Management

Don’t Tax My Credit Union

CUNA, leagues, CUs, and members send a message to Congress.

June 27, 2013
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

Kansas

“Time is of the essence—credit unions can’t wait to see which direction Congress takes on this issue before we engage our members,” says Haley DaVee, vice president of governmental and public affairs with the Kansas Credit Union Association.

“As the plan for tax reform develops, it’s imperative Congress hears directly from credit unions’ 96 million members about the importance of the tax exemption and the benefits members derive from it.” “We added a new advocacy page to our website for the ‘Don’t Tax My Credit Union’ campaign, and we’re encouraging members to write their legislators,” says Vickie Hurt, co-president/CEO of $265 million asset Quest Credit Union, Topeka, Kan.

“This message is so important,” she says. “It’s about projecting our voices louder and clearer than the other organizations facing a similar threat.”

North Carolina

“We want to keep a consistent drumbeat of communication flowing to the North Carolina congressional delegation,” says Jeff Hardin, director of communications for the North Carolina Credit Union League. “To do this, we organized our credit unions into eight groups. Once every eight weeks, the employees of the credit unions in one of the groups contact each member of our congressional delegation to reinforce the ‘Don’t Tax My Credit Union’ message.

“As for social media, we created a publication on Paper.li [an online content aggregating and publishing tool] called #DontTax- MyCU where we summarize the links posted on Twitter under the @CUNAadvocacy and #DontTaxMyCU handles,” says Hardin. “The link to that publication is donttaxmynccu.com.

“Now, credit unions everywhere can see how others are talking about the issue with members, staff , lawmakers, and the media. It’s a form of ‘crowdsourcing’ ideas about how to engage these critical audiences,” Hardin explains.

Texas

In response to a Texas Credit Union League (TCUL) alert, Shell Federal Credit Union, Deer Park, Texas, promotes “Don’t Tax My Credit Union” on its website (shellfcu.org). The credit union also sent an e-blast to about 35,000 of its members urging them to contact their congressional representatives.

“Our most effective tool is our members’ voices,” says Angela Head, chief operations officer and legislative coordinator for the $616 million asset credit union. “The implications for our credit union—and the entire movement—are huge.”

TCUL communicated the “Don’t Tax My Credit Union” campaign to its 500 affiliated credit unions and 26 regional chapters. CU ROAR, a network of legislative advocacy teams the league created last year, has advanced the message.

Nearly 50 credit unions participate in ROAR, which stands for “ready, organized, activated, and responsive.” The program expands on the league’s legislative coordinator network by bringing in credit union staff and volunteers to bolster advocacy efforts.

“I’m glad we helped put this advocacy network together during the past few years,” says Jim Phelps, TCUL vice president of legislative affairs. “The network has enabled us to hit the ground running with ‘Don’t Tax My Credit Union.’ ”

Interrelated campaigns

With the launch of the tax advocacy grassroots campaign, three significant CUNA/league advocacy initiatives are taking place simultaneously:

Credit unions will recall that during the 2013 Governmental Affairs Conference, CUNA called on them to work toward a movementwide strategic vision, collaborate to remove barriers, raise awareness, and foster service excellence under the “Unite for Good” banner.

While the three initiatives are distinct, Cheney underscores the fact that they’re also strongly interrelated. “The action steps for removing barriers under ‘Unite for Good’ draw heavily from our ‘Plan to Win,’ ” he wrote in his weekly update, The Cheney Report. “The unified approach inherent in both ‘Unite for Good’ and ‘Plan to Win’ will be instrumental in generating the level of participation we need in our ‘Don’t Tax My Credit Union ’ campaign.

“All three tie together and reinforce one another,” says Cheney, “which is why your participation in all three is crucial.”

LISA J. McCUE is CUNA’s vice president of editorial communications. Contact her at 202-508-6766.

STEVE RODGERS is CUNA’s editorial director. Contact him at 608-231-4082.

The staffs of CUNA’s News Now and Credit Union Magazine contributed to this article.

Post a comment to this story

heroes

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 (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) 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