While no two credit unions are alike, all small credit unions require one factor to succeed: collaboration, says Tom Sakash, CUNA’s manager of small credit union initiatives.

He facilitated the Small Credit Union Roundtable Tuesday during the America’s Credit Union Conference at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida.

CUNA offers multiple resources to enable small credit unions to thrive, Sakash says. They include:

  • Small Credit Union Community, an online forum where nearly 1,000 small credit union leaders discuss best practices and share experiences. This resource also provides access to a “New Loan Promotion Idea Book,” a file library with sample policies and strategic planning resources, a peer profile report, and more.
  • Best-in-class compliance support, featuring the CUNA Compliance Community, eGuide to Federal Laws and Regulations, and other resources.
  • Online training and professional development.
  • Free and low-cost marketing support.
  • Scholarship opportunities for CUNA Management School, CUNA Councils conferences, and the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference.

Plus, Sakash has started a newsletter and video series for small credit unions called “Small Talk.”

Roundtable attendees also shared successful ideas they implemented, including:

  • A T-shirt campaign that turns staff into “walking billboards” for the credit union, greatly raising its visibility in the community.
  • Randomly adding $50 bills to the credit union’s ATMs during holidays, leading to increased ATM volume, higher fee income from nonmembers, and membership growth.
  • Upgraded back-office software that improves both efficiencies and security.


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