Small credit unions often face a number of unique challenges, including aging memberships, succession planning, competition from larger financial institutions, and struggles finding the capital to invest in marketing and technology.
At the highest level, the challenges small credit unions face can be summed up in two categories, says Tom Sakash, CUNA’s small credit union advisor: Resources and time.
NCUA defines “small” credit unions as those with $100 million or less in assets. More than 4,000 credit unions fall into this category.
CUNA’s Small Credit Union Community gives credit unions an opportunity to ask peers questions about many pressing issues, from policies to NCUA examiner priorities, to sources for grant funding, to vendor management.
“Small credit unions must collaborate and share their knowledge with each other to remain competitive,” Sakash says. “This resource makes that process incredibly easy.”
In addition to allowing small credit unions to reach out to their peers in the online community, CUNA offers an array of products, services, and resources, such as online training services, marketing materials, and strategic planning resources.
Plus, CUNA events typically hold roundtable discussions that provide additional opportunities for in-person networking and idea exchanges.
CUNA has also shown its commitment to serving small credit unions through the creation of a small credit union advisor position, filled recently by Sakash, who will guide the organization in how it serves and supports the needs of small credit unions.
That work starts by reaching out to institutions across the country to learn about the challenges they face and the assistance they need, Sakash says.
“It ends by bringing small credit unions together to collaborate and share resources to remain viable and competitive in the greater financial services landscape.”