COLUMBUS, Ohio (10/31/14)--Supporting credit unions' work in community outreach areas--financial literacy, scholarship funds or charitable giving--is a key reason the Ohio Credit Union League is shifting to an outreach alliance model from the chapter system.
The evolution to an alliance model will move the burden of training and political advocacy to the league.
The message to chapters is: "Let us do all the heavy lifting," Patrick Harris, league director of legislative affairs, told News Now. "You focus on your credit union, your community and the great work you are doing."
The collaboration effort will begin in earnest in January, and today is the deadline for chapters to express their intent to become an alliance within the league.
An alliance's principal responsibilities are: coordinating at least one major community outreach initiative per year; conducting appropriate fundraising to fuel community outreach initiatives; organizing volunteers and work groups; and sparking collaboration by implementing outreach initiatives that generate a positive impact for the community and the credit union movement.
Outreach alliances will operate under the direction and oversight of the league board and receive marketing support from the league.
When those two "bubbles" of training and advocacy are lifted from the shoulders of chapters, "the sky is the limit" for what credit unions can do in their communities, said Laura Busque, league director of membership engagement.
There is a great deal of pride and ownership in the work chapters have done over the years, Harris said, and the change does not imply whatsoever that chapters were doing anything wrong.
Should a chapter choose not to focus solely on community outreach--for instance, if it excels in professional development--it will continue to receive the league's support but not be part of the alliance program.