving when no one else will – unless it’s at an outrageous 379% APR! We are in low to moderate income areas looking to assist and teach financial literacy at the same time. We are not there just to grow the bottom line; we are there to grow the community – one Member and one family at a time.

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