Invigorate Your Annual Meeting

Credit union increases turnout by paying members to attend.

May 01, 2012
KEYWORDS annual , meeting , spire
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

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%. 

Post a comment to this story


What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive