As we discover year in and year out, “membership matters.” Your active and engaged participation truly makes us a stronger, more powerful and effective movement. Our objective each year is simple: We’re here to help our members succeed and to be the best advocate for credit unions and their members. We do this through advocacy leadership, compliance support, education and professional development opportunities, creating credit union awareness, and offering meaningful business solutions and resources.
Legislative and regulatory advocacy is at the core of the association’s purpose and is always our top priority. Over time, advocacy will be our greatest contribution to our members’ sustainable success.
This past year, the CUNA/League system quickly and successfully pivoted to turn back an intrusive IRS reporting proposal that would have been harmful to both credit unions and our members. We engaged Congress continuously during this process. Together, we showed them that this proposal would have hurt consumers, harmed financial institutions, and created serious data privacy concerns.
We know our messages were heard loud and clear – as we generated more than 850,000 messages to Capitol Hill. Over 14,000 of those messages came from Dakota credit unions and our members. The result was a victory for credit unions, for our members, and for all consumers. This is a clear-cut example of our bold 360-degree advocacy plan in action. However, it’s crucial that we remain vigilant against any new IRS reporting schemes that might be raised in Congress in the months ahead.
As a movement, Dakota credit unions are delivering on our core mission of supporting families, and financial wellness is at the heart of the credit union mission. Whether we are working with members in savings programs, financial planning, or preparing high school students with financial life skills in the classroom, we will continue to assist our credit unions in supporting their members’ financial success.
We will continue to make financial well-being for all one of our top priorities and it will be key to credit union survival as the movement faces ongoing threats to our special tax status. Looking ahead, the Dakota Credit Union Association is proactively preparing to resist any other threats that may impact our ability to serve our credit union members. For 2022, the Dakota Credit Union Association’s Board of Directors have endorsed two important in-house initiatives.
First, we are establishing a Defense Advocacy Fund. Many Dakota credit union leaders support the need to establish a sustainable “defense ready” fund to respond locally, and quickly, to any legislative or regulatory threats that will negatively impact credit unions or our operating environment. Our board has committed the initial $50,000 investment to this fund, and credit unions have the option to participate voluntarily.
Credit union awareness and increasing consumer consideration of Dakota credit unions is the other initiative that we will focus on this year through our Statewide Awareness Program, or SWAP as we are calling it. SWAP will allow us to license the awareness assets and incorporate a more cohesive and collaborative multi-tiered marketing program. You’ll have more input on strategic media placement, and our investment will stay right here in our communities.
We also are continuing to build on our dues-supported benefits for members. We will be hosting several exceptional in-person educational conferences in the coming year. Some of these activities are coming up soon – so be sure to check out our events calendar for dates and locations of our networking opportunities. In the meantime, whether we connect on a digital platform, or at one of our in-person events, we are looking forward to greater engagement all-around.
Donation Made to Sanford Children’s Hospital
Thanks to everyone who supported us in our “border battle” with Montana’s Credit Unions, we were able to present a check in the amount of $2,685 on behalf of Dakota credit unions to Sanford Children’s Hospital in Fargo (photo above). We are proud to continue supporting this local hospital that treats children in our region who have serious illnesses or injuries. Your generosity is appreciated!
Exciting New Lending Solutions for DakCU Members!
Last week, we announced our new strategic solution provider – CRIF Select! CRIF Select specializes in indirect lending partner programs and its technology-based solutions will make loan approvals faster, more accurate and virtually paperless, delivering lower costs for institutions and better service for their customers and members. If you are interested in learning more or setting up a demo to see how this can help you with your auto and recreational lending needs, be sure to contact George McDonald.
“In-Person” ULEND Open for Registration!
I am very excited to announce today that an in-person ULEND Academy scheduled for March 15 – 16 in Fargo is now open for registration! This popular educational opportunity is a “must” for every lender, from new to seasoned, as well as underwriters and credit union leaders. It is a “hands-on” experience and attendees walk away with new skills they can put into use immediately. Click here for more information or to register today. Class size is limited – so don’t wait too long to sign up!
Elm River and FCCU to Merge Together
Last week, Elm River CU and First Community CU, two successful North Dakota credit unions officially announced that as of January 1, they have merged into one under the FCCU brand. A full operational merger will follow later this year. Congratulations to Steve Schmitz, President/CEO of FCCU and Erin Olstad, retired CEO of Elm River.
Have a great week, and thanks for all you do!
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