MADISON, Wis. (4/22/08)--The Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Membership Growth Task Force initiatives now include three interactive applications on the Web to help fast-growing credit unions share their strategies. The alternatives now available include:
* E-mailing the task force's CUNA growth e-mail account established for this purpose at CUNAMGTF@cuna.coop
; * Joining the CUNA Membership Growth Discussion Group at firstname.lastname@example.org. See the resource link for more information; or * Filling out a short Web-based survey, which will be available Friday on CUNA's website. (News Now
will inform readers when the survey is available.)
"We have been at this for the better part of a year," said Task Force Chairman Dick Ensweiler, president/CEO of the Texas Credit Union League. "We developed a preliminary report and gave it to CUNA's board and membership at the Governmental Affairs Conference (in March)," he said. "We've identified markets and opportunities, and there seems to be a heightened awareness that there are unique opportunities for membership growth," Ensweiler told News Now
. "What we need now is examples of credit unions that have been taking the initiative and growing." The task force is chiefly interested in organic, sustainable growth rather than big, one-time increases. These efforts typically don't involve mergers or indirect lending. Mike Schenk, vice president of CUNA economics and staff liaison to the task force, noted that staff used year-end National Credit Union Administration data to identify the fastest-growing credit unions. Aggregate growth was adjusted in these two cases, reducing the membership number "one-for-one" by the number of members added through mergers or indirect lending. "We want the real member growth and especially want to know about efforts focused on growth of three populations of members: young people, unserved, or immigrants," Ensweiler said, "These are where some of our richest opportunities for growth lie." The task force also wants to know how credit unions are using awareness initiatives, collaboration, and back-office consolidation in their efforts to grow and nurture memberships. Ensweiler encouraged credit unions to share their initiatives. The next task force meeting will be May 29 in Chicago. "We want to hear from the credit unions and others that have success in the growth initiative. They can come in, call in, or write a synopsis of the things that have worked and their results." That day's discussions will be incorporated into a paper and presented as a report to the CUNA Board and membership during the America's Credit Union Conference & Expo June 29-July 2 in New York City. Meanwhile, News Now
will introduce its Focus on Growth weekly series of interviews with the fast growers early next week. The Membership Growth Task Force was convened at the request of CUNA's Immediate Past Board Chair Allen Kemp-McMorris to investigate, report on, and encourage credit unions to embrace opportunities, techniques and processes that will increase credit unions' membership retention and growth.