Ryan Donovan

‘Strong, constant advocacy’ needed to highlight CU difference

January 12, 2021

The credit union mission and model shined despite tough circumstances in 2020, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan wrote in CUInsight Tuesday. Last year’s successes were due to advocacy at every level of the credit union movement, Donovan said, but advocacy is a marathon, not a sprint.

“There is a new administration in Washington who needs to be reminded why we’re different than other financial service providers. There are 67 new members of Congress who may not understand what it means to ‘promote thrift and provide access to credit for provident purposes.’ And there are countless new congressional and White House staffers who may not know that credit unions are not-for-profit, putting our members’ needs before the financial bottom line,” Donovan wrote.

“In state capitals across the nation, the story is the same with new governors and legislators who have the added burden of finding new ways to raise state and local revenue after their budgets have been hollowed out,” he added. “It will take strong, constant advocacy to remind lawmakers the value credit unions provide is returned to their state several times over through our ability to offer lower fees, better products, and higher return on savings to their constituents.”

Donovan notes that credit unions can start getting everyone engaged in advocacy efforts by attending this year’s CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC), scheduled March 2 to 4, and then remain “active with your League to deliver 360-degree advocacy all year long.”