In its credit union heyday, Georgia had more than 400 credit unions. Today, due mostly to consolidation, the state has approximately 110, the clear majority of which continue to score high marks for customer service. Lower interest rates are a big draw for the 2.2 million members, as is the more personalized services they receive.
Through ups and downs, thick and thin, traditional and emerging schemes, one thing remains constant for credit unions: budgeting season. As we all know, October is the month credit unions start to strategically plan and budget for the coming year and beyond. The season typically begins with big ideas for growth and improving customer relationships, but sadly ends with a tight budget that reflects must-do tasks driven by government regulations.
Members are the driving force behind all your credit union’s activities, and that’s understandable. Not only does your business strategy focus foremost on fulfilling their needs, but with directors who are members it’s a given that member interests will be top of the priority list. That makes your credit union budget strategy different from that of a for-profit bank, in the following ways:
It’s a fundamental premise of the credit union movement, and one that received plenty of attention at CUNA’s annual Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington DC this February. There was no shortage of examples of community engagement, financial literacy efforts, and chartable initiatives on both the grassroots and national levels. Make that international - I challenge anyone to listen to Derreck Kayongo’s tale of founding the Global Soap Project to save lives and advance education in Africa via used hotel soap, and not come away feeling inspired.