Study Shows Value of Advocacy, Member Education

Advocacy messages strengthen member loyalty.

March 1, 2015

A year-long study of 70,000 members from two credit unions—CommunityAmerica Credit Union in Lenexa, Kan., and University Federal Credit Union in Austin, Texas—reveals that involving members in advocacy can lead to increased member loyalty and higher wallet share.

CUNA’s Member Activation Program study examined whether asking members to take grassroots action on their credit unions’ behalf would have any negative consequences for the credit union’s brand or member relationship.

“We found that four of five credit union members indicated they were more likely to conduct more of their personal financial services with a credit union after receiving a Don’t Tax My Credit Union email communication,” says Richard Gose, CUNA’s chief political officer, citing a CUNA campaign aimed at maintaining credit unions tax-exempt status.

The study also revealed:

• Credit union members want to be known as members, not as customers;

• The credit union “brand” has a 97% favorability rating among those surveyed;

• Members respond best to messages that show the differences between credit unions and Wall Street banks;

• Members who receive advocacy outreach from their credit unions have a stronger bond with those institutions; and

• About 86% of members are ready to do more business with their credit union after exposure to advocacy messaging.

“This type of contact can only lead to increased membership loyalty for credit unions,” Gose says.

This year, CUNA plans to take the Member Activation Program nationwide, and will be looking for progressive credit unions willing to communicate regularly with their members on legislative and regulatory priorities.

To join this program, contact Adam Engelman at 202-824-6286 or at