MADISON, Wis. (3/7/16)--Social impact, political advocacy and governance all have a role to play in creating a board that takes its credit union above and beyond.
The three areas aren’t separate and distinct, however, noted a new white paper from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Volunteer Leadership Committee.
“A credit union’s community involvement has an impact on the credibility and power of its political advocacy,” the paper noted. “And a board’s approach to governance can support, or stifle, a credit union’s social and political impact.”
Credit union foundations are a powerful tool for community impact, providing financial support and human capital to disaster relief efforts, scholarships and at-risk high school students, among other projects cited in the paper.
“Deeply engaged” board members are influential political advocates, said Marc Schaefer, president/CEO, Truliant FCU, Winston-Salem, N.C. “When they meet with their representatives and senators, they can say, ‘I’m a volunteer, and I’m here because I believe in Truliant.’ Their motives are pure and effective.”
When a credit union board is involved in its community, it is more attuned to those who serve other nonprofits. For instance, Visions FCU, Endicott, N.Y., reaches out to graduates of the Chamber of Commerce’s leadership training program to see if they would be interested in volunteering at the credit union.
“CUNA Volunteer Leadership and Engagement: ‘Next’ Practices for CU Boards” is the second white paper from the CUNA Volunteer Leadership Committee. For more information about CUNA’s board and volunteer training programs, visit cuna.org/volunteerleadership.