Education on ‘the CU difference’ lays foundation for advocacy work

February 11, 2019

By educating credit union members, they can in turn ensure policymakers know about the credit union difference, CUNA Chief Political Officer Richard Gose said Friday during a webinar on CUNA’s Member Activation Program (MAP). MAP allows credit unions to reach out to their members on certain campaigns, and CUNA launched its latest campaign on the credit union difference in January.

“The whole notion here is to better educate not only members, but ultimately elected officials. If we don’t educate members, they can’t relate the credit union difference it to those officials,” Gose said. “MAP is a key part of our grassroots efforts because education of members is so important to bringing the power of CUNA, leagues and credit unions to bear.”

MAP member credit unions can use CUNA’s customizable template, available in long and short forms, to build messaging to their members that can be altered to fit in with a credit union’s standard messaging.

More than 125 credit unions around the country have gone out on various CUNA MAP campaigns. MAP communications often get more engagement on these materials than standard marketing materials, and CUNA research shows that 82% of credit union members say advocacy outreach makes them want to conduct more business with their credit unions.

“Of the credit unions that have gone out, large and small, no one has contacted us and expressed any regret,” said Adam Engelman, director of federal grassroots and programs at CUNA.

Eli Joseph, CUNA’s deputy chief advocacy officer, said the new Congress with approximately 100 new members is an opportunity to lay a strong foundation for advocacy work going forward. 

“Engagement in the early months of Congress is very important because we have an opportunity to address some major priorities in this Congress,” he said. “We know what the credit union difference means, but policymakers need to know what it allows us to do for members.”

Credit unions that aren’t part of MAP can get more information and register on CUNA’s MAP homepage. CUNA also launched its MAP Community last year for CUNA members to discuss advocacy issues, communications and best practices.