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League leaders give political pointers at AACUL meeting
WASHINGTON (11/16/09)--Political fundraising was another topic of discussion at the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) annual meeting in Naples, Fl., and the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s Mark Cummins, the Texas Credit Union League’s Dick Ensweiler, and Troy Stang of the Credit Union Association of Oregon each offered their own unique insights into how they have built success for giving to their political action programs in their states. Mark Cummins pinpointed payroll deduction as a key tool in moving strategically from “event-oriented” programs for encouraging contributions to “sustainable” programs. Cummins noted that events, such as raffles and receptions, resulted in a “shallow” reach into credit unions. But payroll deduction, as a “sustainable program,” he said, allowed the the Network to reach more deeply into credit union staff and volunteers. Dick Ensweiler said his organization uses all types of programs to develop greater giving by credit unions – including both events and payroll deduction (which has tripled in receipts over the last three years to nearly $90,000). The keys to success, the Texas CU leader said, is to “make it easy – and ask, ask, ask” for contributions. Troy Stang said his organization has stressed to credit unions in his state the need of giving and encouraged competition among peers in giving. A key element: the annual “CULAC month,” held in July. Dress-down days, bake sales, raffles and other events and rewards are offered to encourage participation. In fact, Stang said, CULAC month has been so successful (raising $60,000 this year) that CUAO has been slow in adopting payroll deduction out of an interest in maintaining momentum in events such as CULAC month. (See related stories: Matz to AACUL: NCUA to help CUs manage higher risk, CUNA's Hampel: Economic freefall has ended, 'REAL Solutions' program getting results, with state league help. And in CU System: Wisconsin league president elected AACUL chairman.)


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