Sharing positive stories with media is key during tax battle
Credit unions' national campaign for growth, Unite for Good, emphasizes "creating awareness" of credit unions' value as a critical action area. And as our movement fights to preserve our tax exemption, Wisconsin credit unions are sharing with media positive stories that illustrate how the corporate tax-exempt, member-owned structure of credit unions delivers tremendous good to families and communities.
Just as important as sharing what credit unions do to improve the quality of life where their members live and work is explaining why, she said. "We do what we do because we're cooperatives that exist to serve members, not shareholders, and our focus on people over profits allowed us to go where other institutions won't to offer billions of dollars every year in annual benefits to consumers nationwide. Our unique ownership structure, and the benefits this structure delivers, undergirds our exemption from corporate tax."
The League offers template press releases with
language you can use to explain credit unions' unique structure.
Henzig suggests credit unions use some of this language in
every press release—either in the text or the "about us"
section—and online where your member and community support is
explained. Customize a press release using the League's sample language
when you hold your annual meeting, mark an anniversary, open a new branch (particularly an in-school branch) and more.
Even a merger between credit unions is an opportunity to explain that a credit union still operates solely for the benefit of consumers, not shareholders, regardless of size, like Capital and Pioneer did in a recent press release.
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.