GOAL: remove barriers. ACTION: payroll deduction
Removing barriers that limit credit union growth is one of the key action areas for our movement's national campaign for credit union growth, Unite for Good. A lack of financial support for credit union-friendly candidates and legislators has limited Wisconsin credit unions' political effectiveness, so more Wisconsin credit unions are offering their staff the chance to pitch in and remedy this situation through payroll deduction.
Thirty-three Wisconsin credit unions are standing up for the credit union movement through Payroll Deduction. Each payday, employees of these credit unions set aside small donations to support pro-credit union lawmakers, legislators in key positions and candidates to ensure credit unions remain politically relevant and influential.
By making small but regular contributions to support policymakers who support credit unions, employees and volunteers at these credit unions (see the list, right) are ensuring Wisconsin's 2.4 million members have a stronger voice in the legislative process.
"I had reservations about putting an 'ask' out to employees who already do a lot to support local causes," said Jack Gill, CEO of First Community CU of Beloit. "But I realized I needed to give staff a chance to buy in to their belief in the work they do. Giving a small amount each paycheck is their way of saying, 'I believe in how credit unions help members day in and day out.'
"Never say 'no' for someone else," he advises credit
union CEOs, who must sign a permission agreement to offer the program to
staff. "When employees say 'yes' to Payroll Deduction, they're saying
they want the kind of help that's available for consumers to continue.
They see close up the kind of life-changing role they play in the
communities we serve. To deny them the chance to participate is to deny
the personal impact your employees have on members."
According to CUNA, it is not uncommon for front line employees to give generously and enthusiastically as part of Payroll Deduction. Enrollees participate at whatever level they feel comfortable, allowing many givers – even in small amounts – to have a huge impact.
"If just half of all credit union employees donated $1 a week, we'd exceed the goals established for our state's political giving," said League Government Affairs Specialist Sarah Wainscott. Still, fewer than 2% of Wisconsin’s more than 7,500 CU employees are enrolled.
Individuals can use Payroll Deduction to jointly contribute to CULAC and our state PAC, WCULAF, or to deposit funds into their Credit Union Members’ Conduit Account. The latter allows the giver to designate the recipient. The League’s Payroll Deduction brochure explains more.
The Payroll Deduction Program plays a key role in the credit union system's Plan to Win, a legislative and advocacy strategy to pass pro-CU legislation, minimize the regulatory burden and preserve an operating environment for credit unions that improves service to members.
For more information, or to schedule a presentation for your staff or board about Payroll Deduction, contact Sarah Wainscott at (608) 514-0086.
The Unite for Good effort is an internal growth strategy developed by CUNA in conjunction with its Board, state leagues, credit unions and system partners. The plan's action steps – to remove barriers, increase awareness and foster service excellence–are aimed at helping more credit unions become their members' primary financial institution by compelling members to see credit unions as their best financial partner. Read more articles in our Unite for Good series.