Invigorate Your Annual Meeting

Credit union increases turnout by paying members to attend.

May 1, 2012

It pays for SPIRE Federal Credit Union members to attend the Falcon Heights, Minn., institution’s annual meeting—$25 to be exact.

That’s what all annual meeting attendees, members or not, receive when they attend the event. The $537 million asset credit union started this practice in 2011 to boost annual meeting attendance and it worked immediately. Instead of the typical 100 guests, more than 700 were present at the 2011 annual meeting.

And in 2012, nearly 1,200 people attended SPIRE Federal’s “Annual Meeting & Member Appreciation Day” at Bethel University, featuring motivational speaker Jim “The Rookie” Morris. Known as baseball’s “oldest rookie,” Morris was the subject of a feature film starring Dennis Quaid.

The practice of paying annual meeting attendees stems from the credit union’s philosophy that people should be net givers, not net takers, says SPIRE Federal President/CEO Dan Stoltz.

Part of his annual meeting presentation focused on the idea that people should spend 80% of what they earn, save 10%, and give 10%.

Other unique offerings SPIRE Federal provides include unlimited trade-ups on certificates, free checking and bill pay, and “charge-free” overdraft protection for charges less than $9.99.

The credit union experienced significant growth during 2011, including:

♦ A 93% increase in checking accounts;

♦ 2% net growth in new members;

♦ Nearly 4% consumer loan growth; and

 ♦ Equity growth of 4%.